Partial list of
the Butanes
have backed


Steve Arvey

Long John Baldry

Camile Baudoin

Mojo Buford

James Carr

Gene Chandler

Otis Clay

"Clyde" Copeland

"Thunderbird" Davis

Jimmy Dawkins

Sugar Pie DeSanto

Bo Diddley

Don & Dewey

King Floyd

Carol Fran &
Clarence Hollimon

Rosco Gordon

Phil Guy

John Lee Hooker

Mable John

Al "Carnival Time" Johnson

Ben E. King

Earl King

Lady Bianca

Bettye LaVette

Frankie Lee

Laura Lee

Lefty Dizz

Hip Linkchain

Lynwood Slim

Mighty Sam McClain

Kathi McDonald

The Memphis Horns

Milwaukee Slim

RJ Mischo

Oliver "Who Shot The La-La" Morgan

Tony Owens

Pinetop Perkins

Al Rapone

Dalton Reed

Francine Reed

Tommy Ridgley

Fenton Robinson

Percy Sledge

Big Walter Smith

Percy Strother

Hubert Sumlin

Little Johnny Taylor

Tail Dragger

Ron Thompson

"Wee" Willie Walker

Robert Ward

Lee "Shot" Williams

Louis Williams

Sid Wingfield


The Butanes keep it simple: Play loud, play fast and by all means, keep the dancers moving and the waitresses working.


Easily the best rompin' stompin' party blues/R&B show in town.

Twin Cities Reader

Best Damn R&B Band in Town.

City Pages

Powerful but tasteful.

New Orleans Time-Picayune

Our Most Recent CD:

12 Frozen Favorites from the Upper Bayou

A musical tour de force through an assortment of South Louisiana rhythms by the band that backed Crescent City legend Earl King for a dozen years at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and other stages around the world.

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Long a commanding presence on the Minneapolis blues/R&B scene, the Butanes began receiving numerous individual and group awards in the late 80’s. The early 90’s found the band holding down two house gigs that have since become a cherished part of local lore: the 10 strong Butanes Soul Revue brought southern soul to the Cabooze bar every Wednesday and the trio delivered Chicago blues to the 400 bar every Thursday. As the accolades piled up, local appearances became less frequent. The band could often be found playing behind luminaries around the world leading one New Orleans wag to dub them “the best band you’ve never heard of.”

Earl King hired the Butanes to back him at a dozen New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival appearences as well as numerous Midwest festival and Club dates. The band accompanied Earl on a seven country tour of Europe and recorded with him at the BBC studios, performed at the Vin Expo in Bordeaux, France and played on his final unreleased Black Top tracks.

They toured the Midwest, California, Alaska and the Virgin Islands with Zydeco accordionist Al Rapone, backed numerous New Orleans legends at the 1st Ernie K-Doe R&B Tribute at the Mother-In-Law Lounge in New Orleans and were "saved" during rehearsal for the St. Louis Blues & Heritage Festival by Motown/Stax/Raelettes vocalist the Reverend Dr. Mabel John.

While recording three highly regarded CDs together former Goldwax/Checker vocalist Willie Walker and the Butanes traveled to Utrecht, the Netherlands to perform at the final Blues Estafette. They spent 10 days playing at the Lucerne Blues Festival in Switzerland and headlined the first P-vine Blues Festival in Tokyo.

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The Butanes released Long Time Thing, on April 8, 2011. While the previous two discs were steeped in Soul, Long Time Thing sidesteps into the Blues. 5 of the 16 originals feature Michael B. Nelson’s big band arrangements and 10 horns. Former Goldwax/Checker vocalist Willie Walker makes this a most soulful Blues CD. The #1 Blues release on XM satellite radio's Bluesville channel during the week of October 1, 2011. Soul Bag magazine (FR) has awarded the recording it's highest rating - Le Pied! or Out Of Sight!

LTT cover
Willie Walker and The Butanes released Memphisapolis, their second collaboration, on Saturday, June 24, 2006. Memphisapolis, contains 13 original tracks featuring 4 horns, lady background singers and real Hammond organ and was the #1 Blues release on XM satellite radio's Bluesville channel during the week of October 14, 2006.

MEM cover

In 2004 The Butanes went international; releasing their recording with Willie Walker, Right Where I Belong, on the English One On One Label. Hailed world-wide as one of the finest Soul releases of the year, this successful comeback has had all 14 tracks played on the radio and was also the #1 Blues release on XM satellite radio's Bluesville channel during the week of February 5, 2005.

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The Butanes released Day & Night in 2001. Recorded live at their old Minneapolis haunt, the Cabooze bar, Day & Night brought longtime fans and new converts up-to-date with the band's progress. The CD's 15 cuts and over 68 minutes of music reveal what the band was doing around the new millenium: writing new songs, refining old favorites and learning from, as well as performing with, the masters.

Day & Night cover

The Butanes Soul Revue released One Night in 1998 to emphatic press and international radio airplay. People, Living Blues, Blues Access and In The Basement all published positive reviews and the recording hit number one at SURF 107.1 FM in Wilmington, NC. Recorded live at the Cabooze bar in 1990, One Night was originally issued by the band as a 90 minute cassette only release in 1991. Atomic Theory Records resequenced the recording, deleted a few tracks to fit the time limitations of a CD and mistakenly used an alternate take of "Gate Walks To Board!"



One Night cover



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