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BSR One Night coverThe Butanes Soul Revue
One Night
Atomic Theory 1139

The muscular ten piece Soul Revue (the Butanes plus three additional vocalists and three horns) plays twelve soulful songs, including one original, "Without You," live at the Cabooze bar.

 


People magazine cover
People
Here is an album for unfortunates born too late for the days when big band R&B outfits like this roamed the land playing honking soul music all night in smoky bars and roadhouses. The 10-member Butanes are based in the Minnesota north country, but their heart belongs in New Orleans, where they have backed blues guitarist Earl King and zydeco's Al Rapone, among others. Recorded live during one of the band's frequent gigs at the Cabooze Bar in Minneapolis, this collection of 12 rhythm and soul classics (plus a handful of originals) could serve as a primer for bar and party bands everywhere. With a muscular drums-bass-guitar rhythm section, three full-throated vocalists, two sax players, a trombone, trumpet and Hammond organ, the Butanes keep it simple: Play loud, play fast and by all means, keep the dancers moving and the waitresses working.

Steven Daugherty


Blues Revue magazine cover
Blues Revue
The Butanes recorded this vigorous set of classic soul in 1990 at the Cabooze, a popular blues nightclub in their hometown of Minneapolis. The Butanes have considerable experience as a backing band, having worked with artists such as Earl King and Al Rapone over the past decade. Led by the gritty vocals of baritone saxman Maurice Jacox (who developed his reputation as vocalist with Willie & The Bees), this energetic set offers timeless music from artists such as O.V. Wright, the Isley Brothers, Johnnie Taylor, Tyrone Davis and Otis Redding. Their horn-heavy style is similar to Tower of Power's, yet there are two blues tunes that showcase guitarist Curtis Obeda's chops (Gatemouth Brown's "Gate Walks the Board" and Jimmy Liggins' "I Ain't Drunk"). Although there's no new ground covered here, The Butanes fire up this set of live soul with reverent zest.

Thomas J. Cullen III


Living Blues Magazine cover

Living Blues
The Butanes are an R&B band from Minneapolis that has backed up Earl King, King Floyd, and Al Rapone, among others. The band added vocalist/saxist Maurice Jacox, extra horns and a couple of female singers when this set was recorded live in 1990 at the Cabooze Bar. Recording a ten-piece soul band is no mean feat, so it's a tribute to Atomic Theory that this CD sounds so good. The horns are sharp, the vocals are clear, and the rhythm guitar lines distinct. The playlist includes a number of originals in addition to such R&B classics as It's Your Thing, Gate Walks to Board, Turn Back the Hands of Time, and I Ain't Drunk (played with more balls than even Albert Collins brought to it).

Peter R Aschoff


Blues Access magazine cover
Blues Access
Memphis, 1966? Try Minneapolis, 1990. This live recording catches much of the energy of a '60s soul show. Vocals by Maurice Jacox, Kiara Conners and Beverly Demps.

=editor's choice

 

 

In The Basement
Although apparently recorded back in 1990 - at the Cabooze Bar, Minneapolis- this is being reviewed as a 'new' recording because it appears only now to be seeing regular light of day, supported by US advertising. This is another feel-good item as the ten person, mixed race band power their way through mainly familiar material, led by vocalist/sax-player, Maurice Jacox, former member of Willie & the Bees. Jacox also shares vocals with Kiara Conners and Beverly Demps on the distaff side and John Lindberg and Curtis Obeda, who double as bass and guitar players respectively.

The band is a very tight outfit and they blast and funk their way through the two opening cuts before settling into a slightly easier mould with a vocally torrid 'Nickel And A Nail'. From 'Turning Point' through 'I Got The Will', the band carries an appreciative audience along on a wave of sterling musicianship, on into 'Gate Walks To Board', a guitar and brass led rocking instrumental. Respite is to be had on the bluesier slowie, 'Without You', with the blue-eyed songster coming across in best Billy Vera fashion. 'Ain't No Fun To Me' employs an Al Green sound-alike while the 'Time Medley' successfully blends 'Turn Back The Hands Of Time', 'Time Is Tight' and 'Time'. 'I Ain't Drunk' takes things out in stomping, blues-heavy fashion.

 

David Cole

 
 


Jazz & Blues Report logo
Jazz & Blues Report

Let's get this straight. (a) The Butanes are a five-piece r&b backup band based in the Twin Cities. (b) They are known for their work behind a pair of Louisiana-based musicians: blues guitarist Earl King and zydeco artist Al Rapone. (c) When on their home turf, the Butanes frequently double in size and morph into a full-blown soul/r&b show band. It is fact "(c)" that we are concerned with at the moment. One Night is a 1990 recording of this ten-piece incarnation and one wonders why it took so long to get it out. It certainly was not an issue of quality. Highlighted by the performances of vocalists Maurice Jacox, Kiara Conners and Beverly Demps, this is an energetic and tasty collection of live tracks that grows quickly on any hardcore soul listener. Dosed with enough Tyrone Davis ("Turning Point", "Turn Back The Hands Of Time") Isley Brothers ("It's Your Thing") and Al Green ("It Ain't No Fun To Me") covers to keep a connoisseur well-grounded, One Night succeeds not only as a document of a hot band but as a celebration of the genre itself. Thanks in no small measure to the four-piece horn section, the Butanes deliver a powerhouse ensemble sound that is true to the "literature". There are no attempts to be clever, just lots of good straight-ahead delivery. There is even the prophetic inclusion- seven years ahead of the trend- of a jump-revival instrumental, "Gate Walks To The Board". This is a great party disc.

Duane Verh

 

 

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