Sam Butler (from the album Raise Your Hand on Severn Records) - Sam Butler left the stage as the guitarist for The Blind Boys of Alabama and plugs into his first solo release, Raise Your Hand. Sam carries the same righteous love of spirit and guitar roar that he used to back the music of The Blind Boys. He testifies with words and music on Raise Your Hand, turning his guitar up to eleven and using words dipped in the pens of Rock. Sam Butler plays a drunken Blues that weaves without faltering through Nick Cave and Paul Kelly’s “God’s Hotel”, rides a double track beat as he boards Tom Waits’ “Gospel Train”, cuts a path for Johnny Cash’s “Lead Me Father” with razor sharp guitars, and tumbles on a sonic cloud in the calm eye of the storm on Van Morrison’s “Full Force Gale”.
Sam Butler has influenced (befriending) Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen, and worked with Keith Richards on his 1989 solo effort, Talk is Cheap. Sam apprenticed for his work in the guitar slot for The Blind Boys of Alabama by accompanying his father from the age of four when Samuel Butler, Sr. was on the road with The Blind Boys of Mississippi. Raise Your Hand saws guitar chords to lay down its opening track, “Heaven’s Wall” (Bruce Springsteen), uses guitar chimes as a siren to shout on “Magnificent” (U2), slowly unfolds the glory of “Presence of the Lord” (Blind Faith), and follows Sam Butler as he exits the album with a gravel crunch beat pulling his feet towards “Sanctuary” (Eliza Gilkyson).
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