Thursday, 3 July 2008

Johnny Butten: news

Johnny Butten, English-born multi-instrumentalist now resident in the USA, will bring out his new swing-flavoured bluegrass album Solo in mid July. On it he plays all the instruments - banjo, upright bass, fiddle, mandolin, and guitar. Sample tracks can be heard on his MySpace page. Solo will be available through many online outlets, including CD Baby, iTunes, Napster and, and will be available for order through various stores worldwide.

Also for release in mid July is the first of Johnny's Pick it right series - a beginner bluegrass banjo instructional DVD, including tablature booklet and onscreen graphics/chord charts never used in any previous banjo DVD. Other DVDs in the Pick it right series include Intermediate 1, 2, 3, and 4, advanced picking techniques, riffs and licks, speed picking, and a 1 hour DVD on banjo assembly and set-up with detailed video and graphics! These will be released throughout the summer and early fall.

Johnny Butten remains the official last holder of the World's Fastest Banjo Player title, according to the Guinness organisation. However, Guinness are now revising the rules to allow more precise comparison between players, and a rematch between Johnny and the previous record holder is possible.

Johnny's new band includes Joe Smart (guitar), a winner of the Winfield flatpicking competition, and Craig Mozley (bass); the position of mandolin player is still open.

As well as endorsing Kel Kroydon banjos, Johnny now endorses Schatten instrument pickups. They make pickups (and preamps) for many instruments, especially all bluegrass instruments, and have supplied him with their latest BJ-02 Pro Model. After a four-week trial period, he finds it superior to any other pickup he has used: 'Easy installation, well hidden, aesthetically pleasing, excellent volume control, and superior tone... I can't wait to try Schatten on my fiddle and guitar!'

An article on Johnny and his activities is in preparation for High Plains Reader, a magazine covering the mid-western USA.