SongVault Artist Profile
Gene Butler Band
Country / Blues
Born and raised in Macon, Georgia, Butler began singing publicly at the age of nine with the Cotton Street Gospel Choir (an all Afro-American choir in which he was the only Caucasian). Originally starting out as a high tenor without pitch or tone, he was relegated to being the one member of the choir asked to whistle and hum all the songs rather than attempt to sing along with the others. However, he stuck with it and by the age of thirteen he had developed into a middle baritone and was actually allowed to sing with everybody else.
Butler wrote his first song in collaboration with his best friend, Larry Crawford, after they spent a night in jail for violating Macon's "under eighteen" ten o'clock curfew law. They were both ten years old at the time and the song is titled "Momma, Wished I'd Listen To You". Butler still sometimes sings the acapella song during his show and always makes a point of performing it before ten o'clock.
At the age of sixteen, Butler and his family left Georgia for Seattle, Washington. There he began to play the guitar, and with two of his five brothers, formed a group called the Mudville Flats. They were a local hit and toured the Northwest for several years. It was in Seattle that Butler sold his first song to a recording group, The Jerry Rowen Trio. "What Moment of the Day" was written as a kick-butt country song, but wound up as a tame bosa nova tune on the Rowen album. After listening to the album once, Butler never played the song again.
Butler struck out on his own at the age of twenty-one and headed for the Big Apple. It was there that the acting bug bit him. He put down his guitar and picked up Stanavaski's Method. After doing a ton of theater in New York, he became a "quad-costal-ite" by moving to Los Angeles.
Since relocating to Los Angeles, Butler has been able to scratch out a decent living by acting and writing in film, television and stage. But during that time his first love, music, would not let him go, and in the year 2000 he picked up his guitar again and hasn't stopped playing, singing and songwriting since.
With over seventy original songs to date, and more pouring out, Butler has placed a song in the television series, "Sirens" and in the soon to be released movie, "Armadillo Texas".
In the past five years Butler and his band has played in almost every known music venue known to man and woman – and in a few that probably shouldn't be known to anybody. They recently headlined a show at the Marlyn Monroe Theater in Hollywood and have played to sold out audiences at Theater East, Luna Park, Café Largo, Theater East and The Masquers Club. They are now hard at work putting together their second CD of original songs for V A V V Records.