Tuned In to Tim Butler - Tuned In

January 28, 2010 9:40:04 AM PST
Our featured artist this week is Tim Butler. He is a singer songwriter from the Philadelphia area. We caught up with him during a special tapping session at Brittingham's in Lafayette Hill, PA. He brought along a loyal following that packed the venue. Tim Butler has a real knack for writing great pop tunes. They are songs that you can't help but to tap your foot to or perhaps hum along with right as you get to the first chorus. It's like something you've heard before. Maybe it takes you to a place you have been before or reminds you of something or someone. Whatever it is, those songs get into your head and slowly become a part of you.

In 1995 the Hoppers13 collaborative was formed with Tim at the helm. Although the band saw several line-up changes it became most well recognized with Tim as songwriter, guitar boy and front man and local musicians Rick Delana (Bass), Richard Sebolt (Guitar) and Sean McCook (Drums). Hoppers13 took it's own brand of Pop / Rock and Roll all over Philadelphia, New York, Boston and New Jersey. These boys brought the juice baby! As primary songwriter, Tim brought his pop-sense, crunchy guitars and hooks to this project. Four CD's later Hoppers13 will go down in Philly history for tunes like "Crash Nation", "The Spins", "Superstition" and a juiced-up rendition of Tom Jone's hit "She's a Lady".

Tim decided to head out as a solo singer/songwriter in 2002 attempting to make his mark on the Philadelphia scene. This allowed him to broaden his musical horizons and explore the many ideas running through his head. He quickly began doing solo acoustic shows around Philly. It didn't take long before Tim realized that he wanted to reproduce the sounds he recorded in the studio so, he recruited a band to fill out the sound. Now he can be enjoyed both solo and full band, acoustic or electric. Philadelphia and the surrounding area felt his impact. Tim has quickly become a local staple to the Philadelphia club, coffeehouse and college scene.

In March 2004 Tim released his first solo EP "A Different Story". Philadelphia's own Scott Bricklin produced the album and happily took on bass duties as well. Local friends Ben Arnold and Matt Muir help tie it all together with their instrumental and production contributions. Having Bricklin, Arnold and Muir for a studio band brought some amazing textures to the music. The EP is filled with lush harmonies and has some amazing production qualities including cellos, bells and creative percussive choices. Butler's voice has often been a draw and makes it obvious to the ear that there has been quite a bit of training. Don't be fooled though. There is a simplistic charm about Butler's music. Overall you are going to find some irresistible songs on the CD starting with the title track "A Different Story". Tunes like "HollyAnne" and "MUSE" are sure to perk up some ears. Tim's music is personal, catchy, melodic and downright pretty sometimes with a perfect blend of edge and atmosphere to keep it interesting.

Tim was quickly picked up by local label "Flatspin Records". His CD's, music demos and even his stickers are scooped up quickly. Two of the songs from the EP are also featured in an independent film out of NYC. His live shows are becoming well known for not only the music but also for Tim's unique connection with his audience. His show blends great songs, humor and personality. There is a little something for everyone.

The cover of Tim Butler's latest album showcases a fun personality with its comic book artwork. One listen to the album and it is evident that this is a serious songwriter growing into his craft.

With this album, Tim wanted to highlight the pop flair in his songs. He found an interesting a partner ? his longtime friend and pop-songsmith, Cliff Hillis. The result is Tim's most mature recording to date, That's The Way You Want Me to Be.

The album, released this spring, showcases Tim's knack for pop songwriting. The highlights are: That's The Way You Want Me To Be, Tryin, and Christine. The latter two showcase Tim's pop prowess and his talent for harmonies. Other highlights on the album include: Will You Be Calling and One More Try, which reflect a little more intensity for Tim.

"This album really highlights the pop flavor of my music and Cliff helped bring that out. I am really proud at the variety of music on the album and its potential broad appeal," said Tim. "It's a bit more mature than my last record, but it still has the general lightness of my songwriting. This record reflects me a lot more."

That reflection has been shaped by a journey through the Philadelphia music scene that began in 1995. Tim entered the Philadelphia music scene as frontman for the now defunct Hoppers 13. He began his music career in the 5th grade choir and from there he joined his high school music program. By college, Tim wanted to take music more seriously.

"I didn't start writing music or playing guitar until I was in college. It just took off from there and I continued to learn. I tried out for bands and I was told that my voice was too trained, I sounded too nice," he said.

Tim, however, decided to continue on and continued to learn and develop his craft.

What appeals to many of his fans is his easy-going manner. They have enjoyed his energetic performances and the conversational nature of his songs.

"I love to perform and be interactive. Many of my shows have a conversational feel to them, and I love talking and joking with the audience," says Tim of his onstage persona.

In the end, however, Tim is just trying to be himself. "I don't want to be cookie-cutter. I try to be myself. I want to be honest and true to me, and I tried to show that in my music."

Tim currently plays music venues and colleges throughout the tri-state area. He has also appeared as a featured musician at several community events throughout the region. His music has also been played on several stations throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Please enjoy the performance video from his show Brittingham's in Lafayette Hill, PA

You are now Tuned In to Tim Butler

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