August 24th – Record Release Show Invite!!

MattButler_Rockwood

Hello Folks!

            It’s finally here. On September 9th, we will be releasing ‘Reckless Son’. The 12 track album will be available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play and all other major music platforms. Soon we will begin mailing physical copies of the CD to everyone who pre-ordered through Pledge Music, and I will have CD’s available at performances. To celebrate the release, I’ll be having a show on Wednesday, September 14th at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2 at 8PM, and it would mean the world to have you all there. This process has been over a year in the making and it’s hard to believe we’re finally reaching this point. It was around this time last summer I was booking the initial recording dates . . . I remember scheduling pre-production rehearsals with the band in mid-September, and then booking my first week of studio time in October to track basics . . . and then the recording Odyssey began. But really, the hardest and most important work took place long before I stepped into the studio (sorry Ben!). The commitment to my recovery and to writing this music began a healing process that has been absolutely life changing, and it is my greatest hope that this album can now go into the world to help heal and inspire others. I have decided to tell my story so that somehow, somewhere, in some way it can be helpful to someone. When I set out to change my life and to make this record, I had no idea how much love and support I would receive. It is with nearly inexpressible gratitude that I ‘m able to say this part of the job is finally done. So please join me on the 14th to celebrate! And then I’ll get back to work cause it’s time to share the message.

            In the meantime, it’s been a busy summer. This past weekend I had the honor of participating in two unbelievable events. First off, in Sag Harbor I spoke and performed at Facing Addiction’s ‘Tribute To Lost Laughs’, featuring Saturday Night Live’s Darrell Hammond. It was a comedy night, but I managed to sneak some folk tunes in!

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On the next day I booked it over to Philadelphia with the Generation Found crew where the film was being premiered at the Irvine Auditorium at University of Pennsylvania. I did a half an hour set in what was the most gorgeous room I may have ever played in, and I had the honor of performing ‘Just One’, the original song I wrote for the film, live over the credits. In the audience were several state senators and representatives who were there for a panel discussion after the film, and I really couldn’t help but indulge some of my 60’s folky fantasies about playing protest songs on college campuses for students and government officials. . . I just need to remember to bring some Ray Bans next time!14034862_10155432009578849_7715153727478562445_n

            September is going to be a busy month, as I hit the road again. I’ll be playing for a symposium hosted by Caron in Cape Cod, as well as in Maryland for the Ashley Addiction annual reunion alongside former basketball star and recovery advocate Chris Herren and my new pal Brandon Novak of ‘Jackass’ fame and author of ‘Dreamseller’. Should be pretty epic! I’ll also be taking a trip to Ohio for radio dates and to perform at Columbus’s Rally for Recovery.

            But in the meantime, September 14th is going to be a night to remember. I can’t thank you all enough and I can’t wait to see you all there!

  Matt

June 27th – Final Week Of Fundraising!

Hello folks!

            Hope you’re all enjoying this weather! I’ve started up running again and training for the next marathon, and I’ve just played my first outdoor show of the summer this past Saturday. I had the honor of heading back up to Wernersville, PA to perform at Caron’s annual reunion there. It’s important to go back and touch roots. That’s where this journey began for me and I’m incredibly grateful for all the help I received during my stay. Traffic caught us pretty bad in the morning and I made it to the stage in about 5 minutes time before the performance started. . . . It’s funny though, I had a strange sense of Déjà vu as I was being frantically rushed to Caron in the back of a van . . . .hehehe. . . . but this time I was allowed to go home that night!

            But more to the point, this is going to be our final week of fundraising! The campaign has succeeded far beyond our initial hopes or expectations. . . but so have the costs! And now that we’ve got the album I think it’s clear how special it is and how strongly people are reacting to it. We’ve just GOT to follow through and make sure it has a real chance at being heard. So we need to raise funds to promote. That means hiring a radio promoter as well as a publicist. It means putting together a budget for me to go on the road. It means creating music videos. Fortunately we’ve already found some people who are as excited about this album as we are, we just need to gather the resources necessary to move forward.TPMSCdSleeve_10x5

            In the meantime, I’d like to give you guys a little preview of our artwork. Check out this amazing cover! I love it. The photo was taken from a live show at Rockwood Music Hall a few months back. I think the whole thing really captures the spirit of the record; we’ve got a little cowboy aesthetic mixed with the dark cityscape and that beautiful, hope filled new dawn rising. I think we’ve invented our own little sub-genre of graphic art, I call it “Urban Cowboy Noir” heheheh. Also check out the back panel, and notice the long list of thank yous! THANK YOU! Thank you everyone who has contributed to this campaign and to everyone who has supported us on this mission. But this back panel is a rough draft, and I encourage you to GET YOUR NAME ON IT! I repeat, this panel is a ROUGH! We can still expand the packaging and get quite a few more names on here. So please, browse through the store and see what you’d like. For $100 you can get your name on here AND a signed cd! However, I think the real chef’s special on this menu is the private house concert. My acoustic chops are unprecedentedly solid at the moment, and the stories behind these songs haven’t gotten any less juicy . . .Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 8.38.35 PM

            So browse through the store, rewatch the updates, listen to the tunes, and give us a hand sharing this story with the world. It means the world. Thank you everyone and remember to join me on August 3rd at Rockwood Music Hall stage 2 to celebrate the release of Good Friday! So many of you are coming out these days they had to put us in the bigger room!

Thanks again folks and we’ll see you in August!

-Matt

June 6th – Good Friday Release Show On August 3rd @ Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2!

Good Friday E Card

Hello folks!

Thrilled to announce that we’re officially releasing our first single, “Good Friday” on August 3rd. In my last update, I had informed you that the first two singles would be “Ride Again” and “The Man That You’ve Become”, so this news may be a bit surprising. I’ve decided to go ahead and release Good Friday as the first single primarily for one reason: I believe it speaks most immediately to the message and theme of the album. I think the song is brutally effective and it’s meaning is completely unambiguous. The album tells a very real story and I want the first single to make that clear.  Listen to the song and read the story behind it here.

The song is very dear to me and it has tremendous power. This was made even more apparent a few weeks ago when I was asked to perform it at the Caron Foundation Gala at Cipriani here in New York. A little over three years ago, I began my recovery at the Caron treatment center in Wernersville, Pennsylvania and I was immensely grateful for the opportunity to give back to the place that helped save my life. It’s hard to describe how poignant the night was. I was asked to be the testimonial speaker for the evening, and my mother was asked to say a few words and introduce me. The two of us got dressed up, got onstage, and told our story to the several hundred guests in attendance. I told them about how my drug addiction and alcoholism had led me to homelessness, about how I used to prey on my mother for food and money, and how eventually I had broken wide open and asked for help . . . all with my face and upper body projected behind me on a stadium like jumbotron! And after I told my story I walked over to my guitar. For a room filled with eight hundred or so people, the silence was almost dreamlike. And then I played Good Friday.

 

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I’d like to say this was a culminating moment; a catharsis where all the wounds of my past were released in the violent strumming of the E-minor chord that signals the attack of the song’s vicious bridge. And in many ways it was. The night brought a peace to my mother and I that I never imagined possible. She told her story and healed her heart, and for that I’m even more grateful to Caron. Over a million dollars were raised in the silent auction that began immediately after I sang, and I believe my performance of Good Friday helped raise scholarship money that will save the lives of fellow addicts and alcoholics. But it was not a culmination. If anything, it marked a new beginning. Just as my recovery is ongoing, so is this work. There is so much more to be done! What I took away most from that night was a renewed sense of my mission to use my unique gifts and experience to be of service. If it’s even possible, I feel more passionately now about my recovery and my artistry than I ever have before. And so recommitted to the path, I’ve chosen to release Good Friday as the first single from the album . . . an album that all of you have allowed me to create. This is truly beyond my wildest dreams. Today, I am overcome by gratitude for everyone and everything that has arrived in my life to support me.

And we still need more help! The recording costs of the album were substantially higher then planned, and in order to have a proper production and promotional budget we need to raise more money. Please help me share this album and spread this message! There is still incredible content available in the store on my Pledge Music Page, including intimate living room concerts as well as the option to be credited as an Album Benefactor in the liner notes. There is also the simple option to “Contribute To The Cause”, where you can donate a dollar amount of your choosing to help our efforts. Please be a part of what’s taking place and please pass this on to others and encourage them to join in what we are building! You don’t want to miss this!

And Please join us as we celebrate the release! The show will be at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2 on August 3rd. We’ve overfilled Stage 1 the last three times I’ve played, so we’re finally getting bumped to the big room! The show will be at 830 PM and will be free entry

Thank you again my friends, and see you all in August!

-Matt

April 27th – Radio Woodstock + Living Room Concerts

Hello Folks!
There’s been lots happening these past few weeks in the Butler camp. First off, I had the tremendous honor of being the Guest Artist at The Freedom Institute’s Spring Gala at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. I was asked to share a few words and I performed acoustic versions of “Ride Again” and “The Man That You’ve Become”, both songs off this album! The Freedom Institute does crucially important work in the field of substance abuse and addiction and it was a gift for me to be able to participate in the event in such a personal way. Moreover, in May I will be speaking and performing the song “Good Friday” at this year’s Caron Foundation Gala at Cipriani. Both of these places have helped shape the person I am today and I am intensely grateful for the opportunity to give back, especially by playing music.
This weekend saw more adventures as I strapped a guitar to my back and hit the road to Saugerties, Woodstock and Albany. I had “Bringing It All Back Home” by Bob Dylan playing through my head the whole time. Saturday morning Ron VanWarmer welcomed me onto Radio Woodstock where I played “The Man That You’ve Become” and “Good Friday” live. Thanks Ron! The performance of “Good Friday” actually elicited some social media feedback from mothers, and I felt totally blown away by the connection I was able to make transmitting through the radio. I’ve got a clip of the performance right here. Later that night I played the Move Music Festival in Albany, and prior to the gig I was able to share my story and experience with a mother who had heard me on the radio that morning. I was awed and humbled by the entire thing. I can’t wait to be able to share this album with the world.
Speaking of the album, we had the great fortune of bringing Mark Petaccia on board to mix. Mark is the man that mixed Jason Isbell’s ‘Southeastern’, an album that represents a total watershed moment for me in the development of my artistry. It’s beyond thrilling to have a man so intimately connected with music that reshaped my life helping to shape my debut album. We should have a finished mix shortly. Thank you Mark!!
This whole experience has just been magic. I’ve never worked so hard on anything my entire life. I’ve never known hustle like this. And every time a new obstacle comes up, it seems the universe hands us the answer as long as we are willing to continue to keep putting one foot in front of the other. And every time we ask for help, we receive it. And at the moment, we need more of your help. The expenses for getting the album to this level have added up, and we’re almost tapped out financially with many steps in the process left to go. We need more of your support. There are still private house concerts available, and I would love the opportunity to play these songs for you in their most intimate forms and share with you my stories. Besides that, I’ve been busking in the subways and playing these solo shows everywhere and my acoustic chops are off the charts! Thank you so much for getting us this far, and now we just need a final push to get this baby to the finish line. Visit my Pledge Music page here.  And then this album will be released and allowed to have a life of it’s own. Such a gift. Thank you my friends!

March 19th – TRACKING COMPLETE!

Tracking is finally complete. . .I think . . .It must be. . . Last Wednesday the excellent John Jackson (The Jayhawks, Pyschic TV) came down to the studio to play fiddle on a track, and it was awesome, but I swear I can’t think of anything else to tinker with at this point. I’ve exhausted my ability to tinker. No more tinker-ability. For the month prior I was incredibly eager to “be done with this thing” and to “move on with my life”, but in the final moments I guess I still questioned some of my creative choices so much that I couldn’t let things advance to the next phase. In retrospect I can see just how tightly I’ve been holding on. More than anything, especially when it came down to vocals, I feel like I was in this brutal competition with myself. Every note I sang I was determined to “beat”. Things don’t feel right yet, so let me go home and practice for a few days. . . let me find someone to show me how to do it better . . . let me try doing it after a run . . . on an empty stomach . . . while standing on my head . . . (the last one was a joke, but if someone I trusted told me I could get a richer vocal tone standing on my head, I’d have been practicing my handstands).

            But the truth is that these songs mean the world to me, and at this moment in my life I can’t imagine ever telling a more important story. I felt that I had to do everything within my power to execute these recordings in a way that would do the songs and the message justice. And to be honest I don’t think I was up to the challenge at the beginning. The recording took so long because I had a lot of growing to do. Part of that growth was technical and skill oriented, and part of it was emotional and spiritual. And the last piece of the puzzle was being mature enough to know when to stop.

                        Recently my interest in tea and tea ceremony has blossomed into a full blown passion. Over Presidents’ weekend I found myself reading “Wabi Sabi For Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers” by Leonard Koren, a book about a Japanese aesthetic that is heavily influenced by Zen tea ceremony. At the end of the book, the author paraphrases Rikyu, a famed tea master, when he says the essence of the ceremony is simplicity itself; “Fetch water, gather firewood, boil the water, prepare tea, and serve it to others”. I found that final phrase to be devastatingly poignant. This process of creation loses an integral step if I don’t share what I’ve made and offer it as a gift. Through the contributions made to my Pledge music campaign as well as the support, mentoring and love from all of my friends and family, I was given the gift of being able to make this album. And I love it. I’ve never worked so hard on anything, and I think it shows. And I worked so hard because I love the work so much. I love all of it; recording, finding tones, crafting melodies, writing songs, telling stories, singing and playing. I love what we’ve done, and I feel forever bonded and grateful to everyone involved. We certainly chopped a lot of wood, and we certainly carried a lot of water.  Now it’s time to share, and I couldn’t be more proud. Thank you all!

February 9th – Recording Updates!

I’ve been doing most of my communication these days through the video blog on my Pledge Music page and for the past month or so I’ve felt like every drop of my creative energy has been focused on what we’re doing in the studio. Blogging about the recording process is intimidating because I can’t possibly describe how intense . . . magic. . . tedious. . . exhausting. . . rigorous. . . cathartic. . . inspiring. . .and all consuming this has been. I feel like I haven’t come up for air in weeks. The more we record, the more is revealed, and my last performance at Rockwood Music Hall was a real “A-Ha!” moment. The packed house was literally pin drop quiet as I told the stories about each song and then performed the acoustic versions, and it really hit me; no matter what, the story is the most important thing. The way the songs and I were embraced that night was deeply moving and I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so grateful for an audience. Afterwards, Ben and I agreed that the lyric has got to be supported and delivered in an honest and authentic way that matches the spirit in which it was written.  That meant stripping down a bunch of songs on the record, and in some cases starting from scratch. But hey, that’s art, right?! And it’s safe to say that if you like B-sides and album outtakes, we’re gonna have quite the box set package for ya!

            We’ve got studio dates booked through February to complete tracking. We’re putting everything we have into this. Everything. . . Every ounce of faith, strength, energy and love. After long days in the studio I come home to cook a small dinner, watch an episode of Seinfeld or Key & Peele to laugh a little and unwind away the doubts, and when my head hits the pillow I can hear it talking to me. I can hear it telling me to keep going, to believe in the vision and to commit everything I have. The thing is, I made the decision to commit long ago. Now it’s just a matter of showing up and seeing it through. You have all been wonderfully generous in your support of this project, but we need you to continue to pledge! We’ve got new content available on the pledge page, so stop by if you haven’t been in awhile, and make sure you’re up to date on the videos! You’ll hear more from me soon, and once again, THANK YOU!

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