Watching the Days Fall
- BIO - When I was 18, my band The Demons signed with Mercury Records. We were part of the New York punk and New Wave scene, which helped our debut album sell 300,000 copies. We were featured on the Live at CBGB Vol.II album and shared bills with legendary groups such as Blondie, Mink Deville, The Ramones, The Dictators, The Dead Boys and many other great NY bands. The Demons shared a rehearsal loft with The New York Dolls next door to the Chelsea Hotel. Johnny Thunders and I became friends and would jam frequently. The untimely deaths of key band members of led me to begin a solo career writing and producing music for radio and television, eventually winning a CLIO award for the agency as a producer. Growing up in Brooklyn, I lived near the NBC television studios and attended tapings of many of NBC's classic variety shows. Seeing so many amazing American musical artists live, including the great Ray Charles and Johnny Cash, made an indelible impression on me. Excited by the great music being made back then, I hopped on the F train alone at the age of 11 to attend shows at the legendary Fillmore East. Undoubtedly, I was the youngest person there. Hearing so many great musicians in their prime was an experience that helped shape my musical style. When I was fourteen I met Johnny Cash. He encouraged me to pursue a career in music. Unconsciously, I began trying to be as honest a performer and human being as Johnny Cash. He carried the weight of being a true artist with such humble dignity. Around that time I used to hang out in front of Electric Ladyland hoping to meet Jimi Hendrix. Unfortunately, Jimi died before I could, but my second recording session, shortly after his passing, was at Electric Ladyland's studio B, using Jimi's Marshall amplifier. My first session, at Bell Sound only weeks before it's closing, was in the same studio where Buddy Holly recorded his New York sessions. I hope that the spirit of these places and the artists who made them great echo through my music, which I have endeavored to make both fresh and familiar, while reaching out to the listener's mind, body and soul. Moving to Manhattan at seventeen, I met drummer Paul Duskin. After The Demons disbanded we formed The Very Few, playing such legendary New York venues as Max's Kansas City and The Mudd Club. Paul had recorded and performed with The Escalators, featuring bassist Busta Jones and Jerry Harrison of the Talking Heads. He also played on albums for Robert Fripp and Canadian recording artist Michel Pagliaro, meeting keyboard master Wally Smith along the way. The Very Few did a five song EP for Epic Records when once again, personal tragedy forced the band to break up. Paul and Wally would later join me to record Watching the Days Fall. I began teaching music privately and continued writing music throughout my seven year battle with a life threatening illness. Thanks to my deep passion for recording and performing, I never lost the desire to have my music heard. I have emerged from a very trying time as a singer/songwriter/producer with my new CD Watching The Days Fall. On a personal level, the album reflects the end of my arduous journey, but the universal message concerns the obstacles we all face as we travel on life's path, so I feel it's your story too. - Martin Butler CD-LINER NOTES Feeling fragile, but thankful after surviving more surgeries than I care to remember, I was compelled to create a musical document by which those I love might some day remember me-kind of a 'soul print' instead of a box of photos. However, I was so damaged that I didn't know if I could, in fact, sing or play again. I intended to simply do one live take of as many songs as I could, and be done with it. The heartfelt emotional response friends had when they listened to the spontaneous but rough takes caught me by surprise. They encouraged me to complete the music instead of leaving it raw and unfinished. While I was moved by their support to augment the very basic arrangements, I chose to leave the vocals and guitars untouched in order to not risk losing what I felt those original performances captured so well: the real experiences of overcoming a life-threatening illness and of struggling to once more find my voice and purpose. There's life in these stories. I hope, at the very least, that this music finds a place in both your heart and mind. If listening helps you to rekindle forgotten hopes and dreams long ago abandoned, which is what creating it did for me, then I will have succeeded beyond all expectations. MARTIN BUTLER.