SATURDAY NIGHT MUSIC BYTE
Jon Butcher is an American rock, blues song writer, guitarist & freelance multimedia producer. He attended Grahm Junior College in Boston, Massachusetts for Broadcast Journalism and it was there that his professional music career began in earnest.
Many people have made comparisons between Jon Butcher and Jimi Hendrix particularly in the early stages of Jon’s career; however those comparisons were ultimately short-lived. Some of Jon’s influences are Richie Havens, John Lennon, Phil Lynott, Bob Dylan and Taj Mahal. While Butcher maintains humility in regards to Jimi Hendrix comparisons, he emphasizes they may be superficial. “Being black and playing a Stratocaster created certain inevitable comparisons, particularly in the early days”, remembers Jon.
During the middle to late 1970s, Jon Butcher toured the Northeast U.S. with the Boston based band, Johanna Wild. The band generated a large following during its tenure. Their early success was due to promotional practices such as self promotion, self marketing and self management. The most successful Johanna Wild lineup was: Jeff Linscot [guitar], Derek Blevins [drums], Troy Douglas Sutler III [bass], and Jon Butcher [guitar and vocals]. Their most popular song, “Suzanne” attained regular airplay at local radio stations like WBCN. Johanna Wild’s chemistry influenced much of the Boston music scene of the 1970s.
Relentless touring and strong fan support for Johanna Wild afforded Jon Butcher quick media attention through the then blossoming cable TV networks MTV and radio medias, particularly the influential radio station WBCN in Boston, MA. With the radio promotion of supporters such as WBCN radio personalities Mark Parenteau, Oedipus and Carter Alan, Jon Butcher became a Boston music staple, and in the early 1980s he created Jon Butcher Axis with Chris Martin (bass) and former Johanna Wild drummer Derek Blevins. Jon Butcher Axis performed throughout New England including Uncle Sam’s, the infamous The Rathskeller, The Paradise Theater and many others. The timing and apparent surge in popularity afforded Jon Butcher Axis’ next opportunity through Peter Wolf, lead singer of The J. Geils Band.
Jon Butcher Axis was invited to tour with Boston’s already world famous J. Geils Band through Peter Wolf for their 1982 Freeze Frame American tour, culminating in 3 sold out night shows at The Boston Garden. It was the experience of performing in the Freeze Frame tour that led to Jon Butcher Axis first international record deal with Polygram Records. This began a recording and touring career which saw the release of Jon Butcher Axis “Stare At the Sun”. Both of the Polygram records were produced by Robert Plant producer Pat Moran.
Please enjoy this music video of Jon Butcher Axis playing their 1987 hit “Holy War.”