"Admirers of the J.J. Cale sound will enjoy this ...Kenny Butterill...an ardent Cale admirer himself.. and a great human being..like John was all his life. Keep eyes and ears open for a new CD release by Kenny."
"Here's another reason why some of us will remember [this] as one of the sweetest months ever in Texas music: 'Just A Songwriter' is oh so easy on the ears and has multiple pleasant associations for me. Overall sweet, straight, .... a bunch of catchy tunes that keep me reaching for the 'replay' button."
"The new CD from Kenny Butterill takes you on a trip though the wonderland of Americana. It features incredible songwriting with tasty guest appearances from Norton Buffalo, Willie P. Bennett, Ray Bonneville and old FAT favorites Joe Weed and Larry Hosford. It's a delightful Canadian take on the Americana experience. Enjoy!"
"Music made while sitting down is best enjoyed similarly. Kenny Butterill's languorous songs are like that. Sometimes slow and quietly deliberate, other times breaking into a slow trot. Butterill's "Just A Songwriter" is alt-country, folk and blues all folded into each other, anchored by Butterill's intimate soulful vocals. It also helps that good friends like Willie P. Bennett, Norton Buffalo and Ray Bonneville all drop by to assist. And while his vocals on his last disc echoed Mark Knopfler's to an occasionally distracting degree, "Just A Songwriter" finds Butterill's honey smooth voice evolving into its own. Like it's predecessor, "No One You Know", this is a note-perfect soundtrack for long, warm summer evenings.
" ... Songs are solid in a Townes and Mickey Newbury sort of way and while Butterill's voice is on the plain side, it brings an everyman quality to his songs making them much more easy to relate to. There is a lot of emotional ground covered here and Butterill does a fine job of conveying deep heart-rending emotions in his songs. An excellent album. Butterill may feel he's just a songwriter, but in my world, there's no occupation more deserving of praise."
"Kenny Butterill's ( "Just A Songwriter") title is a bit misleading. Kenny is not just a songwriter, but also an excellent vocalist. This album has it all, Blues, Country and Roots Rock. What a gifted performer Kenny Butterill is. Radio has no reason not to play this record. There is a song on this CD for every genre and music fan. Plus every cut is in the pocket."
"Kenny Butterill is one of those songwriter types who don't seem to be around much anymore. He writes songs with great stories, and delivers them with a no-frills attitude and singing voice. It's all laid out there for you to see and hear and a close listen will have most people agreeing he's good at what he does. Kenny's songs can be reflective, like the wonderful "My Austin Angel" and "Is There More?". He can tickle your funny bone too, with stuff like "Vegetarian Dead Cow Blues" and the clever title cut. Fans of the late Townes Van Zandt will know immediately what "The Townes You Left Behind" is about. Kenny's voice has a laid-back charm that is often overlooked in this day and age of the shouter. The music matches that mood . There's also killer lead guitar throughout. Ray Bonneville shines on the title cut with very percussive work that supplies the song with its killer feel. The acoustic solo on "My Austin Angel" (Peter Morrison) is marvelous, almost reminding one of the work..."
"Canadian Kenny Butterill's second release Just A Songwriter is a no-nonsense collection of well-written and smoothly delivered songs. Kenny has a laid-back voice and a down home bluesy writing style. The album features some of Canada's best musicians, including Willie P. Bennett on mandolin, and some spectacular harmonica playing by Norton Buffalo. Of particular note is the last cut on the CD, "The Townes You Left Behind," an ode to Townes Van Zandt. Haunting lyrics and clean guitar playing are reminiscent of Townes' style and explore the art and impact of songwriting."
“Kenny Butterill's music insinuates itself into your being in such a warmly pleasant, hypnotic way. His songs evoke the feeling of being tucked in a lower berth as the Sunset Limited lances through the darkness, clickety-clacking its way across America. One listen to his Just A Songwriter CD and you'll fall under his spell."”
"... Butterill combines the Americana flavors of Texas country, blues, soft jazz, folk and modern country to serve up a very tasty roots mélange that is attracting him a larger and larger following of music lovers who are disenfranchised by the watered down 80s pop rock that Nashville calls country."
"The coyote howls lonely and long, sagebrush rolls, dust devils twist, the evening air is perfumed with white sage and an old Indian on horseback is silhouetted against a new risen moon. Butterill is a songwriter set for these vistas. He has a soft Mark Knopfler-esque voice with an evocative and expressive delivery. The songs of Just A Songwriter are bluesy, drifting on currents of air like dust motes and throwing out sparks of inspiration. Softly country with restraint and introspection, each song is a visuality. Kenny lets us in as he dips "paintbrushes into my soul, just me and my guitar." Visitations from Norton Buffalo's high lonesome harmonica and Ken's friends like Joe Weed and Ray Bonneville fill in smoothness like a satin sheet, rumpled with the night's exertions. There are loving nights and empty days, road trips and trying to move on. Visions of being "on the right track, ain't no looking back, partners in the game, riding destiny's train" smoothly flow from lover's games...
"... A Canadian living in the U.S., Butterill is all the things a songwriter should be: original, sensitive, perceptive, warm, slyly humorous, and above all, memorable. He'll have no trouble pitching this group of songs, either. He's also an outstanding producer, adding enough other musical touches (besides his own fine acoustic guitar picking), from backing musicians with solid feel, to sell the song without overdoing it. The soulful Gotta Find a Woman, with its backing choir, and the bluesy sax on Making Love In L.A. are classic examples, though the title track is a winner, too. Anyone looking for some good songs should check out Kenny Butterill's repertoíre. He's got the stuff".
“As I was starting this review, a DJ friend sent me a link (www.hitsongscience.com) for a company that has purportedly developed technology that can measure the "hit potential" of a song using "mathematical patterns." Poke around the site and you'll see claims that attempt to refute my initial thought that this is just the next step in the strip-malling of U.S. radio. They don't claim to have all the answers, conceding that promotion and expert opinion matter too. Missing almost totally is any mention of lyrics, only discussing them in the context of the "rare" song that didn't fit their expected patterns, but somehow still became a hit. I can't refute that the musical melody matters since only about a thousandth of my music collection is sung a capella, but I remain skeptical that this new "science" is a good thing. Thinking about this article while analyzing the lyrics of "Just A Songwriter" sent my thoughts wandering down a long, tangential path..."”
“Over the past year, Sisyphus Tracks - the community-style web radio operation for which I serve as Program Director - has played many outstanding 2003 roots/folk releases from some of Canada's biggest names, including Neil Young, Fred Eaglesmith, Kathleen Edwards, and the Be Good Tanyas, as well as the excellent Gordon Lightfoot tribute from Borealis/Northern Blues that includes covers by the Cowboy Junkies, Jesse Winchester, Bruce Cockburn and Ron Sexsmith. However, a lesser-known artist from the Great White North - Kenny Butterill - picked up a lot of new fans in 2003 with his Just A Songwriter CD, and deserves consideration along with his more famous countrymen when awards time rolls around.”
"Just A Songwriter is the newest CD from one of North America’s best-kept secrets. Kenny Butterill is that secret. He is clever and original, both in his sound and songwriting … capable of taking his listeners down a dusty back road through the mountains or walking down the beach near his friend’s beach house. His sound is effortless and his words echo off the strings of his guitar like a voice in a canyon, rich and natural … His music is thought provoking and at the same time calming … It is surprising that Butterill does not like to tour, preferring to stay close to his home and guitar, for surely he would be playing to sold out audiences! However given the choice of touring town to town or sitting on the decks of Santa Cruz, I would probably take the decks, too!"
"Just A Songwriter" is really a gem and it is destined to become one of the best efforts released by a contemporary songwriter from North America in recent times.
"Kenny Butterill is a sincere, hard-working songwriter whose work deserves wider recognition. I especially like his recordings with Ray Bonneville."
"Songwriter/Producer Kenny Butterill delivers mesmerizing Alt.Country/Roots magic on this album. Definitely in my Top 10!"
“Kenny Butterill credits serenity of Balsam Lake cottage as inspiration behind many of his best songs.”
"This is Kenny's follow-up to his knockout debut "No One You Know." He's got a way with words and his easy going style practically puts him on your living room sofa. Nothing intricate or flashy, he doesn't have to be, just no nonsense great songs. He's from Canada, but his songs are universal. Love, loss, more love, a small victory, more loss and redemption out of the ashes. A great way for your CD player to spend an evening.
"Kenny is back! His talent as a songwriter is well known in the industry and his ability to deliver a strong musical performance has been clearly established with his past CD, "No One You Know". His new CD entitled "Just A Songwriter" is a further progression and highly enjoyable! Kenny has the charming ability to create songs that are first pure fun - very easy to listen to - yet some how quite compelling - and then perform them masterfully. His songs are learning experiences not dissimilar to enjoying fine wine. Like developing an admiration of fine wine, as you listen more and more - your appreciation for Kenny's work will grow and grow. So pop the cork by spinning up his new CD and start enjoying fine listening today. You will not be disappointed."