John will release his twentieth studio album, Butcherbird, on August 24. This will be his first original album since the release of Honest People in 2014.
With eleven new songs, Butcherbird sees John reflecting on life, love and the country that inspires him. Several of the songs were written on his property in Springbrook, QLD, where inspiration came from the birds, the bush and the view over the Numinbah Valley. The album cover is a combination of John’s own illustration of the Butcherbird, his gardening companion, with an accompanying view of the property.
‘Butcherbird is probably my most relaxed album ever,’ says John. ‘I didn’t expect to write another eleven songs, but I can’t help myself. It’s a very honest and reflective album and it was quite a breeze to write. Perhaps this is because at this stage of my career I had a ‘what the hell, just do it’ attitude. It felt right. There’s a crazy song, a protest song and some reflections, underscored by my beautiful Numinbah Valley. Why Butcherbird? Well, the Butcherbird is my favourite feathered singer. They have been here longer than humans, yet their melodies are remarkably fresh. They are my mates in the garden and have inspired the first track, ‘The Valley of His Dreams’.
A number of the songs have already been tried, tested and proven on John’s live audiences—‘The Valley of His Dreams’, ‘Simpson Desert’, ‘Buddy and Slim’, ‘Looking for a Story’ to name a few. Never one to shy away from controversy, ‘Pigs on the River’ was penned in response to his outrage over the greed of some irrigators in the Murray-Darling Basin system. This song will be available immediately to all fans who digitally pre-order the album, available here now.
John is a master storyteller and Butcherbird is no exception to that. Songs on this album are a combination of humour, romance, travelling songs and campfire stories. There is no doubt it will resonate with Australians all over and continue to showcase his ability to capture the land, its characters and the Australian spirit in song.
With a music career now spanning close to fifty years, there would seem to be little more for John to achieve. Having been inducted into the prestigious ARIA Hall of Fame, the recipient of three ARIA Awards, twenty-six Golden Guitars, three APRA Awards, MO Awards, countless Platinum and Gold album accreditations and album sales of in excess of five million, he has done it all. But as John heads out on the road until the end of the year, for him it’s all about entertaining his audiences and sharing his songs with them. More than anything, he wants them to walk away feeling proud to be Australian.
The Butcherbird tour will keep John on the road until the end of the year, performing for thousands from Bendigo to Bunbury, Tanunda to Townsville and Albury to Adelaide. For a full list of tour dates, head to John’s TOUR page.
Also, DON’T MISS WATCHING John’s portrait revealed by Ahn Do on ABC TV’s Ahn’s brush with fame on Wednesday 22nd August at 8pm.