Barefoot Servants
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Barefoot Servants

Band Rock Acoustic


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"Barefoot Servants' Live Dates To Support New CD"

Barefoot Servants' Live Dates To Support New CD
Jon Butcher, Ben Schultz, Leland Sklar, and Neal Wilkinson.
Collectively or individually, the members of Barefoot Servants have had a lasting and dramatic influence on modern pop music. Bassist Lee Sklar has been touring this past fall/winter with both Phil Collins [as he has for years] and Lyle Lovett, and is arguably one of the worlds most recorded bass players (James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Don Henley, BB King, Bonnie Raitt, Antigone Rocks, Willie Nelson ad infinitum). Drummer Neal Wilkinson’s credits include Ultavox, Gang of Four, and Paul McCartney. Grammy nominated Jon Butcher fronted the Jon Butcher Axis, achieving critical and commercial success with 12 records, 9 MTV videos, film/ television scoring credits and worldwide concert performances over a decade. Likewise Ben Schultz has also recorded and toured as a solo artist and with music legends like Buddy Miles, Rod Stewart, Stevie Nicks to name a just a few.

The Barefoot Servants <> is hailed by many to be “the most famous unknown band in the world,” and is
celebrating release of Barefoot Servants 2 with a CD Release Party and DEC appearances in LA.

Th Dec. 8th @ 9am "Mark & Brian Show” on KLOS FM
Fri, Dec. 9th @ 7:30pm Border’s Books in Westwood on (1360 Westwood Blvd, LA; 310.475.3444).
Sat. Dec. 10th 7-9:00pm @ Genghis Cohen (740 N. Fairfax Ave., LA; 310.578.5591) -


Barefoot Servants

The Barefoot Servants is, by some accounts, the most famous unknown band in the world. Comprised of music heavyweights Jon Butcher, Ben Schultz, Leland Sklar, and Neal Wilkinson, collectively they¿ve worked with some of the biggest names in music including Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, Crosby Stills & Nash, Phil Collins, BB King, James Taylor, Cher, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Robert Plant, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, among many others. Come hear the Servants play!

December 9, 2005 7:30 PM
Location: In Store

Westwood - LA
1360 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
Phone:310.475.3444 - Borders Books

"Album Review"

Album Review

Barefoot Servants – Barefoot Servants 2
CD Review Written By: Clyde Richardson
Published 10-07-05

This is a group of “world class” musicians doing stuff that they truly enjoy doing for themselves and as an added bonus, music that speaks to all of us. The line-up includes Jon Butcher, Ben Schultz, Leland Sklar and Neal Wilkinson.

This is pretty much straight-ahead rock and roll. They use acoustics as well as electric guitars and it’s a great blend. It’s reminds very much of the late 60’s and 70’s stuff that was all about music, having fun playing it and trying to get a message across…I miss those times!

I did a recent interview with Jon Butcher who is just an amazing individual. He is socially conscious and tries to get that in his music as well. Artistically, his sense of melody is excellent and uses a lot of point and counterpoint between himself and Ben Schultz. Then, add the rock-solid bass lines of Leland Sklar and the impeccable meter of Neal Wilkinson and you’ve got the recipe for something very special.

The most amazing thing to me was how committed they all were to get this cd done. They all tour independently, with Ben and Jon touring together, Leland with Lyle Lovett then onto Phil Collins, these guys stay busy. I think Jon told me it took them 18 months to get this finished because of everyone’s schedule.

Go get this cd, it’ll bring you good luck! It’s real refreshing to hear great, solid rock and roll again. And, don’t forget to check out their website at - Chicago Music Guide

"Mix Magazine"

Given that Lee Sklar has been a first call bass player for more than 30 years, you’d expect that there’s not much that gets him excited. After all, with more than 2000 albums to his credit, he’s toured and recorded all over the world with top artists including James Taylor, Jackson Browne and Linda Ronstadt, Phil Collins, Willie Nelson, Clint Black, Lyle Lovett and Veronique Sanson—to name but a few. But Sklar’s an enthusiastic, optimistic type by nature (one of the reasons he’s so successful; not only is he a brilliant bass player, he’s also a good hang). And these days, he’s especially excited about his own band, the Barefoot Servants, and their new CD, Barefoot Servants 2, out on Atom Records (

The Barefoot Servants are Sklar, singer/guitarist Jon Butcher, guitarist Ben Schultz and
drummer Neil Wilkinson. And yes, there was a Barefoot Servants 1, released in 1994. That disk, with its stellar playing and balls to the wall Texas blues/rock, (with Ray Brinker on drums) became a cult favorite and the band toured briefly. But, lacking commercial success, the reality of busy individual careers intervened and its members went their separate ways.

The origin of the group was in songs written by Butcher and Schultz. “Jon and Ben, with Ray Brinker, were getting ready to record, but they didn’t have a bass player,” explains Sklar. “Michael Frondelli was producing, and he sent me a tape of their songs. I only had to listen to a couple of notes to say, ‘Count me in.’ It was ZZ Top meets Hendrix, and right up my alley.”

The first CD was released on Epic/Sony and the Servants headed out on the Southern Spirit tour, dubbed by Sklar, “Bubbapalooza,” opening for 38 Special, Marshall Tucker and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. “I enjoyed it so much,” recalls Sklar, “but we just couldn’t afford to turn down other work to do any more of it.”

Afterwards, the Servants kept in touch. “We’d bump into each other at the NAMM show every year,” laughs Sklar. “Then Ben built a studio in his house, and he called me to put some bass on a project. When I walked in, it felt really comfortable. Jon came over, and we decided to go at it again, and to make a record just for ourselves. Ray was involved in other things, but I’ve worked with Neil for years on Veronique Sasson. We asked him to play on some tracks and that felt right too. He’s British and he brought that great English musical attitude.”

The self-produced album was a collective effort, with some outside help from engineering wunderkind George Massenberg, who supplied both advice and gear, and mastering engineer Stephen Marcussen. Schultz engineered, and the project was recorded and mixed entirely at his home studio. “That was great for us,” notes Sklar. “Since we weren’t in an expensive studio, if we didn’t come up with anything we’d go get pizza. The only commitment was our time.”

Lack of material wasn’t a problem, nor was lack of ideas. What took time was figuring out the right direction for each song. “A really good song can go in a lot of directions,” Sklar points out. Along the way, the Texas boogie of the first album morphed into something they’re calling “nouveau classic rock,” and includes an array of styles, running the gamut from cranked power rock and roll to intimate acoustic numbers. Ultimately,, Sklar says, the record is about performance.

Getting these guys together to tour will challenging, but in July, Butcher and Schultz kicked off the CD release, touring and playing radio stations as an acoustic duo. The fans are out there. “I was in a little hotel restaurant in the south of France not long ago when I was touring with Veronique,” Sklar relates. “The maitre ‘d came over and said, ‘Aren’t you Lee Sklar?’ I thought he was going to talk about Phil Collins, or Veronique, but he said, ‘Will there be anymore Barefoot Servants?’ Well, now the answer is yes.”
- Hollywood Publishing Co.

"Taylor Review"

Barefoot Servants 2
910, 914c, XXX-RS 30th Anniversary, 355, and 354

I Don't Care At All
Bells of St. Mary's

It takes a serious (and nervy) group of musicians to stake a claim as a revitalizing force in classic rock. You’d need an unabashedly rocking vocalist who’s unafraid to sing about small towns and girls in strip clubs; two guitarists who handle electric and acoustic six- and 12-string guitars with equal aplomb; and a rhythm section seasoned by years of studio work with everyone from James Taylor to Robert Plant to Bonnie Raitt.
Fortunately, that’s just what Barefoot Servants have done on their self-produced second album. Comprising guitarists Jon Butcher and Ben Schultz and session aces Lee Sklar on bass and Neal Wilkinson on drums, the band pounds out 13 tracks of nouveau-classic rock in a sequence that actually feels like a good old-fashioned rock concert. It’s all the more impressive that it’s been 10 years since their well-received debut album, as a true “band” feel shines on every track; you wouldn’t know it was a “supergroup” without reading the credits.

Blessed with an abundance of studio experience, the Servants clearly get the point across, inviting the listener to imagine sitting on a barrel on an old wooden porch on a hot, sticky summer day, the sun beating down as musicians sing and play, their friends clapping, stomping, and nodding to the beat.

The middle section of the album leans heavily on the acoustics, with “Take My Breath Away” and “Monsters of Bethlehem” serving as showpieces for storytelling over a variety of acoustic guitar flavorings. “Brown Penny” is a raunchy slice of authentic acoustic rock amidst the folkier tunes, echoing vintage Rod Stewart.

But when this band wants to just plain rock, as on “When The Day Comes”, the grindy “Dog Days”, and “Crack The Sky” (replete with phased guitars a la Jimmy Page), it’s a deep, heavy thing; you can almost feel the walls of the studio shaking and buckling from the power of the grooves. And through it all, they show that, in the hands of pros, acoustic guitar in rock music can be either a delicate or a decidedly indelicate positive force. That should serve them well for an upcoming live DVD release based on a recent show in Boston.

Most bands couldn’t wait a decade to release a sophomore effort and produce something as cohesive and constantly charged as Barefoot Servants 2. And they made a time-tested genre rock anew while doing it.

— Bryan Beller

- Wood And Steel

"Barefoot Servants/Bass Player Magazine"


By Bill Leigh | November 2005

2 [ATOM;]

Confirmed sessionista and sideman Leland Sklar in a band? You bet, and it’s rippin’. Sklar took time out from Phil Collins’s tour to make the second Barefoot Servants record, which features similarly busy musicians Jon Butcher and Ben Schultz on guitar and drummer Neal Wilkinson on high-energy blues-rock numbers as only the best could play them. Sklar may be known for his versatile, sensitive brilliance with the likes of James Taylor, but here the bass man with the long beard has a snarling growl and a hungry, creative vibe that would put younger rockers to shame. (BL)
- Bass Player Magazine

"Baarefoot Servants 2"

Barefoot Servants: 2

CD Review to be posted in ALL MUSIC GUIDE (


Butcher, Jon/guitar, vocals
Schultz, Ben/guitar, vocals, engineer
Sklar, Leland/bass
Wilkinson, Neal/drums

Eleven years after the Barefoot Servants debut on Epic Records in 1994 comes the return of this four piece supergroup of session players with a supremely commercial outing that begs for airplay and recognition.

Cleverly titled Barefoot Servants 2 from the Bob Dylan song "All Along The Watchtower,” the fifteen compositions have passion and distinct identities - no two songs sounding alike. Where The Section, a 70s ensemble which also featured Leland Sklar, had somewhat faceless
compositions, these players decide to model songs which sound like their favorite artists - some of whom they've played with. Guitarist Ben Schultz's time with Rod Stewart is documented here in "Brown
Penny,” an “Every Picture Tells A Story”-styled ballad featuring Jon Butcher at his throaty raspiest.

There's no denying opening track, "Pharaoh's House’” has “Exile On Main Street” overtones absent from The Rolling Stones 1990s efforts while "Love You Too Much" is a sequel to "She Drives Me Crazy" that The Fine Young Cannibals could never find.

These seasoned pros attack the original material with a seriousness, and that's how they pull off the tongue-in-cheek nods to their respective careers. As Jon Butcher has never denied his adoration of Hendrix there's the obligatory nod to Jimi's genius. "Over Lovin' You"
would make the guitarmaster proud, and it's probably the only place where Butcher indulges his own passions, displaying an ability to change genres as each song demands. The record is an absolute delight
mirroring the band RTZ's “Lost In America” album where Brad Delp and Barry Goudreau from the band Boston take on styles and sounds that they hold near and dear.

The independent Atom Records label has re-issued the album with two additional tracks as the first pressing sold out rather quickly. Drummer Neal Wilkinson has played with a diverse bunch, from John Tesh and Livingston Taylor to Brit-rock phenoms Ultravox. His percussive genius lifts "Crazy" to a unique space.

The quartet may not have the name recognition of the individual members of Blind Faith, nor am I suggesting this album treads that sacred ground, but it is clear these journeyman know their trade and also very clear that their combined chops and intelligence have created a record which actually sounds as fun as it probably was to make. These days that is something truly special putting Barefoot Servants 2 in a league all its own. Joe Viliogne

- AMG Review


Electric Dobroland- 2007
Barefoot Servants, Live DVD-2006
Barefoot Servants 2- 2005
Barefoot Servants- 1996



No matter what type of music you listen to or where in the world you live, you've probably heard or seen one or another of the Barefoot Servants. Individually (and collectively as Barefoot Servants) Jon Butcher, Ben Schultz, Leland Sklar and Neal Wilkinson have provided music and music production for some of the worlds most important and notable artists. In their roles as producers, touring musicians, song writers, recording artists and composers, Barefoot Servants have been involved with artists and projects such as... Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, Crosby Stills & Nash, Don Henley, Phil Collins, Belinda Carlisle, BB King, James Taylor, Mike + The Mechanics, Cher, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Robert Plant, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Joe Cocker, Randy Newman, American Idol, Star Wars, Star Trek, The Hughleys, and HBO's Deadwood.

The Servants were formed in 1993 as an idea hatched by guitarists Jon Butcher and Ben Schultz. Having been introduced to legendary bass player Lee Sklar by a mutual friend, the studio veterans (along with session drummer Ray Brinker) began recording their debut CD, Barefoot Servants, at Capitol Records Studio A in Hollywood, CA. The CD was released in 1994 to critical and commercial success.

Having completed one US tour in support of the first CD, life intervened and the Servants became the victims of their own individual success. Barefoot Servants found themselves eyeball deep in other artists album projects, commercial film projects, network television and international concert touring for the next 10 years.

Then in 2004, Ben, Lee and Jon reconvened around an unrelated studio project... and as luck would have it, the camaraderie was still there. Enlisting ace studio musician and drummer Neal Wilkinson to round out the quartet, Barefoot Servants were re-born and back in the studio to record the follow-up to its highly regarded debut CD.

Simply titled Barefoot Servants 2, the new disc picks up where the first CD left off but surpasses it in terms of sonic quality and song writing maturity. The Servants took full advantage of time and resources to record more than 30 songs over an 18 month period. Recorded at Barefoot Sound Studios, Servants 2 is a classic mixture of all of the coolest influences which have characterized the Servants individually for more than a decade.

Barefoot Servants, along with artists such Prince, have elected to primarily self-distribute their new CD, making it available at their own web site ( Jon says, "We've decided that we're done with handing over the lion's share of sales to major corporations. It's an old way of doing business that makes no sense from an artist's point of view."

Released by independent ATOM Records, Barefoot Servants 2 is the best of nouveau- rock, presented in a trend-setting format certain to engage any listener from yesterday to today. The band plans to tour in 2006-2007, with An Acoustic Evening with Jon Butcher Pt.2 performances scheduled for the U.S. and Canada beginning in Fall 2006. These shows will not only feature Barefoot Servants songs, but songs from Jon's entire career spanning 15 Cd's. Joining Jon at these performances will be multi-instrumentalist and fellow Servant Ben Schultz, who is currently preparing to record a new Servants Cd tentatively titled, 'Electric Dobroland and Other Related Countrys' . Release date scheduled for Fall 2006 to coincide with the Fall tour.

Barefoot Servants has injected a breath of fresh air into today's stale music climate. They have made an album which takes them into uncharted waters- fresh, vital and important listening for those who take music seriously. Airplay in: the UK, India, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Germany, Spain and the US/ Canada .
Get it. And listen for yourself.