Elizabeth Butler

Elizabeth Butler

 Houston, Texas, USA
SoloAmericanaFolk

A little pop, a little blues, a little jazz, all mixed together to make a cool gumbo of sound.

Biography

It takes a brave approach to be both cutting edge and patient in the music business, and Elizabeth Butler has both qualities in spades.  After the critically acclaimed release of “Love & Loss & Stuff Like That,” her 2014 full length album, Butler is now taking a different approach to releasing new music.  “Lullaby,” released July 22, 2016, will be the first single in a series of releases over the next year.  “I want to stay more visible with projects coming out more regularly instead of the typical several year album cycle,” she explains.  “Lullaby” marks the first release of an unbundled album project, a series of singles she is writing and recording one at a time.

“Lullaby” was written with Butler’s own children in mind, even though they are grown and living their own lives. She was inspired by thinking back to the days of late night floor-pacing with fussy babies. She started singing to them to try and calm them down, and in those moments she couldn’t avoid “the things you think about in the middle night with a fretful baby in your arms...what will they be when they grow up?  What kind of people will they be?  But I learned to enjoy the moment, to sing to them so they know someone is there.”

“Raising children to be strong, independent, moral and kind adults is the most important legacy I have,” Butler says. “We can have so many jobs and goals in life - to be Grammy winners, Nobel laureates, anything...but we are the only parents our kids will ever have.  That’s important.”

Butler also shines at leveraging the advantages of technology to record while keeping her projects very personal and organic.  She hand-picked her favorite musicians to perform on Lullaby, and time, space, and distance weren’t hindrances.  All told, Lullaby was recorded in Nashville, Austin, Seattle, and Houston. Jordan Buetow (from the band Erwilian) played dulcimer in Seattle, Kira Small recorded backing vocals in Nashville, Jana Pochop laid down acoustic guitar in Austin, Solveig Whittle sang harmonies from Seattle, and Torri Baker sang her harmonies from Austin.  The track was produced by Butler and Troy Warren in Houston.

Butler released her first solo album, Love & Loss & Stuff Like That, in early 2014.  She describes the album as a scrapbook concept, as if the listener is taking pieces of an artist's journal and absorbing a life story in frames and vignettes.  Part of the draw of the recording process for Butler harkens back to those days in her bedroom as a teenager, enveloped in liner notes and absorbing songs through endless listens on the stereo.  Butler describes her style as a “cool gumbo of sound,” and the listener can easily pick out country, pop, jazz, and blues influences amidst an undeniably unique sound that is steeped in years of practice and stacks of vinyl.  She co-produced Love and Loss and Stuff Like That with Troy Warren, Jr., a multi-instrumentalist who back-and-forths with Butler on everything from instrumentation to arrangement.

Butler plans to release songs periodically throughout the next year, culling inspiration from an array of styles and genres.  The spellbound kid sitting in front of the stereo is now at the helm of her own music-making, and the results are bound to be as deep and dynamic as her roots.

 

 

Lyrics

Find Your Freedom

Written By: Elizabeth Butler

find your freedom

If I’d known when you were leaving
that you weren’t coming back
I don’t think I could have watched you walk away
as it is, I guess it’s better
there’s too much of me in you
for me not to try my best to make you stay.

it’s not my aim to change your lifestyle
who am I to hold you down?
if you want me to let go, I’ll set you free
some things can’t be brushed aside
you need peace within your life
I only wish that you could find it here with me

find your freedom on the highway
gentle slumbers soothe your soul at night
I’ll be here if you should change your mind
don’t stay because of me
I’ll be alright

well, I can’t say which is harder
holding on or letting go
‘cause there’s hurt in love and hurt in saying good-bye
I only hope that all your memories
will rest easy on your mind
‘cause I’d hate to think that they would make you cry.

find your freedom on the highways
gentle slumber soothe your soul at night
I’ll be here if you should change your mind
don’t stay because of me, I’ll be alright

(c)2005 Elizabeth Butler

If I Knew

Written By: Elizabeth Butler

if I knew

if I knew that you loved me,
I could dance a thousand dances
and never even stop to catch my breath.
taking the sun as my partner,
leaving scattered footprints in the clouds,
I’d blaze a mambo trail from east to west.

or maybe I would fall into your arms
and hold you close until my strength is gone.
two hearts beating and becoming one,
knowing that eternity has come,
knowing that eternity has come.

if I knew that you loved me,
I could take the mantle of the wind,
forgetting that I’d ever touched the ground.
I could be a scirocco, maybe I’d be a nor’easter,
or maybe just a puff behind the clouds.

or maybe I would fall into your arms
and hold you close until my strength is gone.
two hearts beating and becoming one,
knowing that eternity has come,
knowing that eternity has come.

(c) 2005 Elizabeth Butler

She'll Soar

Written By: Elizabeth Butler


They all want a piece of her time
And leave her no time for her own peace of mind.
But someday soon, I think they will see
They gotta leave her just a little bit of time to be free

And she'll soar
She'll discover that she has wings and she'll take flight.
She'll soar
Sailing off into the still of the night.

They don't see the mask that she wears.
They cut her soul and she pretends she don't care.
But through the mask she wears, I still see her pain.
And the mask is slipping down now, and she's gonna break the chains,

And she'll soar
She'll discover that she has wings
And she'll take flight.
She'll soar
Sailing off into the still of the night.
Sailing off into the still of the night.
Sailing off into the still of the night.

The Dancer

Written By: Elizabeth Butler

she moves like the shadows of the light before the dawn
and her motion reaches something deep inside of me
she dances, and her dancing makes the music come alive
like a captive spirit suddenly set free

and it seems as though I’ve known her since forever
before she was a dancer and before I sang my songs
she’s a sturdy shelter, giving comfort when the gale winds blow
and I know she’ll be there ‘til the time’s all gone.

I know her in her quiet moments, sitting by herself
and her eyes betray a ghost that’s still returning
she pauses for a moment and I see her shoulders fall
Then she rises, though the embers still are burning

and I take her with me everywhere I go
and her silent music rises in my heart when I’m alone
though the roads we chose are different, still she’s with me every day
when I’m with you, I’m finally at home.


When You Go

Written By: Elizabeth Butler


you have no reason to think back on me
‘cause I don’t think I let you see
the inroads you have made into my thoughts and days
and now I watch you walk away

Lyrics

when you go
take my love, hesitant and scared
only just aware of the price I paid to keep my freedom
when you go
you can be sure when you return I’ll still be here

such good intentions, now the time is gone
wasted when not acted upon
I only pray that it is not too late to start
attending matters of the heart

when you go
take my love, hesitant and scared
only just aware of the price I paid to keep my freedom
when you go
you can be sure when you return I’ll still be here


She

Written By: Elizabeth Butler


she is running, running wild and free
full of innocence and bright mystery
calling down the wonder, capturing the grace
eager with the hope of yet-to-be

she is fragile as a silent tear
old in understanding but still yourg in years
remembering the ecstasy, reflecting the divine
renewing love, refusing doubt and fear

she is flying, flying near the stars
shaking off the chains that tried to wound and scar
we can only guess at why
remembering our loss we cry
but she is flying, flying near the stars



Come Back to Me

Written By: Elizabeth Butler

Come Back to Me

From the moment I met you
You were always the one.
Tender joining of soul with soul.
What now since you're gone?

Your watch is still on the nightstand.
Your shirt's draped over the chair.
I turn and listen,
I hear your voice.
I know that you're not there.
I know that you're not there.

(chorus 1)

Come back to me.
Come back to me.
Come back to me.
Come back to me.

Lately, sleeping eludes me.
I've learned to welcome the dawn.
The reddish tendrils of day's first light
Mean I'm still holding on.
I'm still holding on.

(chorus 1)

(chorus 2)

I ache. I weep.
I pace. I bleed.
I ache. I weep.
I pace. I bleed.

(bridge)

I'm not ready for this.
I was never that brave.
I'm afraid and alone.
Why couldn't you just stay?
(repeat)
Tell me what does it take?

(chorus 1)
(chorus 1 and 2)

(chorus 3)

Breathe in, breathe out.
Breathe in, breathe out.

(chorus 1,2, and 3)

Love Over Logic

Written By: Elizabeth Butler

Love Over Logic

In the silence
I am hearing your voice
Quietening down the madness of the day.
Every wound tells
Of mistakes I have made,
Battles lost within the bloody fray.


But I am hearing you above the noise.
I turn and run to you, I have no choice, I'm
Choosing to trust in love over logic,
Following the sound of your voice.
I am hearing you above the din.
Remembering your touch on my skin, I'm
Choosing to trust in love over pride,
And drawing a deep breath, begin again.

In the madness
Is the struggle for love, and
Feeling you've been heard and understood.
So I move towards you
Like metal to magnet,
Seeking what I know is always good.

(chorus)

Few lines are drawn in brilliant light.
More shades of grey than black and white.
I raise my head and soldier on, knowing
You wait for me to come back home.
(chorus)

Discography

Running Home: (with Running Home)
tracks currently receiving airplay: "If I Knew", "Find Your Freedom", "Wait Upon The Lord", "She",

Love & Loss & Stuff Like That: released 2014. Songs currently receiving airplay: "Time Before, Time After remix featuring Solveig Whittle"," A1A (Settin' Myself Free)", "Love Over Logic".

Set List

If I Knew
She'll Soar
Find Your Freedom
Hero
When You Go
Ready For The Storm
I Can't Stop Thinking of You
Walk Away, Renee
Too Old To Die Young
Palms of Victory
Closer To Fine
Man Of The Cloth
Who I Am
Who Says You Can't Go Home
I Hope You Dance
When You Say Nothing At All
When Will I Be Loved
Silver Threads and Golden Needles
Passionate Kisses
Down At The Twist and Shout

I aim for about 3 sets of 45-minutes length each. I try to add as many original songs as possible, depending on the venue and type of audience.