Reuben Butchart
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Reuben Butchart

Band Pop Adult Contemporary


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While playing piano for Antony and the Johnsons, Reuben completed his alternative R&B album with co-producer Steve Bagley. Entitled "DUSK" the album is an eclectic collage of loops, samples, and countless vocal overdubs.

Moving to the otherside of the spectrum, Reuben is finishing up the mixes for his entirely acoustic second album. Co-produced with Noah Simon, "Golden Boy" includes vocals, piano, guitar, and drums. The sound is augmented with orchestral arrangements for strings, horns, and woodwinds.

Arrangements were made by Maxim Moston (Antony and the Johnsons, Rufus Wainwright), Julia Kent (Rasputina, Antony and the Johnsons), Steven Bernstein (Sex Mob), Noah Simon (Greta Gertler), and Reuben himself.

Some of the guest on the album include: Antony (Antony and the Johnsons), Megan Hickey (The Last Town Chorus), Greta Gertler, Debby Schwartz, Steven Bernstein (Sex Mob, Lou Reed, They Might Be Giants, Nora Jones, and many more), Clark Gayton (Prince, Wyclef Jean, Sting, Stevie Wonder, and many more), and Chris Theberg (Groove Collective).



Reuben Butchart (Boo-shárt) was born in San Francisco, California and educated in alternative public schools that focused on diversity, humanism, individuality, and creativity – all splendid ideals of 1970's San Francisco. At six, Reuben could either be found at his first piano, at a City Hall rally demonstrating for the right to alternative education, or in the corner knitting mittens for stuffed animals.

One of Reuben's earliest mentors was Ruth Asawa, a Japanese-American sculptor who attended Black Mountain College and co-founded Alvarado Arts Workshop to teach art at public schools. Ruth was the first to show Reuben that being an artist was a real job. Another mentor was Carol Negro, director of the Baroque Arts Ensemble and the San Francisco Community Music Center's Children's Choir where Reuben began to squeak out his first notes, usually dressed as a caterpillar or a mock turtle. It was with Carol Negro's encouragement that Reuben began to write songs. His first songs – essentially surrealist serenades – were performed by his fellow choristers. Carol also exposed Reuben to the ornate world of Baroque music... and Carmina Burana... and The Magic Flute... and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders at a United Way benefit.

At the same community music center, Reuben had a series of piano teachers – most of whom fired him for never practicing. Finally, Reuben began to study with Tom Constanten, the original keyboardist for the Grateful Dead. After countless episodes of Reuben showing up with musical notation clipped from other composers and haphazardly taped together into an altogether new collage, Tom figured that Reuben was more interested in composing than in practicing scales. Noticing Reuben's inclination toward pop songs, Tom developed lesson plans around the analysis of the great masterworks from early Rock and Roll and Motown.

Reuben attended San Francisco's School of the Arts high school, where evidence of his tendency toward work-aholism reared its skittish head. Outside of school he honed his vocal chops on the streets with his do-wop group The Cleartones. At his graduation, Reuben earned the Farnsworth award for the most multi-talented student for his overachievement in sculpture, painting, theater, and music – a shock to everyone that secured his popularity in high school a day late and a dollar short.

After high school Reuben was awarded the Martin Luther King Junior Scholarship and was flown off to attend New York University, where he studied composition, arranging, and the Classic texts. Reuben also immersed himself in the East Village scene, frequenting one club after another to partake in the colorful spectacle of do-it-yourself oddities and legendary avant-garde performers.

Reuben entered the downtown performance scene as the original pianist for Antony and the Johnsons (winner of the 2005 Mercury Music Prize). While playing with Antony, Reuben secretly worked on his own debut album with co-producer, bassist, and guitarist Steve Bagley. The record was conceived and executed almost entirely by the two on a computer in an unheated bedroom of a ramshackle house in New York City's SOHO. Receiving the 2003 Out Music award for Outstanding Debut Recording, "Dusk" is an eclectic blend of electronic samples, R&B vocal flourishes, and contributions from fellow Johnsons violinist Maxim Moston and cellist Julia Kent.

It was with Antony's encouragement and the excitement of playing real instruments – instead of computer keyboards and vinyl records – that Reuben soon formed his own band. The revolving cast of characters have included guitarist Joe Pascarell (Pink Floyd tribute band The Machine), drummer Todd Cohen (The Machine, Antony and the Johnsons), bassist Jeff Langston (Antony and the Johnsons), bassist Jason DiMatteo (Burnt Sugar, The Citizens, Songs from a Random House), and drummer John Bollinger (The Citizens, Songs from a Random House).

After developing the new material on the stages of downtown venues, Reuben engaged Noah Simon (Greta Gertler, Eric Andersen, Scout, Bill Frisell) to co-produce his second album. After an initial phase of planning, scheming, music arranging and money saving, the crew went into a series of recording studios in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and New Jersey to kick out the jams... or rather, the alternative soul gems and mid-tempo art ballads. The final result is Reuben's second album "Golden Boy," a lushly orchestrated collection of songs that thematically harkens back to his golden days by the golden gate in the golden state.

"Often sounding like Musiq in his quiet storm sensuality, with a band equal to Ben Folds Five, lyrics that have a unique charm reminiscent of James Taylor's, sung in a voice with the quiet intensity of Phil Ochs, and arrangements that pull from the George Martin and Stevie Wonder songbooks, this multi-layered experience is a treat, " writes Bill Realman Stella of Rutgers University's WRSU..

Reuben's highly anticipated follow up