Published Apr 18, 2007While a big star in his native Australia, Butlers funky folk style has yet to find a firm toehold in North America, where the festival circuit is already saturated with genre-hopping Ben Harper and Jack Johnson sound-alikes. Thats not meant as a total slight against Butler, as his command of slide guitar is certainly phenomenal, and producer Mario Caldato Jr.s work throughout Grand National adds a lot of freshness to what would otherwise be standard jam-band fare. On the other hand, there isnt much on the album to lift it beyond a good-time, rump-shaking experience. Not that theres anything wrong with that, its just that with Butlers instrumental prowess he could be a monster if he were able to write better lyrics than "I guarantee you and me are gonna get funky tonight. Check out Kelly Joe Phelps as an example of the total package. But if youre simply a jam band fan, Grand National is probably all youll need to get you through this summer.