John Butler says goodbye to Michael and Shannon

The John Butler Trio will be changing its line up in the upcoming months. Drummer Michael Barker and bass player Shannon Birchall will play their last shows with The John Butler Trio in April.

John has thoroughly enjoyed the experience of the last 6 years touring and recording with Michael and Shannon and for purely artistic reasons, feels that it is necessary to change the line up.

Historically the John Butler Trio have had a changing line up over the last 10 years through their stage performances and studio recordings of ‘Three’, ‘Sunrise Over Sea’ and ‘Grand National’.

John Butler said today,

“Michael and Shannon have been by far the best line up I have performed with in The John Butler Trio to date. They have been a pleasure to live, love, learn, record and tour with. Their professionalism, musicianship, and commitment have been unwavering and for that and a whole lot more I am truly thankful.”

John Butler would like to publicly acknowledge the amazing contribution that Michael and Shannon have made over these last years, and wishes them well in their future musical and personal endeavours.


This is a sad day.

Will we in the States ever get to hear and feel Michael Barker’s rhythms pound through the atmosphere again?

I guess maybe if we are lucky he might tour the US with some other group. But maybe not. And for sure not with the JBT again.

I’m just sad.


10 Responses to “John Butler says goodbye to Michael and Shannon”

  1. 1 moonshadow
    March 24, 2009 at 6:25 am

    While I know there were musicians in the JBT prior to Michael and Shannon, having “found” JBT only two years ago, I am really saddened. To me, all three make the JBT the band that it is, even though it is John’s band to do with whatever he pleases.

    I wonder if John is changing the direction of his sound? I also don’t understand his official statement – if Michael and Shannnon are the best “line up” he’s played with to date, then WTH? Hopefully John’s ego isn’t getting in the way.

  2. March 24, 2009 at 6:48 am

    I just keep thinking back to the few shows I went to…and how I’ll never get to experience that again…THAT was then, and now it’s gone. And that’s the way it is with music, I guess. You have to enjoy the moment…

    I hope something good comes out of this.


  3. March 24, 2009 at 7:43 am

    The last time I saw them was Aug 31, 2008

    I recorded the show, but it didn’t come out well…

  4. 4 moonshadow
    March 24, 2009 at 7:47 am

    If JBT made plans to tour in the US this summer, we were going to travel to as many shows as possible.

    I had wondered why Butler was doing so many solo shows……

    Hopefully something good comes of this, too, tandjam. Damn. It still sucks!

  5. 5 moonshadow
    March 24, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Should have typed -“I hope”, not “Hopefully”.

  6. April 1, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    I guess I must be moving through the stages of grief over this because at first I was in shock, and then I was sad, and now I feel angry.

    Angry with John Butler. If he has to move on, fine. But he should retire the John Butler Trio and move on. Create a new band, a new name… not sack these guys who WE LOVE and just replace them with some…some strangers.

    We fans are attached to these guys. These guys ARE the JBT.

    It just all feels so personal and so painful.

    I’m not feeling fond of John Butler today. At all.

    Being a fan is really weird.

  7. 7 moonshadow
    April 2, 2009 at 4:51 am

    I don’t think I can express my feelings as accurately as you have expressed yours, so I’ll just say – “What you said!”.

    Cheers to Michael and Shannon, and a big “Boooo…Hiss” to John.

    (Surely he’ll change the name of the band)

  8. 8 moonshadow
    June 30, 2009 at 6:19 am

    John’s new bandmates.

    I’m still not over Michael and Shannon being gone. :/

  9. 9 Vlad
    July 17, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Nah everyone, cheerup, I saw John Butler live 2 days ago ( 15 july 2009 ) and Nicky Bomba IS great and in my opinion he is WAY OUT more funny and more intresting than Michael Barker. With Nicky Bomba I laughed so hard, and first time I laughed so often and hard in a concert! I think the new lineup will be awesome, and the new album great as allways 🙂

  10. 10 Dave
    April 7, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    There is no way the new lineup approaches Barker and Birchall…..this is so sad, the new rhythm session is just dry, and no standup and cello…..lets pray he goes back to the real John Butler Trio, the one we all fell in love with from Sunrise Over Sea and Grand National, and the one that rocks live like no other..

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