The Butanes won City Pages Best Blues Band award in 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2002 and have been nominated for the Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame. Guitarist Curt Obeda and guest vocalist Willie Walker are members of the Mid-America Hall of Fame. Drummer Robb Stupka is a past and present nominee for the Blues Foundation’s best instrumentalist - drums (formerly the Handy Awards) and bassist John Lindberg is a current nominee for the Minnesota Blues Awards in the sideman category. Guest performers Willie Walker and Bruce McCabe are also currently nominated by the Minnesota Blues Awards - both in the Best Performer category.
Easily the best rompin’ stompin’ party blues/R&B show in town.
Twin Cities Reader
The Butanes keep it simple: Play loud, play fast and by all means, keep the dancers moving and the waitresses working.
Powerful but tasteful.
New Orleans Time-Picayune
Long a commanding presence on the Minneapolis blues/R&B scene, the Butanes began receiving numerous individual and group awards in the late 80’s. The early 90’s found the band holding down two house gigs that have since become a cherished part of local lore: the 10 strong Butanes Soul Revue brought southern soul to the Cabooze bar every Wednesday and the trio delivered Chicago blues to the 400 bar every Thursday. As the accolades piled up, local appearances became less frequent. The band could often be found playing behind luminaries around the world leading one New Orleans wag to dub them “the best band you’ve never heard of.”
Earl King hired the Butanes to back him at a dozen New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival appearences as well as numerous Midwest festival and Club dates. The band accompanied Earl on a seven country tour of Europe and recorded with him at the London BBC studios, performed at the Vin Expo in Bordeaux, France and played on his final unreleased Black Top tracks.
They toured the Midwest, California, Alaska and the Virgin Islands with Zydeco accordionist Al Rapone, backed numerous New Orleans legends at the 1st Ernie K-Doe R&B Tribute at the Mother-In-Law Lounge in New Orleans and were "saved" during rehearsal for the St. Louis Blues & Heritage Festival by Motown/Stax/Raelettes vocalist the Reverend Dr. Mabel John.
The name of the 2014 release, 12 Frozen Favorites from the Upper Bayou , comes from a stage remark Grammy-winning Zydeco accordionist Al Rapone used to make in the '90s while introducing his frequent touring band - the Butanes: "they're from the Upper Bayou, it's not on any map." Upper Bayou is an exploration of the many musical styles the Butanes played while backing Earl King, Al Rapone, James "Thunderbird" Davis, King Floyd, Tommy Ridgley, Tony Owens Carol Fran & Clarence Holliman, Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, Oliver “Who Shot The La La” Morgan and Mighty Sam McClain.
Long Time Thing is the third between the Butanes and former Goldwax/Checker vocalist Willie Walker. Right Where I Belong was released in 2004 on England’s One On One label and Memphisapolis on Haute Records and on P-vine Records in Japan in 2006. While both of those CDs were decidedly steeped in soul, Long Time Thing sidesteps into the blues.
Their previous collaborations with former Goldwax/Checker vocalist Willie Walker, Memphisapolis and Right Where I Belong, have both been ranked as number 1 "picks to click" on XM Radios' Bluesville station as has Long Time THing. Willie and the Butanes traveled to Utrecht, the Netherlands to perform at the final Blues Estaffette. They spent 10 days playing at the Lucerne Blues Festival in Switzerland and headlined the first P-vine Blues Festival in Tokyo.