To watch Matt Butler on stage a casual observer might consider him to be a hybrid conductor-coach-mad scientist or perhaps just a flagger on a busy roadway.
All are fair assumptions, but in reality, Butler is indeed the conductor when he’s in front of Everyone Orchestra, the musical collective he formed in 2001. Featuring an ever-changing line-up of top-notch musicians, but when the group takes the stage, don’t go looking for any setlists and shouting out requests won’t work, either, as the band is completely improvisational taking its cues from Butler.
Armed with only a white board, hand signals and often hyper-mime suggestions, Butler and the band create sonic soundscapes where the audience becomes an active participant. Needless to say, no two shows are the same.
Interviews with Butler and guitarist Steve Kimock were featured on the Nov. 5 edition of Greasy Tracks. Go here for Hour 1 or Hour 2 and don’t forget the playlist. If you’re just interested in the interviews, click here to listen to Kimock or here to check out Butler talking about Everyone Orchestra.
The group plays Nov. 9 at Toad’s Place in New Haven.
Kimock, fresh off Bob Weir’s Campfire Tour, heads the ever-evolving line-up which includes bassist Mark Brownstein and keyboardist Aron Magner of Disco Biscuits, drummer Vinnie Amico (Moe.), Chris Bullock and Jay Jennings of the Snarky Puppy Horns and Jans Ingber the former front man of The Motet.
Everyone Orchestra opens its tour at the Brooklyn Bowl on Nov. 8 before heading to Rusty Nail in Stowe, VT (Nov. 10), Thunder Road in Somerville, Mass. (Nov. 11) and the Ardmore Music Hall in Ardmore, Penn. (Nov. 12).
Although Everyone Orchestra is traditionally a live-only act, Butler took a hand-picked group of musicians that included Kimock, Phish drummer Jon Fishman, keyboardist Marco Benevento, saxophonist Jeff Coffin (Dave Mathews Band), bassist Reed Mathis (Tea Leaf Green), trumpeter Jen Hartswick (Trey Anastasio Band) and others, into the studio for the 2012, largely improvisational, Brooklyn Sessions.