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Butler did it

New Orleans piano legend Henry Butler rolls into Jazzbones Friday.

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As you’ve probably noticed, the Weekly Volcano is a bit different this week. The paper is bigger, sexier, and better — and this is what you can expect from here on out. In the past the Weekly Volcano has been cool. Now the Weekly Volcano is super cool.

Bobble Tiki knows change is inevitable. Bobble Tiki realizes nothing ever stays the same, and the pages of life’s book get turned — whether you want them to or not. Like any island-themed figurine, change scares Bobble Tiki, probably much the same way it scares a lot of you out there in Volcano Land. When Bobble Tiki left the comfort of his parents hut to head off to college, for example, Bobble Tiki was scared crapless. When the final episode of Friends aired, Bobble Tiki was mortified. When the hair began to turn gray around his private Tiki parts, Bobble Tiki feared the world was coming to an end.

It wasn’t, and Bobble Tiki survived.

Though he must admit the Weekly Volcano’s spiffy new look and enhanced content scares Bobble Tiki a little, he assumes he’ll get used to it, and learn to love it. Bobble Tiki assumes you will, too.

New Orleans born Henry Butler knows a thing or two about change. After building his legendary name tickling piano keys for years in his hometown, crafting a quintessentially New Orleans sound influenced by McCoy Tyner and Professor Longhair, Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. Like so many, Butler’s world was forever altered, and change was forced upon him.

Blinded by glaucoma since birth, Butler has never been one to be kept down by the challenges of life. The fact that, in addition to his musical career, Butler is also a world class photographer whose work has been exhibited all over the country is just one of many examples of this fact. When the murky water of Katrina flooded him from his home, Butler simply adjusted — packing up his surviving belongings and heading to Boulder, Colo., After a year there, Butler relocated to Denver, where he spoke with Bobble Tiki by phone earlier this week.

“(Denver) is OK. It’s not New Orleans, New York, or Los Angeles, but the people are nice enough,” explains Butler.

“The music scene is a little homogenized here, but luckily I can go anywhere in the country.

“New Orleans has been a city with a wonderful musical engine. The people playing music coming out of New Orleans have donated a lot to the world of music that people know. New Orleans has really helped to strengthen the history of American music. I’ve been fortunate to add a few things to the New Orleans repertoire.”

While Butler no longer calls New Orleans home, the city still has a firm hold on his musical style. In April Basin Street Records will release PiaNOLA Live, the first live solo record by Butler to date. The disc will be a culmination of more than a year of work and should (once again) display the skill and passion that has made Butler’s name synonymous with the New Orleans sound and lifted him to the status of local legend — even if he does live in Denver these days.

“A lot of people have been asking for a live recording for a long time, so it’s a good thing. It’s festive, and has the true character of a live CD,” says Butler.

“We finished the record last year. We had a few things in the can that we used, and the rest we added last year. It’s a fun record. I think people like music that sounds like it’s very enthusiastic and from the heart. This record has that sound.”

Henry Butler will be at Jazzbones this week for a solo performance Friday, Feb. 8. It’s not everyday that a venerable New Orleans legend finds his way to T-Town, so it’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Butler and his magic fingers will pound the ivory in ways you’ve never imagined. Bobble Tiki thinks if you’ve got any sense at all you’ll be at this show. 

“I like touring and playing for people. It feels good to know that people enjoy what I do,” offered Butler.

“People (at Jazzbones) can expect me to draw from my New Orleans experience and the vast repertoire of New Orleans music.”

Even though the Weekly Volcano changed this week, Bobble Tiki’s feelings did not. He still doesn’t care what you do this week because he still doesn’t even know you. Unless you can help Bobble Tiki execute his dastardly plan to trick Tom Brady into knocking him up, and then extort the pretty boy QB for all he’s worth, Bobble Tiki probably doesn’t want to meet you. Take solace in the fact that Breakfast with Bobble Tiki now appears six days a week at, and go find yourself some real, living, breathing friends.

[Jazzbones, Henry Butler, Friday, Feb. 8, 9 p.m., $12, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.396.9169]

Bobble Tiki is going out of his head via e-mail at

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