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I’m back in the saddle sharing the oral histories of the Northeast Ohio music scene. This month, we feature an interview with Jim Butterfield who made his mark in the 1980s and early 1990s as Butterfield 8. Butterfield 8 was Jim’s studio project which he created after a successful run leading the Leisure Set which featured Cleveland radio personality, Laura ‘La’ Ferrell on vocals. Butterfield 8 released a 7 inch in 1984, “I Just Came To Dance” b/w “Matter of Fact” before releasing the Kevin McMahon (Lucky Pierre) produced, new wave-influenced EP, Just Listen in 1985.
Five years later, Jim released the first full-length Butterfield 8 album, Euclid Ave. which he self-produced and features guest performances from Eva Dilcue (The Generators, Bunji Jumpers), drummer Dave Zima and guitarist Rick Christyson (Lucky Pierre), and Pere Ubu’s Jim Jones. Kevin McMahon co-wrote one song and contributed backing vocals. The songs on Euclid Ave. were far more guitar-oriented and danced around the power pop and Americana genres.
To release the first Leisure Set single in 1982, Jim formed and ran the successful Banana Records label, not only as a means of releasing his own music but the music of several of his peers. Banana Records released a single and EP by the Bunji Jumpers, the post-Generators project from Eva Dilcue and drummer Jimmy Lee; a 12 inch EP The Game of Love from former Rubbur Head vocalist, Jinni Fontana and a single and EP from Lucky Pierre.
Jim’s music career went dormant for almost 30 years before joining the Clifton Beat which started playing some of his original songs. With the persuasion of Clifton Beat drummer Paul Nickels who owns and operates both Handsome Productions and Handsome Studios, Jim has crafted a brand new Butterfield 8 album, Luckiest Guy in the World a ten-song album that returns Jim to the NE Ohio music scene.
This interview will play every Tuesday night at 7:00 PM ET on Listen Project Radio for the month of December 2021.