With classic contemporary pop tracks, smoldering soulful vocals and a decidedly Jamaican bent, all wrapped around the nucleus of multi-instrumentalist/super producer Daniel Lanois (U2, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel), it’s easy to see why Black Dub’s self-titled debut disc is just as alluring as it is ingenious. Aside from its already familiar leader, the collective also includes noted session drummer Brian Blade (Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock), singer Trixie Whitley (daughter of Texas bluesman Chris Whitley) and bassist Daryl Johnson (a Louisiana side man). “I love dub and Jamaican music in general and love living in Jamaica,” the spiritually-inspired Canadian Lanois confides of his current residence. “I came out of the last U2 record [No Line On The Horizon] feeling very black because it took two years. I wanted to pursue the dream of a new style of dub—not just echoes, but extractions and manipulations. And this is a beautiful ensemble to operate with since everyone’s a modernist, though they also embrace the past but have an What’s NeW by andy argyrakis With… Black DuB featuring Daniel lanois eye for the future. The members of this band are highly educated and inventive. This is just the tip of the iceberg and the next record will be entering another door.” In speaking further with Lanois, it’s apparent that Black Dub is more than merely a one off or self-indulgent side project, but the time frame remains up in the air due to production obligations. And throughout the past three-and-a- half decades, his work has certainly spoken for itself, including U2’s spiritual awakening The Joshua Tree and its multi-million selling follow- up Achtung Baby, plus Bob Dylan’s Grammy winning Time Out of Mind. Despite that endless list of all-star credits, Lanois remains remarkably humble and simply seeks to interject his passion into the studio, whether that be on the artist or production side of the coin. “I live it and eat it and I’m really a studio rat,” he contends. “In regards to production, I love helping people and it’s something I get a big thrill from. I want to be a curator, an advisor and a guide no matter if it’s for somebody standing up on a street corner or something that takes home ‘Album of the Year.’ It’s a high wire balancing act, but I’ll be doing it until the day I die.” Jonathan Butler Smooth jazz may be one of the best selling genres, but it’s often times one of the most forgotten about subcultures. Nonetheless, singer/guitarist/percussion player Jonathan Butler is a revered veteran who recently toured with saxophone player/syndicated radio host/mainstream mega- seller Dave Koz. Even though he’s primarily played on secular radio, Butler’s messages are far from veiled, such as overt staples like “You Got to Believe in Something” and “I Pay Respect” from the recent release So Strong. And according to his itinerary for 2011, this roaring lamb from South Africa will maintain a bustling pace, split between standard performances and a safari with fans in his homeland (with the full scoop at 12 CCM for more information on Jonathan Butler visit