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Pitching in

The Australian natives of the John Butler Trio might have started their career a couple thousand miles away, but their success has since crossed oceans and continents.

An independent songwriter and dedicated guitarist, Butler first delivered his music to listeners through a self-funded debut in 1996 that sold just over 3,000 copies. Nearly 10 years later, he has played and gained audiences everywhere, from the New Orleans Jazz Festival to the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan to the Cambridge Folk Festival in England.

Butler's musical drive isn't his only respectable character trait. In addition to his commitment to the arts, Butler has focused his attention on preserving natural resources and improving social conditions.

Whether rocking out or raising funds, Butler is an applaudable act worth catching. You can do just that when his trio plays next week's Thursday at the Square in Lafayette Square in downtown Buffalo. Open to the public and free of charge, the event begins at 5 p.m.

-- Molly Hirschbeck

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