Vallury & Butler hit high water mark in history of jazz, or at least tomfoolery

Further to the earlier post on Joey Clift’s Our Fifty States Project, the collaboration between one R. K. Vallury and myself rolls on like a Deltic diesel locomotive, belting through the countryside night in a blue haze and dusting the sleep from the gentry’s eyes. Or something.

Since the controversial, back-handed R&B ode to Chicopee, MA, and the country cantata on Butte, MT, made their debuts, we’ve released two more songs. One about Michigan, and one about the moon. Yes, the moon.

The industrial disco soul wave “Pure Michigan” incorporates a roux of funk not entirely unlike Chicopee, infused with a Motor City hardness and dark disco drive that I like to think captures the essence of Detroit and its ethos. The bonus is the 6-71 Detroit Diesel winding through the gears at the end.

Then, we took a turn so off-camber that it required starting a whole new band. Or at least, a differently-named one. Joey asked if we wanted to do a song for the moon album. Being that the United States has a de facto claim to Earth’s only natural satellite, an album for the moon was added to the 50 States lineup. The deadline was tight. So we cooked up a slow Mancini/Guaraldi/Newman ballad so heartbreaking that I couldn’t stop crying for the first two days working on it. With the song having too much gravity to be grouped in with the lighthearted fare of King Oaf & The Quarantines, we created Vallury & Butler as the “serious” arm of our endeavors. LA cats Vince Fossett, Jr., on drums and Chris Elliott on muted cornet, along with Chicago brother Prashant Vallury on bass, rounded out the personnel. “Earthrise” was born.

We love being tongue-in-cheek, so it was a real exercise doing heavy work with Rama. We feel it’ll be hard to top “Earthrise,” but that doesn’t stop us from trying. Listen to the songs now, and await the continuation of Our Fifty States Project very soon.

Author: Bunny Butler

I'm the last of the good old-fashioned steam-powered trains.

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