Totally Biased Fan Review: Airborne – Kalesti Butler


There are some people who pop up and surprise you out of the blue. When I first heard Kalesti, a few years ago, I had never heard of her or her music but from the first chords, she struck a chord….I immediately liked her and her music. Sometimes it takes some time to warm to an artist, but most of the time, I know pretty much straight away. It was like that with Kalesti. Now, I can’t sing or play but I have a sixth sense. She is a people’s singer….she sings songs that Aussie folks can relate to. She has a very down home style but at the same time, she is not a regular bush singer.

I have been looking forward to this album. She has a very unique approach to a traditional form of music.

Gees, you think that she could teamed up with some decent songwriters….joking – Luke O’Shea, Anita Ree, Rain Perry, Kevin Bennett, Roger Corbett, Cathy Dobson, Felicity Urquhart, lordy, girl, you can pull a crowd.  She even roped in her mum, Val.

The Songs:

You’re not the one – (Kalesti Butler, Roger Corbett, Cathy Dobson) – A good one to start the album off, a very bluesy, twangy song.

Ride Cowboy – (Kalesti Butler, Felicity Urquhart) – I can see the pale rider on his way through the hills. Yee Haa. Gotta love them thar cowboys.

Airborne – (Rain Perry) – I read up a bit on American folk music writer, Rain. I must check out more of her music. Pretty cool song.

Coat of Arms – (Kalesti Butler/Anita Ree) – My favourite song on the album. Very Australian, but just a wonderful ballad.

Fly High – (Kalesti Butler/Val Butler) – A real singalong song. Beautiful. Kalesti’s vocals are pure and strong on this one. A family song. Obviously heartfelt and it comes on strong. If I am on the radio on Friday, I am playing this one. Love it.

Love me now – (Val Butler) – Okay, tap those feet and  clap those hands. A very catchy little tune.

The secret’s in my eyes – (Kalesti Butler/Val Butler) – A beautiful song. One of those songs that make you sway.

Just down the Hall – (Lola Brinton/Kevin Bennett) – Anything from Kevin Bennett is always going to be good. Lola Brinton is a student of my hero, Mike Carr et al, so how can you go wrong? A rollicking song that is easy to use your air guitar to and listen to the words, folks.

The Way that I loved – (Luke O’Shea) –  Different kind of Lukie song and different kind of Kalesti song. Good to mix it up!

Dead Man’s Shirt – (Bob Wilson) – A song from The Goodwills, a bit of a different turn from them and a different tune for Kalesti too. It did remind me of my op shop purchases and also of a story I once wrote about a woman who wore her dead husband’s shirt for a while – part of the grief process.

Pump – (Kalesti Butler/Val Butler) – The pump, pump, pump reminds me of 8 Ball’s chomp, chomp, chomp, the modern yodelling reminds me of Melinda Schneider. Very cool way to end an album. Very catchy.

A great fusion between the old and the new. Kalesti is always good value, in gigs and on record. Do yourselves a favour.


Vocals: Kalesti Butler

Acoustic Guitar: David Francis

Bass, Baritone and Electric Guitars: Robert Mackay

Drums: Marty Smith

Banjo, Dobro and Pedal Steel: Mark (Doris) Moulynox

Backing Vocals: Garry Koehler and Felicity Urquhart

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