Staff Writer
Washington Times-Reporter


So I'm at a screening of the new documentary Butch Walker: Out Of Focus, and seated just a few rows in front of me is the film's "star" Butch Walker.

I'm sure some of you are asking yourself "Who's Butch Walker, and how does this someone I've never heard of get a movie made about himself?" Let me further add to your incredulity the knowledge that a reputable publisher recently paid for, printed, and distributed a memoir from this individual who; despite having had multiple major label recording contracts, and even a sizable hit single with his former band Marvelous 3("Freak Of The Week"...remember it? "Can you make me a promise, Stop it before we begin..." "Tell me I sold out, tell me I sold out, go ahead.."Yeah, that one.), has never managed to attain(or at least SUStain) a career altitude as an artist that would register on the general public's radar....at least not that they realize.

You see, whenever he's not plugging away on the road, in support of any one of a number of critically-lauded but commercially lackluster solo records, he's crafting hits for the likes of Avril Lavigne, Pink, Bowling For Soup, Train, Katy Perry, and the list goes on...and on. Thus, whether you're aware of it or not, you've listened to the work of Butch Walker, however unwittingly the exposure may have occurred, and THAT is what this film was really all about, the sleeper status of an artist our fellow movie-goers(some of whom; it was noted, had travelled from neighboring and not-so-neighboring states for this preview) were giddy to see tell his story for the camera.

Watching it tonight, as a longtime fan, I wasn't exactly inundated with revelations(I read the book....even reviewed it right here:http://www.mortontimesnews.com/community/blogs/hearing_things_blog/x76460758/-Drinking-with-Strangers-a-book-review ), but I did come away with a greater sense of the man himself. Seeing him interact with his ailing father, who suffers from respiratory issues, yet all the while bubbles over with pride at his son's accomplishments was heartwarming, to say the least. Watching Butch come to terms with his dad's mortality was especially poignant and shed greater light on his obvious struggle to balance the demands of his career with the needs of his own young family and his newfound parenthood.

Like the Rick Springfield documentary "An Affair Of The Heart" that I saw yesterday, this wasn't an in-depth study of an artist or their creative output, but rather a look into the guts of the subject, the gears that grind and keep him moving forward, and the ticking clock that only he hears. It made them both human...uniquely gifted, sure, but still just like the rest of us when it comes to what matters most.