They agree, and mention that he went to high school with Toby Keith.
“Then you went, didn’t you go to Western Kentucky for a semester?” she asks.
“A little bit, yeah.”
“And that’s where you met Joe King,” late of Government Cheese, a late-’80s Kentucky quartet immortalized in guitarist Tommy Womack’s band autobiography, Cheese Chronicles.
“No, I met him at Twitty City.”
“Butch’s stepfather is the executor for the Conway Twitty estate,” Moorer explains. “He was Conway’s best friend growing up. It’s been seven years [since Twitty's death in June 1993] and they still haven’t settled it. So, then you went to the University of Oklahoma, in Norman.”
“I used to teach film,” Butch admits. “Well, I got my bachelor of fine arts degree, went back, I was a graduate assistant there. I could tell you a great story, but I won’t do it. I ended up having to leave because…”
While in Norman, Butch played briefly in a band called Fatty Arbuckle & the Bottlenecks, then formed the Silver-Tongued Devils. That group toured regionally, made a record called Low Profile, and played SXSW in 1992 on a bill that included Rosie Flores, the Texana Dames, Five Chinese Brothers, and the World Famous Blue Jays.
“The beginning of our end,” Butch wrote in the note he sent with the Silver-Tongued Devils tape, “was traveling to Nashville to let Roy Clark’s bandleader Vernon Sandusky do four sides on us. We were in and out of the studio in about eight hours, having recorded, mixed and mastered the songs. It cost us five grand. I remember it well; at one point I heard on my headphones, ‘Butch, you’re a little flat.’ I had no idea what that meant.”
He took a job in a warehouse in Twitty City, met Allison shortly after both had moved to Nashville, tattooed her name on his right forearm two months later, and made her his third wife in 1995. He has a son, 19.
In the end, Butch can’t find a copy of the Silver-Tongued Devils album, and instead sends along a live tape he found stuck in the cassette labeled Low Profile. “Don’t really know what’s on it,” he wrote, “don’t care to know. I’m not proud of my old exploits, nor am I ashamed. But the mind’s ear is very forgiving and I’d prefer to keep it that way.”
In person, he explains that his band’s chief function was to clear half the bar so the other half could drink more comfortably.
“Just listening to you sing makes me thirsty,” Allison grins impishly.