Three is the second studio album by The John Butler Trio.
All the music and lyrics were written and arranged by John Butler. The album was recorded, engineered and mixed by Shaun O’Callaghan at Studio Couch, North Fremantle, Western Australia. It was mastered at Woodstock Studios by Robin Mai, Nicky Bomba and Joe Camilleri. The album was produced by the John Butler Trio and Shaun O’Callaghan. The cover concept was designed by John Butler with Matt and Iowana at Insomnia Design.
In April 2001, John Butler Trio released Three and relocated to Melbourne to promote the record on the east coast. The track, “Betterman”, was on high rotation by Triple J. Three peaked at No. 24 on the ARIA Charts. It also remained on the alternative charts for nine months reaching No. 3. At the ARIA Music Awards of 2001 the album won an award for ‘Best Independent Release’.
“Betterman” reached No. 5 on the Triple J Hottest 100, 2001.
Shoesmith left the trio to form his own band, The Groovesmiths, Butler replaced him with 19-year-old Rory Quirk, who was on their first tour of the United States in 2001. Quirk, in turn, left in 2002 to pursue a career with his band, Quirk. Andrew Fry joined as the next bass player.
The success of Three led to its release in the US in 2002 and two tours of the US followed. The band supported the Dave Matthews Band and John Mayer as well as playing at the Bonnaroo Music Festival and the South by Southwest Festival. The band also played at the Splendour in the Grass Festival in Australia. Butler, his manager Phil Stevens and fellow Western Australian folk artists, The Waifs, founded Jarrah Records in July 2002.
As a result of intensive touring, the band developed a great live reputation in Australia. The band released Living 2001-2002 in February 2003, a double live album which had a top ten debut in the ARIA album charts and went on to achieve platinum sales. Butler took a brief break after five years of solid work since 1997 for the birth of his daughter Banjo.