15th anniversary reissue makes for a very special artifact.
By Fred Mills
So, here at BLURT we are all about the wax, and we’re not reticent to admit that we are more likely than not to give vinyl releases priority when it comes to featuring new – or reissued – music at the site. (If an artist goes to the effort and expense of sharing a vinyl LP with us, especially a colored vinyl one, you can bet we want to reciprocate. Call it “play to play,” so to speak!)
So here’s another wax alert for you, the discriminating BLURT collectors and readers: 2001, Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, Big Star, R.E.M.) released a solo album, Touched, which went on to become a definitive fan favorite. Fast forward 15 years later, and vinyl reissue specialist Azucar Records is reissuing Touched on orange cream vinyl, in a pressing of only 500 copies. Azucar, which is dedicated to releasing limited edition pressings of classic albums from the past 30 years, never before issued on vinyl, simply asks the question, “Why isn’t that available on vinyl?” and then proceeds to answer that question with action.
Regarding the Stringfellow platter, the label advises, “Each track has been remastered for vinyl. From the somber opening notes of the first track, Down Like Me, to the album’s hopeful closer, Here’s to the Future, each song resonates with an emotional timelessness that only the greatest songwriters can deliver. Stringfellow’s compositions on Touched burst with warmth and soul, making the LP one of the truly great albums of the past 20 years.”
Boy howdy to all that. Check the above Azucar link on how to get the LP. If you’re not familiar with this particular album, trust us, it’s a gem, spotlighting Stringfellow’s unique command of songcraft and arrangements, which of course he has always brought to the table, but which also shines even more brightly in his solo guise. The fact that you’ll now be able to hear it in analog – and view the gorgeous vinyl itself (go on, you know you wanna…), just underscores Stringfellow’s dedication to giving his audience a special listening experience.
He’s been pretty active touring this year as well, both with the Posies (on the recent intimate-venue tour supporting the album Solid States), and solo – you can see his October and November tour dates at his website.