Ken Stringfellow plays “Touched” and more solo tour North America Sept. – Nov. 2019

By popular demand, I am doing a North American Tour this fall presenting my 2001 album “Touched” and more — playing mostly non-venue spaces (many of which are secret shows), mostly with real pianos. Everything is on sale now except for Port Townsend and Seattle, I’ll update soon. I’m truly excited for this epic solo adventure!

head to the tour page for all the dates. Check back for the PT/SEA dates they will have active links soon.

Words and Pictures

I’m on a new adventure — participating in my first feature film. A blend of reality and fiction, this film seeks to explore questions of identity, family, and transformation all while shadowing the life of a touring musician…and human being.

You can support the film as we have a campaign running now to help cover the costs of the film. The campaign is running until mid May… there are cool ways to participate in the film, get an inside glimpse of the shooting, and even get some quality time with me.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ken-the-movie-shooting#/

AND…in case you missed it: my 2001 album “Touched” which had fallen out of print is now back, and on LP for the first time. Limited to 500 orange vinyl copies. Only available here

It’s ON! The tour for Ken & Holly’sunnamed country album. Check dates and ticketing at http://www.iamonteamholly.com/#!tour/c1icy

Elving

This week I’ve mostly devoted time to my band’s album. Writing/recording at the same time, it’s a process that makes my brain hurt. So, my method for approaching this is to set aside lots of time, and hit it hard for a short amount of time — an hour or two– then walk away. ‘Hitting it hard’ means devoting my concentration and imagination thoroughly to the process of discovering possibilities that make me want to dive deeper. By this process, over the last two weeks, I wrote and recorded two new songs.

France and surrounding areas were deep in a heat wave, temps were over 100F at times, and generally hovering in the 90s. In Brussels they had their hottest day since 1901. Aden was home sick from school Monday and Tuesday, and we pretty much spent the week naked or nearly so. Aden went back to school on Thursday, for her last two days of elementary school — she starts at a new school in September, the equivalent of Jr. High in France, which is called ‘college’. Her final report card was a list of “A’s” and “excellents” as long as Fast Eddie Johnson’s rap sheet.

On Wednesday night I headed to Paris, slept at our flat there, and caught the early (which turned out to be….late) train to Brussels and had a great couple of days working on Bastian Baker‘s new album. I’ve now had the pleasure on playing on all three of this great songwriter’s releases. Bastian’s only 24, and it’s been astounding to watch him grow as a writer and dude. Generally my role has been to come in towards the end of the recording process and see what kind of twists, surprises, additions, etc could give the right shimmer and sparkle to the songs. From guitar to programmed beats to keys to…whatever we think of! In this case I played quite a few guitar parts, but some unorthodox things like ‘guitar as percussion instrument’, etc. We added a lot of textural synths, both digital and analog. I played guitaret, celeste. Autoharp, even — that was the first thing we did when I arrived, and after playing it with a guitar pick, we agreed it sounded better played with my thumb, so there was no pick scrape noises…oh, my, what a blister that made, in about 2 minutes.

Sessions took place at my favorite studio on earth, ICP. ICP is where the majority of Danzig in the Moonlight was recorded, and where I’ve worked with Carice van Houten, Bløf, Eva Auad, JB Meijers … it’s pretty much like coming home for me now. ICP has a mindblowing amount of backline so it’s ideal for precisely the kind of thing we were doing, overdubs, looking for exotic flavors, etc. Just the guitar pedal collection alone is…well, it’s more or less complete. Like, every pedal. Ever.

Tom, the engineer, is a veteran of Bastian’s last album; Tom was the house engineer at Angelic where we worked, that was a couple years ago; he’s now a freelance engineer par excellence. Great guy, gentle to work with, makes it all easy. We worked like crazy, til 1am the first night, then the second day we were back at it at 9.30, and worked up until we had our respective flights and trains to catch in the evening. By 11.30 that night, I was cooling off in a bath at home.

I’m probably blowing a state secret here, but since ICP has several studios in the complex, you always run into other musicians there. Sometimes it’s a friendly thing, sometimes, they’re into their own stuff and don’t want to socialize. This week, two of the studios were booked– and have been, for over a year, by French music icon Michel Polnareff; he hasn’t released an album in 25 years. We never saw the bloke, tho. I did see him live at the Bercy in 2007, when he did like, 16 sold-out nights.

This weekend we attended the “American Festival”, where the Parc D’Expositions was taken over by rodeo, tractor pulls, Harleys, gorgeous American cars from the 40s-70s, line dancing, vintage clothes & records, a mock up of a typical open range camp, teepees…we took Aden to get a good refresher on her heritage! And rode a rollercoaster. The only thing the place missed was someone, amongst all the food trucks, doing barbecue. Seems like they dropped the ball, there. We had a great day, there was just enough cloud cover to cool things off, but still feel like a summer day.

Last night we were sipping Vouvray in the garden to celebrate Dom’s mom’s 82nd birthday, and we found a female stag beetle (i.e., with normal-sized mandibles) It was black, very strong, and had two ‘headlights’ of gold on its front legs. She seemed weak and we gave her some water, and set her on a mossy outcropping, and when we checked back after half an hour…gone.

We’ve taken to calling our yard Jurassic World; in fact, the evening Aden & I went to the film, the air erupted with gnats, flying ants and such. We were covered with them. They had timed their flights in the dusky period where the swallows are less active and the bats are not yet out. When we came back from the film, the bats were making mincemeat out of the stragglers.

Today marks the day that Darius Minwalla would have turned 39. I think about him all the time.

Love
KS
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Mull, Again

Last night I dreamt that my reality had been forged with that of medieval Japan. Already in trouble as an antigovernment agitator, I met a man on the road. He told me his name was Darius (he was Japanese, FYI). I said, how odd, I just lost a friend named Darius and here you are. Well, friend, we are going to a tavern to drink and gamble (Clearly, I dream in Kurosawa). He asked me where my family fishes; I said, Ocean Shores, down by Oregon. We arrived at the tavern and the game we were betting on, there were just three of us — myself, Darius, and the innkeeper–was throwing the detached halves of pairs of scissors at a target. I already knew it was too much of a coincidence to run in to this man on the lonely road to the tavern, and he was an assassin sent to get me drunk and when it was his turn to throw the scissors, he’d attempt to kill me.

Later, after a long episode of not finding my luggage, my gate etc in the airport (I have travel anxiety dreams too) I was in the downtown of a city, and trying to find shelter before a nuclear weapon went off.

A little tired this morning.

Tho’ her birthday was a month ago, schedules being what they are means Aden’s birthday party is today. We’re meeting up with 10 or so kids at Luluparc, which is a simple place with mini golf and water slides and what not. She loves it, I’m sure it will be a hit. However, she came down with a fever last night. Determined to go, she’s resting now. Her best friend’s dad’s a doctor, he gave her a look over and said she’d be fine w OTC antibiotics (yes, in France, you can get amoxicillin w/o a prescription).

Since I got home from Connecticut, I’ve been working on my own music, really. We went thru a couple rounds of mastering on the Country Album, making a few EQ, level and spacing adjustments. We can now say The Record is done!! So you should have a digital release soon. I’ve listened to it a lot in this process; I’m really proud of it. You can still pre order the LP, CD or download, by the way. Hit that highlighted link a couple lines up, there.

Other than that, I’ve been writing, which is a slow process for me these days. I work a tiny bit, walk away. My brain starts to hurt pretty fast. Come back to it several times in the day. Allergies were killing me for a couple days, I couldn’t concentrate on writing, I was sneezing or blowing my nose every 30 seconds. Awful. It stabilized, but it took a couple of days. Allergy meds weren’t helping.

I took Aden to see, in French and in rather weak 3D, Jurassic World. Could have been worse. It was nice to have a father daughter date, just us two, making jokes and spending exclusive time. Undivided attention is one of the world’s most precious resources.

We also went to Aden’s school spectacle, the end of the year party with carnival games, performances by all the kids (lame, but you have to love it– kids in insect costumes, or trying to juggle). The coveted prize from the games was a squirt gun– everybody got one, eventually, and you can imagine what *that* was like.

Dom & I had a date, too, on Friday. I was in Paris to meet with Joseph Leon, a great songwriter from Paris, and after the meetings Dom & I had a rendezvous at a special wine place I’m part of, and shared a very special bottle, I can’t even really tell you about it. It was made possible with a generous gesture from my best friend Brian (proprietor of the label that releases my music in the US). Maybe we made more royalties for Danzig in the Moonlight than I know? But I think he’s just a very generous person. We loved it, thank you!

Love
KS
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