Ken Stringfellow has the kind of name you’d normally expect to be preceded by the words ‘irascible’ or ‘craggy’ and the phrase ‘Coronation Street potman’. In reality, Ken’s from Seattle not Salford and actually a hard working musician. Formerly of The Posies, he’s graced albums and live shows by REM, Neil Young, Patti Smith, Mudhoney, Death Cab For Cutie, Snow Patrol, Lagwagon and many more. Every now and again though he puts out his own material, and the latest batch collected here, has been recorded with an assortment of performers from America, Holland and India.
With fourteen tracks spread over fifty five minutes there’s maybe the occasional lapse into AOR, but the mp3 dippers amongst you will have no trouble locating plenty of very good stuff too. If you want toe tappers then Ken offers the plinky pop of Even the Forgers Were Left Fingering the Fakes, the wonderful soulful charms of Pray and jaunty country twang of You’re the Gold. But it’s a couple of the closing numbers that really show Ken at his best. You’re A Sign displays what a cracking voice he has, breathlessly soaring along while proclaiming his undying love. But even better is the beautiful campfire folk of Doesn’t It Remind You of Something, a duet with the drawling Charity Rose Theilen, that evokes the playful flirty banter of Lee Hazlewood with Nancy Sinatra.