Long out of print, “13 featuring Lester Butler” appears to be headed back to stores.
Now, almost exactly 14 years after its debut, “13” looks like it’s being reissued through Rockbeat Records.
- It’s most likely a reissue. The name of the disc and notes that the original release date was 1997 indicate that this is a re-issue of the HighTone record.
- Most sites say the release date is March 8. Amazon.com lists March 22.
- There isn’t much info on Rockbeat Records. The only other record we can find being released on that label is a best-of from Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys. Both Lester and Sandy were on HighTone — coincidence?
Interesting to see a different cover for the reissue, but that’s not surprising; Butler’s original “13” cover was unorthodox to say the least, and putting his face out front will certainly mean more to hardcore fans. That it appears to be an outtake from the photo sessions that yielded the back-cover and tray pics from the original “13” makes it all the cooler. Maybe the sleeve will have more rare photos?
Even more tantalizing is the possibility of bonus tracks, though we have no reason to suspect more songs even exist. We were told by HighTone several years ago that they had licensed the album as-is, and there weren’t more tracks. If there are any bonus cuts, they probably won’t have come through HighTone.
Regardless, the reissue of “13” is a milestone for Lester Butler fans. His music will again be affordable and readily available, at least for a short time. A disc like this could spark more interest in the harp player and The Red Devils; if it does well, maybe we could see further reissues or repackaging?