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Hightone Announcement for New Signings, 1997

Posted in 13, lester butler with tags , , , , on February 20, 2011 by automatic32

In light of the recent announcement that Lester Butler’s 13 album is being rereleased by RockBeat records, we here at felt it was only appropriate to take a look back at the original debut.

It was December 12th of 1996 when Hightone Records sent out info “for immediate release” on some new acts that has just been added to the roster. Included in their lineup of scheduled recordings for 1997 was 13, Lester’s first and only solo recording.

Here is what Hightone had to say:


OAKLAND, CA — HighTone Records, distributed by Rhino, has announced the signing of 13 (featuring Lester Butler), The Skeletons, and Julie Miller, and will release new albums by all three acts in early 1997.

13 (featuring Lester Butler) evolved from the L.A.-based group The Red Devils, who recorded albums backing Mick Jagger and Johnny Cash as well as their own critically acclaimed Live At The King King CD for American Recordings. Fueled by Butler’s incendiary vocals and harmonica work, coupled with his legendary near manic stage presence, 13’s powerhouse lineup also includes James Intveld (The Blasters) on bass, Steven Hodges (Tom Waits) on drums, Alex Schultz (The Mighty Flyers) on guitar, and Andy Kaulkin on keyboards. The band’s eponymous debut album, set for release on March 18, careens out of the speakers with a vengeance, with a nod to the gritty Chicago blues sound, but powered by a rock energy that places 13 in a league all its own. Material includes nine originals, plus covers of classic songs by Howlin’ Wolf, Big Joe Williams, and Dr. Ross.

The label was obviously pretty stoked about the whole affair, and why not? Butler was an exciting new artist, and with such a stellar lineup of accompanists on the project, how could it not promise to be anything other than outstanding?

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