Ken Stringfellow, founding member of the power-pop group The Posies, is performing Friday at Donkey Coffee.
The show is part of Stringfellow’s “Touched” tour, named for his 2001 record of the same name.
“Considering this tour’s whole concept is playing a 19-year-old record, it’s amazing how enthusiastic people have been,” Stringfellow said in an interview.
Stringfellow’s solo work takes on a much different style than his earlier and much more energetic work with The Posies, which one reason he’s taking this tour to smaller venues in smaller cities and towns, so he can put on a more intimate show.
“One of the major things I go for in my shows is to have a real piano because about half of my show is on piano,” Stringfellow said. “And sure, there are some keyboards that sound like pianos and feel like pianos kind of, but there’s nothing like a real piano. Just the fact that it’s real and not some amplified electronic sample or something, it’s organic.”
Along with his work with The Posies and during his solo career, Stringfellow also spent a decade touring and recording with the well-known American rock band REM.
During his career, Stringfellow has toured in 94 different countries and appeared on over 250 different albums, playing with a variety of stars including Neil Young, Ringo Starr and Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones.
Just after touring through Spain, Stringfellow is bringing the “Touched” tour to a small stretch of Appalachia with West Virginia singer-songwriter Karen Allen.
Best known as a founding member of the alt-grunge band Crazy Jane, Allen recently recorded her new album “Here We Are Now” with Stringfellow at his studio in his hometown of Seattle. Stringfellow also engineered and produced the album.
“It’s really kind of a big place, my studio; we had lots of instruments and lots of freedom to play whatever we want,” Stringfellow said about recording Allen’s new album. “She plays drums really well; she plays guitar really well, so we could just switch up instruments and kind of go crazy in this big personal playground that I have.”
Alongside Stringfellow at his Donkey Coffee show, Allen will play songs from her new album as well as join him on stage as she has done on tour several times before.
According to Stringfellow, Allen helps bring the intimacy that he desires in every one of his shows.
“Ever since I started touring, I’ve tried to work it to be as minimal as possible, and I’ve come to realize just how much I can do with a couple of simple elements,” Stringfellow said. “I try to cut out all the fanciness and just get right down to the basics, which is ‘I have some songs and I’m going to sing them in your face.’ The intensity really comes from whatever I can do with my own voice.”
Stringfellow and Allen will perform “Touched” and more this Friday at Donkey Coffee at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale starting at $15.