Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers

Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers

BandAmericanaRock

Try and close your eyes picturing Mick Jagger having sex with The Little Engine That Could, thus having a four headed baby named Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers. Three part harmonies sung high and low by the two characters on keys and drums with Kellogg's voice in the middle.

Biography

(The classic "we take ourselves too seriously" bio.) Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers may be the hardest working rock band in the land. Kellogg has built a solid fan base and a growing national buzz the old fashion way, by logging thousands of miles on the road. In the last two years alone, Kellogg & The Sixers have played more than 300 shows and moved over 10,000 copies of their independently released albums, including last year’s breakthrough, “Bulletproof Heart.” With the release of their eponymous major label debut for Foundations/ Universal they’re ready to stake their claim to greatness with 11 original tunes showcasing Kellogg’s expert songwriting and the skillfully understated backing of The Sixers.

“Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers” is a rock album, but it’s a rock album that replaces attitude with sincerity. Imagine The Band performing vignettes of modern life, Van Morrison with better articulation or Elvis Costello without the vitriol. The album was produced by Andy Zulla (Rod Stewart, Jessica Simpson) and features guest shots by Braddigan from Dispatch, Mike Daly from Whiskeytown, Rob James of the Clarks and Rich Price. Special guests aside, it’s still The Sixers - Keith ‘Kit’ Karlson (bass and keyboards) and Brian “Boots” Factor (drums) – who do most of the heavy lifting, supplying the kind of muscular, sympathetic support that comes from long hours on the road and a common sense of purpose. “We’re always looking to put something in the song that makes your cheeks get hot, or makes you go - Ooh that’s the money spot,” Kellogg says. “We like to hold back, so there’s a payoff when you get it.” Karlson’s Gospel flavored piano on “Such A Way” and Factor’s syncopated rhythmic accents on “Start The Day Early” exemplify the way The Sixers create tension and drama without overshadowing Kellogg’s vocals or the song.

“When I’m writing and singing, I want be honest,” Kellogg says. “I think it's important to use your real voice and not to posture or wax poetic, even if you're dealing with complex relationships or emotions; just keep it as simple and focused as possible.”

Like all good songwriters, Kellogg makes it look easy. He explores the thorny geography of modern relationships with uncommon insight and understanding. His lyrics use ordinary language, but every song contains a flash of insight or a turn of phrase that will jolt listeners into an altered state. As Kellogg sings in “See You Later, See You Soon,” the album is full of “singular moments you’ll remember as long as you live.”

“I was raised by lions on a cattle ranch in North Dakota,” Kellogg begins, but he drops the pretense quickly, almost apologetically. “It would be more romantic to say I’m working class, but I’m a middle class guy, no rags to riches angle here.” Kellogg grew up surrounded by music. Three siblings filled the house with rock and metal, while his parents balanced it out with a healthy dose of folk music and pop radio. His older sister took him to a Whitesnake concert when he was nine, and the idea of being a rock star began to percolate. “On my dad’s side of the family, we have a bunch of farmer types and they all played music. I remember family gatherings with my uncle playing drums with sticks made of broken broom handles and all of us singing around a mike plugged into a busted PA.”

“I was in a hard rock band in High School, singing and writing lyrics, but I never wanted to be a guitar player. Even today, the guitar is more a means to an end, a way for me to get the story out. I’m a driven songwriter, not a driven musician. What is great about the guitar though, is how you can dive right in and have fun, even with the most remedial knowledge of it.” Kellogg also studied theater in high school, making him aware of the importance of The Show, a factor that contributes to The Sixers’ mischievous stage presentation. “Live music should have life,” Kellogg says. “We may start off the set with a song I wrote 10 minutes before the gig, or trade classic rock licks if we're feeling particularly sassy. We might even have Keith do a bit of break dancing – badly.”

In college Kellogg got serious about songwriting and guitar. Dorm life gave him an opportunity to stay up all night playing his music for an appreciative audience. He started The Stephen Kellogg Band and played a mix of covers and originals. “We were the kings of the keg parties,” Kellogg recalls. “I felt like a rock star until graduation; then I thought ‘Where the hell did everybody go?’”

Kellogg took it in stride and continued on his long journey to make a name as a singer/songwriter. He played any venue that would let him on stage, for any price. He booked his own shows, managed himself and with the money he earned from gigs, started a label, hand delivering his CDs – “Early Hits,” “South of Stephen,” “Lucky Eleven” and “Bulletproof Heart” - to indie record stores in the greater Boston area. As the crowds grew larger, Kellogg attracted a manager and booker and

Discography

Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers
Released: February 15, 2005
Produced by Andy Zulla

One Night in Brooklyn
Limited Edition Release Date: February 15, 2005
Produced by Mike Daly

Bulletproof Heart
Released: February 10, 2004
Produced by Dave Chalfant

Lucky 11
Released: April 30, 2002
Produced by Dave Chalfant

South of Stephen
Released: February 6, 2000
Produced by Stephen Kellogg, Darian Cunning and Tim Edgar

The Early Hits (1992-1997)
Released: March 5, 2002
Compilation

Set List

There is nothing typical about an SK6ERS show. The Sixers bring the rock for 1 45-90 minute set...