This Saturday night, once you’ve put on your kitty ears, lab coat and poodle skirt, pull up those go-go boots, hike on over to Water Street and get ready for the ‘Americana rock and roll” of Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers.

Their newest album, ‘The Bear,” includes upbeat catchy songs like ‘Shady Esperanto and the Young Hearts” as well as mellower acoustic tunes like ‘Lonely in Columbus.” Widely acknowledged as their best album to date, ‘The Bear” is fun, relaxed and easy to sing along with. It follows their classic acoustic rock style reminiscent of artists like Neil Young and Tom Petty. The Sixers’ honest lyrics on this album and prior releases draw on themes listeners can easily identify with.

‘I’m fascinated by songs that can speak to everyone, whether you’re a 15-year-old girl or a 68-year-old man,” frontman Stephen Kellogg said in an interview.

Kellogg’s personality comes out over and over again in his music. When asked about The Sixers’ musical philosophy he talked about the importance of staying true to their own ideas and not giving in to mainstream pressure.

‘We have integrity and we write songs that we truly connect with and believe in,” Kellogg said.

The Sixers’ sincere lyrics tell specific stories that help develop the universal themes of their music. The laid-back vocals and smooth harmonies make their music accessible and relevant to every listener.

‘In the long term, what the band’s looking for is to connect intimately with our fans,” Kellogg added.

Kellogg met the rest of the band in college at University of Massachusetts Amherst, but they didn’t play together until after college, each trying out different career paths before getting together in 2003.

‘We all worked jobs in and around the music business but it’s not the same as going around and trying to show your heart to people every night,” Kellogg said.
The band has been almost constantly touring since getting together and has played nearly 1,000 live shows in those six years. Kellogg explained that being on tour is one of the most rewarding and taxing experiences of making a living playing music.
In his opinion, however, there are even more difficult aspects of making a living off creative pursuits.

‘The bigger challenge and the one that’s more interesting to me is the challenge to keep your integrity intact, to keep your soul,” Kellogg said.

With their newest album, ‘The Bear,” they have really stayed true to their origins. The Sixers are incredibly passionate about making music and getting their ideas out into the world.

‘You may never be Paul McCartney that is beyond your control but your ability to do something that makes you happy is not beyond your control, and I think we’re a great example of that,” Kellogg said.

The band loves what they do and they want you to love it too. The goal is simple: ‘Giving people the best concert experience and the best songs that they’ve seen all year.”
At 7 p.m. at Water Street this Halloween, you can expect just that. The Sixers are fun and full of energy and both traits come through in their music. Listen to some tunes on their Web site and if you like what you hear, be sure to check out the band in person this Saturday night.

Messner is a member of
the class of 2012.

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