Stephen Kellogg goes it alone

Entertainment,Music,Nancy Dunham

Stephen Kellogg is back with a new album, but the longtime Sixers -- known to fans as the SK6ERS -- are on a hiatus.

The cause wasn't due to any personal animosity or friction, said Kellogg as he traveled from Illinois to Memphis to Alabama on his latest tour. The bandmates, who have been together for about a decade, just couldn't sacrifice the personal time needed for the band.

"Some of the guys wanted to do other things for a minute. We're friends. I get it," said Kellogg. "It's disappointing because you know you won't be keeping company with the people you care about. But there is a silver lining."

That lining came in the form of Kellogg's solo album "Blunderstone Rookery," named after the fictitious town in Charles Dickens' novel "David Copperfield." Working alongside several members of the Sixers, Kellogg presents songs that offer a bit of a different feel than some of the music he made with the band.

Stephen Kellogg with Seth Glier
» Where: Jammin' Java, 227 Maple Ave. East, Vienna, Va.
» When: 7:30 p.m. Monday
» Info: Sold out, though tickets may still be available through resellers; 703-255-1566;

Kellogg is quick to point out that although the bandmates were flexible on arrangements, the collaborative efforts of the band meant he opted to write songs that included as much of the band's traditional instrumentation. He points to "I Don't Want to Die on the Road" as a song that let him flex beyond the Sixers' instrumentation.

"I really felt strongly that song shouldn't have a traditional band format," he said. "I heard most of that song in my head before we recorded it. I thought the drums should be very much in the background, very small, and it should have strings. That's the beauty of being solo."

Yet Kellogg left the door open for more collaborations -- whether formally or in conjunction with the entire band -- in the future. He stressed that the group maintains its tight friendship and speak frequently.

He also noted that fans shouldn't fear that he will shy away from his back catalog.

"It's still me. It's still Americana rock 'n' roll," said Kellogg. "I always try to be interesting and witty, at least I endeavor to do that every night. And touring solo, with just me onstage, is sonically a little more intimate. It's a bit like "VH1 Storytellers," which is something I always enjoy."

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