This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

13Jun/13

VIDEO OF THE DAY: “THANKSGIVING” BY STEPHEN KELLOGG

After a tumultuous 2012 that included the birth of his fourth child, the loss of his grandmother and mother-in-law, the renovation of his house, an inspirational TEDx talk (titled “I Can’t Get No [Job] Satisfaction”), and the Hi-Ate-Us Tour, after which he and his longtime band, the Sixers, went on hiatus, self-effacing American singer-songwriter Stephen Kellogg has encapsulated his unique world view in his beautiful new solo album, Blunderstone Rookery (Elm City, June 18, 2013). Kellogg is bold and blunt throughout the record’s eleven tracks, evoking Lyle Lovett, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Townes Earle, and his personal favorite, Tom Petty, on guitar-driven songs that examine love, heartbreak, hopes, dreams, home, and family. “What can I possibly say? / I’m not even sure if I think you should stay / It’s like I don’t know where to start / Do I set it on fire just to protect my heart?” he asks on the opening number, “Lost and Found.” Kellogg gets swampy for the blues-infused “The Brain Is a Beautiful Thing,” channels Petty and the Boss on “Forgive You, Forgive Me,” goes country on “Crosses,” and adds a horn section on “Good Ol’ Days,” on which he declares, “Sometimes the best thing that can happen is / you take a punch in the face.” But at his heart, the thirty-six-year-old Kellogg is a positive, upbeat guy who loves and celebrates the gift of life and family, as evidenced by the ten-minute acoustic opus “Thanksgiving,” with Kellogg explaining, “In America, this is home / Stories, everybody’s got one / This is mine, you will have your own / Nothing like the real thing, nothing like it.” The Connecticut-based Kellogg has been telling the stories that populate Blunderstone Rookery on YouTube, sitting down by a fire and reading the lyrics to each song as if they were chapters in a book. Kellogg will be at Rockwood Music Hall on June 14 ($20, one-drink minimum, 7:00) for a special Countdown to Blunderstone show with special guest Seth Giler. In addition, earlier that day, at 3:00, he will take part in a Livestream Session, spinning the whole record, answering fan questions, and playing live.

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