Blunderstone Rookery

Stephen Kellogg

Elm Stone Brewery, 2013

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Stephen Kellogg is one of those guys you hear while walking outside of a bar late at night and after listening for a few moments decide to walk in and pay closer attention. With over 1200 shows performed alongside his band The Sixers, in 2012 the group decided to abandon endless tour life, which sent Kellogg into a solo career. Though my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Blunderstone Rookery certainly isn't his first stint going solo, it his first time out alone in over a decade.

In a lot of ways, this comes off as 'Best Of' album that spans ideas and skills Kellogg has picked up in his lengthy career.  “Lost And Found” starts off and immediately showcases all of Kellogg's abilities, with deft melodies, sharp lyrics, fingerpicking and subtle organs. Later on, “Men & Women” is pure sweet Americana with banjos and is followed with "Crosses" where the warm pedal steel gives off a similar vibe. “Forgive You, Forgive Me” is the song Tom Petty forgot to write, a breezy, Southern rock tune and "The Best" is a folk-rock waltz. At 10 minutes, “Thanksgiving” is a song unlike any he's penned, with a full choir that leads into piano rock. The disc ends on the stripped back "Ingrid's Song" where harmonicas help illuminate Kellogg's robust voice, and it serves as an ideal way to end a solo album.

Though he's never found commercial success despite spending much of his career in the majors, Kellogg has penned some great rock albums that will certainly hold up much better than plenty of household names. For the longtime fan, this is on par with anything he's done, as his equal parts folk, country, blues and rock are as finely tune as ever, though with a tinge of melancholy after several deaths in Kellogg's family recently. This is right up there with Kellogg's best work, 2007's Glassjaw Boxer, which, if you've heard that album, is no easy feat.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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