Music Review >> Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers – ‘Gift Horse’

Last month, Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers (Kit “Goose” Karlson, Brian “Boots” Factor, and Sam “Steamer” Getz) released their fifth studio album, Gift Horse. It’s the band’s second release with Vanguard Records.

“There’s the old saying, ‘Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth,’ which translated as showing appreciation for what you have,” Kellogg commented in the band’s press release.

“That’s exactly what this record’s about – appreciation that I have a job right now in 2011, with all that’s going on economically in our country; appreciation for my family, because there’s nothing that I value more; and appreciation of America in general.”

Produced by Mark Weinberg, the songs on Gift Horse have a classic rock, almost Americana kind of vibe about them. You can tell by just how these songs were written from personal anecdotes. The entire album plays out like a collective book of stories on life and family.

Kellogg has taken his storyteller writing style and really captured moments within his life and turned them into meaningful music. This is demonstrated on tracks like the uptempo “1993,” which is the story of how he and wife met and fell in love and “Noelle, Noelle,” which is written in admiration of his daughter, which is probably the sweetest song on the record. In songs such as “Gravity” and “Roots and Wings,” Kellogg sings of lessons learned from his family.

Gift Horse’s lead single, “Gravity,” is an upbeat tune about enjoying and appreciating the life you have now, instead of worrying about what lies ahead. I like that the arrangment really fits the song; coming off lighthearted and fun and truly drawing that picture of leaving your woes at the door and enjoying what’s right in front of you.

“Roots and Wings” is one of my favorites on the record. The song speaks to doing the best you can with your kids, but when the time comes to let them off to explore the world, you handle the change as best you can. Arrangement-wise, the song has a very anthem feel to it; I can see it being a great track to hear performed live.

Javier Colon Discusses His Time On ‘The Voice’

It was during the April 26, 2011 premiere episode of The Voice, which featured the blind auditions, where the audience met husband, father, and phenomenal singer Javier Colon. Colon’s voice impressed all four coaches, Adam Levine, CeeLo Green, Christina Aguilera, and Blake Shelton, so much that they all turned their chairs around during his initial performance. Colon decided to make Team Adam his home for the remainder of the competition.

Colon survived the battle round and went through to the Top 16, where his performance of Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” was a highlight of the performance night. During the Top 8, he put a modern twist on Coldplay’s “Fix You,” which would help ensure his spot representing Team Adam in the finals.

In the end, there was only a two percent difference in the voting margin between Colon and Team Blake artist, Dia Frampton. After over two months of hard work, dedication, and singing “Landslide” with Stevie Nicks on live television, Colon was announced the as the winner of The Voice season one.

The morning after his big win, Colon participated in a conference call with the press where he discussed what advice Adam Levine imparted on him during the show, his reaction to finding out he’d be singing with Stevie Nicks, and what winning means for him and his family.

When speaking about how he was going to approach the blind auditions on The Voice, Colon said that he went into it “pretty open,” and that he would have been happy on any of the coaches’ teams.

Continue reading Javier Colon Discusses His Time On ‘The Voice’