Stephen Kellogg is a product of pure American ingenuity, blending the classic folk-rock tradition exemplified by Fleetwood Mac and Van Morrison with the modern-rock chops of the Counting Crows and the showmanship familiar to hard rock (or, on a good night, even stand-up comedy).
Kellogg's musical interests were piqued at a young age by his sisters' Mötley Crüe records, but took more realistic focus under the guidance of his parents' folk-oriented collection. Nevertheless, this juxtaposition of unabashed showmanship and heartfelt songwriting has gone on to inform Kellogg's unique take on modern rock.
First as a solo performer, and now backed by a full band, Kellogg has developed a following the old fashioned way, through rigorous touring and the blind devotion to his work common to most any successful musician. Kellogg and company's commitment to questionable hotel rooms, successive weeks of peanut butter and honey sandwiches and the soul-sucking silence of an empty room has paid off in a supremely loyal fan base known to sell out venues in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and all points between in a heartbeat.
And though Kellogg's songs hew towards emotional and occasionally grave subject matter, his live show is heavily leavened by self-described "shenanigans" ñ acts of goofy band humor that lend the performance a more festive air than the more staid environs of the singer/songwriter world. On Bulletproof Heart, the promise and poise Kellogg showed on 2002's Lucky 11 and 2000's South of Stephen comes roaring to a head on rock numbers laced with lament, a new sense of world weariness, and a further commitment to this"normal" act of artistic dedication.