A cool spring breeze is blowing up from Appalachia and on it the tintinnabulation of a bronze-stringed guitar plucked by Ty Kellogg. Raised in Geauga County, Ohio, Kellogg does not hail from the misty mountains of the eastern United States but that is where he’s found the muse for the music he creates.
Kellogg is releasing his second full-length album on April 2. The self-titled folk country record, originally planned for release in 2010, features 10 songs, nine labeled and one untitled “hidden track.” He calls it "dirt" music, nitty-gritty tunes from another time in which the vocals aren't clean but gruff and a twang of the guitar may result from a misplayed chord.
"It's about how into the music are you," Kellogg said.
Kellogg shared with The Rhythm Report a sneak preview of a song on the album called "Chain Gang," a call-and-response work song inspired by Tom Waits and Cool Hand Luke, the 1967 film in which Paul Newman plays the role of a man imprisoned in a harsh Florida prison camp for popping off the tops of parking meters. Kellogg actually used chains to recreate the sound of leg iron dragging in the dirt on the side of a road. It is like listening to a record pulled from an early 20th century archive; one almost expects to hear the pop and crackle of the 45.
"This song will likely never be played live," Kellogg said. "It would be to hard to recreate its sound in a live show."
However, music fans can hear it here by clicking the video below and, if they're lucky enough to pick up one of the albums at Saturday's show, can add it to their own collection.
The album release show is being held at The Hambden Grange in Chardon and starts at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
Special guests will include members of Gypsy Dave & the Stumpjumpers of Pennsylvania, The Ruckus Juice Jug Stompers of New York, Rebekah Jean, Leah McCoy, Bluebird and many more. Rumor has it, Kellogg and his band of misfit musicians will be equipped with banjos, a mandolin and a cross between the two called a banjolin, an upright bass, harmonicas and even a tuba to put on a show that is sure to be a boot-stompin’ delight.
“I’d like to think, even if someone doesn’t like folk music, they’ll be entertained,” Kellogg said.
Preview: "Chain Gang" Ty Kellogg
Article written by Priscilla Tasker, editor and creator of The Rhythm Report