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See Stephen Kellogg and band get personal at The Sinclair

The pop-rock singer-songwriter plays at the Cambridge club on Dec. 4.

Stephen Kellogg Brian Blauser

If you’re planning to attend the upcoming Stephen Kellogg gig at Sinclair, here’s a good guess at what could be in store.

Songs about himself: He’s referred to “Satisfied Man” as autobiographical and insisted “nothing made up there.”

Songs about his wife: After he wrote “Love of My Life,” he gave it to her as a gift for her 40th birthday.

Songs that allow him to vent: “The Brain Is a Beautiful Thing” contains some of his political views, and he lets some anger show through.

Yet along with Kellogg’s confessional songs, love songs, and songs of frustration, the prolific composer’s stage shows feature in-between bits of storytelling and flashes of humor. The native- and current New Englander has also published a book of essays titled “Objects in the Mirror: Thoughts on a Perfect Life from an Imperfect Person,” and has a new album – “Keep It Up, Kid” – scheduled for release on Dec. 2.


One question he’s asked a lot is if he’s related to the cereal people. He is not. Another is what is he reading these days. A recent answer to that one was “David Copperfield” … again. He explained, “I think it’s the best book of all time. I am so moved by that book. It’s so funny and touching and awesome.”

When it comes to his own book, he has said that the first part of it is about all kinds of personal relationships, and the second part is about everything else that really matters. In a promotional video for the new album, which stretches in mood from the upbeat, anthemic “To the Ones Who Need It Most” to the sad, plaintive “If Anyone Is Listening,” Kellogg says, “It’s about persevering and feeling good.” Then he adds, “I describe myself as a melancholy optimist. I got the blues, but I do believe it’s all gonna be OK.”

His musical journey began when, as a young boy staying with his grandparents in Amherst over one summer, he would go to a local music shop and stare at the guitars, until one day, his grandfather bought one for him. He played it in high school, joined a band for a while, went off to college – UMass – started playing solo gigs, made a couple of albums, got together with some other UMass guys to form the Sixers, played with them for a decade, then returned to solo work.


Now he’s back on the road with a full band joining him for some visits to a few old songs and plenty of brand-new ones.

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