Six Mile Station: Audiobiography

Social Media: Website, facebook, reverbnation, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram

Favorite Tracks: Hey There Kid, Pray Like Hell, Nothing Better to Do, Visions of Eternity, Heavy, Gasoline

Six Mile Station is powerful bluegrass band here in Reno Nevada. There sound is rich with instrumentation and the embodiment of the working class America. No seriously, when listening to their music, I just want to grab a pick axe and start building a house with it. A pick axe may not be the right tool at the beginning stages, but once I get Six Mile Station’s new album into my walkman, I’ll know it feels right.

The band consists of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, Spike McGuire, bassist and backing vocalist, Tyson Schroeder, multi-instrumentalist, John Underwood, and drummer Jeffrey Knight of Handsome Vultures notoriety. Their first album is very well produced with a wide variety of sounds thanks to John Underwood who plays the banjo, trumpet, trombone, and the 12 string guitar.

This album also contains an accordion on the track, “Dreamcatcher” which also contains a tangible 3/4 time signature. The song “Nothing Better To Do” also includes one of the most illustrious instruments known to man. I am of course talking about the singing saw! There are also chains rattling throughout the song and a vibraslap which sounds like a rattlesnake. It’s got a nice heavy beat.

Speaking of heavy, their song “Heavy” is a powerful song also with accordion instrumentation and a vibraslap and some sick drum fills. The song is also in reference to the idiom, “heavy lies the crown.”

There is a ton going on in this album and a lot of fun little sounds to catch on your second or third time through each track like the swinging slide guitar in “Hey There Kid,” giving Audiobiography a strong replay value and worth careful contemplation, or as accompaniment to building a house.

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Last to Leave: Fare Thee Well

Social Media: Facebook, Reverbnation, bandcamp

Favorite Songs: Go, Anasazi, One of Those Long Name Traveling Songs, Never Say Goodbye

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Last to Leave has been playing in Reno for about 8 years now, and their  music resembles the feel of this town very well. There music is a combination of folk, country, Americana, and punk music.

Knowing about the players backgrounds, I approached their music with a bit of wonderment and many a-ha moments where their musical and lyrical choices made much sense. Their saxophone player, Dalton Cason, adds a tranquil, if not almost anthemy vibe to their music, especially in the song, “One of Those Long Name Traveling Songs.” It reminded me a bit of the music of the ska band, Streetlight Manifesto, which me and Patrick used to listen to back in high school.

Their Accordion Player, Melissa McMorran helps to add to the earthy vibe of their tracks, especially in the song, “Go.” Her whole notes help to ground the often fast paced chords of Skye Evans’ guitar strumming and Patrick Kelley banjo plucking. Luke Knudsen is their drummer, whose reserved drumming style and use of brush sticks complements their style very well. He also briefly opens their last song, “Never Say Goodbye,” on his recorder with the melody of “The Shire Song” from the movie, “Lord of the Rings.”

Visceral, driven, and relenting; the soothing melodies of this vagabond band will surely resonate through Reno for many more years to come.