On the eve of a West Coast tour Reno’s Six Mile Station held a CD release party March 13 at Cargo inside the Whitney Peak Hotel. Not only was it a kick ass night, it was also a benefit to aid in the creation of a scholarship fund for the Sierra Arts Foundations’ Music 1.2.1. program.
Six Mile Station’s debut CD, “Audiobiography,” was paid for through the generosity of friends and family who donated through a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the project. Considering that these guys first got together in 2013, they are making great headway in lightning speed When I listened to it I thought it was a kind of carnival-Americana-country-ish kind of sound. They describe is as a “gypsy circus disguised as a folk-rock party band” Same thing, pretty much! Whatever you call it, it’s good, fun, creative music by quality musicians.
As the room began to fill up prior to show time, it felt like a big family affair with lots of families with children, and friends running around greeting each other. Kicking off the festivities was an introduction of the first band by Mayor Hillary Schieve. The show started with Robbie James and Anthony Vairetta of Sil Shoda playing an acoustic set of their music. These are two very fine musicians who I thought played quite well together. Not being familiar with them I thought they should have a band behind them to really take it to another level. Upon further research I discovered that they are part of a larger band that takes it to that other level. I was right!
Next up was a very intense improvisational set by the one-man wall of sound, Billy Mickelson, also known as Third Seven. Billy does some amazing things with his cello and various percussion instruments with the help of modern technology in the form of delays, loops, and other effects pedals by layering short audio tracks that he plays on top of (similar approach that Ed Sheeran is known for). With the cello as the basis for layering Billy gets a sort of science fiction symphony out of his instrument. Absolutely, breathtaking. Third Seven is on tour as the opener with Six Mile Station.
By the time Six Mile Station took the stage the venue was almost full. Its eclectic mix of players and instruments includes Tyson Schroeder on upright bass and vocals, Jeffrey Knight on drums and vocals, John Underwood on banjo, trumpet, trombone, glockenspiel and vocals, and Spike McGuire on lead vocals and acoustic guitar.
Their sound is definitely unique, especially for our area. As I touched on previously, it’s sort of a bluegrass, country, folk, rock, and what is called Americana sound. Remember, there are no electric instruments in the mix. They are all acoustic, natural instruments. Lead singer Spike McGuire’s harsh raspy voice fits his large burly frame and mixes perfectly with the eclectic arrangements. I can see this music fitting right in with some local station playlists.
Its tour ended March 21st in Santa Cruz, California. Keep your eyes and ears open for upcoming local dates. I can guarantee that an evening out listening to Six Mile Station will be an evening of fun.