Reader Spotlight: Scott Kellogg

Scott KelloggMeet Scott Kellogg, a bassist who got his start with hardcore music in the 80’s (and remembers vinyl), but still looks forward to reinventing his musical self after 27 years of playing. Scott is our player in the spotlight for August 16, 2011.


Scott cut his teeth on American hardcore music in the 1980s, and quickly branched out into rock, blues, folk, jazz, and electronic music. He has toured the United States with Carrie Newcomer, Amanda Pearcy and other singer-songwriters.

As a solo artist, Scott shines his light with compelling lyrics and a passionate stage presence. In him you find a friend and ally who interprets the world with wit and compassion.

Living in Bloomington, Indiana, he is equally in the thick of American roots music as in the midst of a blossoming experimental music community. Both of these streams flow into Scott’s debut release, Silver in Their Veins, a musical statement of an artist who has spent a lifetime spanning musical genres, styles, contexts.


Bloomington, IN, USA

Day gig:

I am a full-time musician.

Years experience:

27 years

Bands & Gigs:

I’m taking it easy on band projects, since I’m in a state of reinventing myself in preparation to attend Indiana University in Jazz Studies. I’ve always wanted a formal music education, but haven’t been in the right place at the right time. That’s different now, and I’m putting in long woodshed hours to buff up my reading, walking, and soloing chops. I’ve gotten a long way being self-taught, and I’m thrilled to see what unfolds once I get my skills to the next level.


  • TC Electronic RH450 with 12″ TC cabinets
  • Fender Precision and Jazz basses
  • 1993 fretted Wal Mach 1 bass
  • 1986 fretless Wal Mac 1 bass

Why I play the bass:

In 1983, I put the first Violent Femmes record on the turntable and listened to “Blister in the Sun”. Brian Ritchie’s out-front bass tone made my ears tingle and set my imagination spinning. I knew that I had to get a bass guitar, and not a week later a stranger who worked in the downtown movie theater offered me a good deal on a Beatle bass knockoff and an old Guild amp. The strings were a mile above the fingerboard, but that didn’t stop me from bringing it to dank basements and learning “Peter Gunn” and “Wipeout” with older musicians. I’ve been hooked ever since.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

I have the power to be completely in the moment in a musical context, especially when improvising. I love being on the border between order and chaos. Dwelling in that grey area brings out a player’s real personality: their history, thoughts, emotions, and hangups. It can be therapeutic to bring the music out to the edge and back again, and on a good right, people love to be taken on the journey. One of the highest compliments I’ve ever received was, “You know, when you sing, I can tell you really mean it, like you were singing right to the heart.”

My influences

I was imprinted with music early in life, listening to Black Flag, the Dead Kennedys and the Zero Boys. As I met more musicians, I discovered the music of the 60s: Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, and the Grateful Dead. But all along I’ve had an interest in the music of Andreas Vollenweider, Steve Reich and Mozart. My collection of recordings contains many genres and styles. I revel in the diverse ways humans express themselves with sound. The strongest influences on me as a bass player are Paul McCartney, John Entwistle, Tufty Clough, and Phil Lesh.

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