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SIX Brings Classic Rock to Commons

Six local residents enjoy playing their classic rock as often as they can.

If you were speculating about the roots of any rock and roll band one of the last places that you would consider would be a church choir. But that's just where three of the members of the Winchester based band SIX first met.

When you go to a SIX concert though don't expect any church hymns. What you're going to get is a diverse assortment of classic rock anthems.

"We play sixties and seventies stuff," bass guitarist John Swartz said.  "Music we grew up with and songs that we like."

During their concert on a hot and humid Wednesday night on the Winchester Common, SIX's love for the songs they play was clearly on display.

"My wife says that I'm the happiest rock and roll singer she's ever seen," vocalist Steve Cole said.  "I'm always smiling when I sing."

SIX's passion for music was contagious for some in the audience.

"These guys are really good," Jordan Hartman said.  "They make you want to check out some of these older rock songs and learn more about that sort of music."

It's that type of reaction that would please the members of SIX, since it was their interest in classic rock that brought them together. In 2004 SIX's current guitarist, Walter Ogier, first noticed John Swartz playing at a private party and singing Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl."

"He said he was looking to jam with some guys," Swartz said.

It was not until 2006 though that they brought in Bruce Lauterwasser and Steve Cole who were also choir members with Ogier. Ironically their first gig as a band was at the Second Congregational Church in Winchester.

With work and families demanding their attention, finding time for the band can be challenging. That's why SIX normally sets aside Sundays to practice.

"The primary thing is to understand our priorities," Lauterwasser said.  "The band comes second to our family commitments. It's a sense of balance."

Their families have been very supportive of them and most of their children enjoy that their fathers are part of a rock band. Walter Ogier's kids though cannot fully relate to the music.

"They have a hard time with the genre. They liked the Beatles until I started playing it," Ogier said.  "My wife and family though are understanding because I come home happy."

The band members stressed that they not only enjoy the music but each other's company. Sometimes practicing together is as much fun for them as a live concert event.

For Steve Bratt, SIX's newest band member who learned piano by playing Billy Joel and James Taylor songs, getting back on keyboards has been a dream come true.

"You don't realize how much is missing from you until you do it again," Bratt said.

SIX has no plans of letting up any time soon. Although their concert schedule is limited due to their busy lives, they will continue playing the classic rock that they enjoy so much.

And how did three of the band members make the jump from singing in a church choir to playing some of the biggest hits in rock?

"It's the broader spectrum of music in our spiritual lives," Steve Cole jokingly said.

On stage tough that spirituality is more akin to Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Spirit in the Sky." And their church has a foundation in rock.

For more information about the band Six go to their homepage: www.ilikesix.com/

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