The Humble Beginnings of a Roving Soul
6’10 is the folk/bluegrass incarnation of Tobin Bawinkel, frontman for Celtic punk stalwarts Flatfoot 56. In comparison to the hectic sounds of his other outfit, this is a more subtle approach through heartfelt and emotional journeys against the backdrop acoustic instrumentation. Bawinkel is joined by bandmates Josh Robieson(Mandolin, Ukulele/vox) Mike Pettus (Ukulele Bass/vox), Keith Perez (Cajon/vox) and Vanessa Bawinkel (accordion/vox).
“When I was growing up, I remember playing folk and bluegrass music with my family in our living room. I always loved the story telling aspect of this style and the joy of playing with close friends and family. I loved it when songs would have a quirky and playful tone and theme. All of the pretentious elements that can sometimes find their way into music, were absent during these sessions with my family and friends. You would find seasoned players, playing right next to children who were just learning. This culture is what I wanted again. The idea was to return to a simpler and more earthy feel.”
Those who have grown to love Bawinkel’s raw punk aesthetic and candor will find much to cling to in this new endeavor. There is sorrow and yearning for a place far from here. But there is also joy abundant amidst the unexpected twists in life’s passage. 6’10 is close to the hearts of those who hunger and thirst for something more than an empty life following the American dream.
Bawinkel speaks on the stripped-back sound and inspiration for this new endeavor: “There is nothing as vulnerable as a punk lead singer having to give up his distortion and volume to be laid bare in front of a crowd with just his wit and raw guitar playing. I wanted to revisit sounds from my childhood and return to simpler culture, one without pretension. The album has an overall theme of travel and journeying. Since I pretty much have lived the majority of my life on the road, this topic has a lot of symbolism for me.”
The lyrics of The Humble Beginnings of a Roving Soul documents the journey through the most difficult years that Bawinkel has ever faced. It tells the story of the storms we go through, the loss that these storms bring, and the rediscovery of life that comes when you see the value of what you just experienced. It celebrates the journey and
adventure of seeing life in a way that faces challenges with the
mindset of a growing man willing to be made better by his trials.
On “Backpack, Bawinkel speaks of the crumble of a home and finding new identity in the journey of moving on. “Timothy” is a song written from the perspective of an older man named Paul. In the song, Paul gives his wisdom and what he learned through all of the trials and beatings that he took throughout his life. “The Travelers” takes place in the form of a
conversation between two characters who are debating about what the
true meaning of freedom is. The first character is assuming the role
of a sea fairing gentlemen, while the second is a train hopper. Both recount journeys and tales of foreign escapes. The song ends with a snap back to reality for both of them when their factory whistle is blown and they are revealed to be blue collar day dreamers trapped in mundane lives.
6’10 have already shared the stage with established acts such as Sundowner, Deals Gone Bad, Josh Caterer (Smoking Popes), Mike Farris, Flatfoot 56, Vic Ruggiero (Slackers), Michael Graves, The Bones, The Last Resort, and the Mahones.
Bawinkel states, “The main goal of this band is to be able to inspire and relate to people who want something more then the typical things that the world we live in tries to force us to live for. I want it to encourage those who have gone through tough times, to realize that there is always gold to be found in the mud that life sometimes bogs us down in. The trials and difficulties we face can either make us bitter or they can make us better. This band offers an entertaining evening to those who just want to reflect on stories from the past and hopefully be inspired by the ramblings of a seasoned traveling musician.”