NED Inspires Change Through Music
How six doctors are using music to alter the landscape of women's cancer research.
BY: By Stephen Russ
While the band’s purpose is noble, it would all be for naught if the music wasn’t as strong as it is. Six Degrees, a title referring to the six distinct personalities of the band members, is a rock album cut from the days of classic rock to modern pop music. Each member brings a different style to the writing process, and they have worked together to form a truly diverse sound “Everybody in the band contributes to the music”, said Boggess, “there isn’t a defined person who dictates what we write and what we don’t write.”
That sound is anchored by a solid rhythm section and bluesy lead guitar while much of the musical intrigue comes from the work of John Soper who often adds the flavor to each piece through the mandolin and slide guitar. The two vocalists, John Boggess and Joanie Hope, each have a unique tone with John providing the pop balance to Joanie’s husky, homey folk tone. A band with a focus on women’s cancer deserves a strong female lead, and Joanie provides that with her strong vocals and her background as the only Alaskan surgeon in her field.
While the music remains fresh throughout, it is the lyrics where the connection between the band’s message and music becomes clear. “As doctors we found we could write about things that were general but were informed by experiences that most people don’t have,” says Boggess. While the band treads on well worn ground by singing about relationships, beauty, and loss, there is a specific poignancy that comes through from the experiences that they have each had. “We try to keep the songs very positive and upbeat,” says Boggess, and throughout the album that is certainly the case. it is through that positivity that the band offers the hope that it is possible to survive the tragic events that can unfold in cancer treatment.