Written by: Anastasia Pantsios
Once upon a time, rock & roll was strictly a young man’s game — but that was a very long time ago. These days, a passion for playing has carried musicians through years in which their music has been seasoned, acquiring depth and experience that enriches it.
Ohio’s 6 Turning 4 Burning, who call themselves “Hellraisers from Cleveland, Ohio,” is a relatively new band made up of three musicians seasoned by life and driven by that passion for music. Drummer Jim Dudash and guitarist Doug Bukovac have been crossing paths for years, sometimes playing in bands together, sometimes meeting up at jam nights, playing a wide variety of music including rock, blues, and country.
In recent years, the idea occurred to Jim that maybe they should start a band doing original material, stretching their creative muscles more. “I loved the way Doug played guitar, so we started going to jam nights at some of the local clubs, but we weren’t meeting the right people. No one was working out. Doug said we have to find a bass player who sings and has a PA.”
Soon after that, they met a singing bass player named Walter “Wally” Spisak, also at a jam night, but by that time Doug was busy playing in other bands. Wally recalls, “At some point during COVID, the creative spark took off, and Jim and I got together with a number of guitar players, but they couldn’t contribute anything as far as creativity. We knew Doug was the obvious solution.”
Once they’d persuaded Doug that he was their missing piece (“I had to call and beg him,” Jim recalls), the trio began getting together for jam session rehearsals, and, as Wally says, “Things evolved. When things are happening telepathically, it’s a high. It was clear we had something special.”
“To improvise with these two is a joy,” adds Jim.