The Downtown Ithaca Summer Concert Series continues Thursday July 25, with a special show, as local roots-rock band Kitestring will mark the release of its new album, “7 Years Good Luck,” on the Bernie Milton Pavilion stage at 7 p.m.
The album includes 12 songs that showcase the soulful vocal style and lyrical talents of frontman Josh Ross. He’s joined by guitarist Marty Farchione, drummer Phil Shay and bassist Jeremy Betterley in the current Kitestring lineup. (Former member Corbin Miller played bass on the album.) Samuel B. Lupowitz (Noon Fifteen, Thru Spectrums, Julia Felice and the Whiskey Crisis) also contributed keyboards to most of the album, and will sit in the band at Thursday’s show.
Kitestring recorded the new album in 2018 at Ithaca’s Pyramid Sound Studios with Mike Parker and Alex Perialas, who Ross credits for pushing the band to new heights.
“They were great,” Ross said in a recent interview. “There’s a lot more ear candy than our previous album. Plus, we’ve developed our sound, which is starting to go in a certain direction I think we’re all happy with.”
“They got us thinking about space a lot more,” Ross added. “First we got the bass and drums down, then did rhythm guitar, then the vocals, then lead guitar. Alex was really good in keeping us thinking about how we were going to approach each part. We were doing some tweaking in studio for arrangements as far as getting things sounding the way they should. And we’ve since applied that to our live set, so it’s helped a lot.”
He gives a specific example: the album’s second song, “Murder.”
“We actually wrote that in the studio,” Ross explained. “Alex had a lot of input on it, and he really mixed it so on the first chorus everything drops out but the vocals. That was his decision after we had played all the parts. After he played it for me, it was very shocking, but now we’ve gotten so used I can’t imagine it without that breakdown there. I finished writing it in studio, which was a fun process. We had a bridge halfway figured out, so he told us to go home and finish it, and we’ll work on it tomorrow. So it was an inspiring experience to have those two guys pushing us.”
Winners of the 2017 Battle of Bands that was held at the Bernie Milton Pavilion, Kitestring also recently opened for the Gin Blossoms and Collective Soul at Tag’s Summer Stage in Big Flats. That was especially thrilling for the band, because, as Ross noted, “Parker said he actually mixed the new album as if it were a Gin Blossoms CD.”
Ross is psyched to finally send “Seven Years Good Luck” out to the world.
“It was a really great learning experience, and also we’ve now got something that’s a way better representation of what we do now than we did before,” he said. “So I’m excited to get it out to people.”
To learn more, visit kitestringband.com.
Also on Thursday night’s bill: Noon Fifteen, which at 6 p.m. will play the final show of its July “trifecta” that featured three unique local shows along with a new track and video released for each one. Visit noonfifteen.com to learn more.
After the show, head over to Monks on the Commons for the official after-party, with Ariel Arbisser and Nate Marshall playing soul, blues and more at 8-10 p.m.