By GUY D’ASTOLFO
“The Firefly Sessions,” the debut album from Radio Lark, begins with a three-song trilogy that looks at the stages of a love affair, from beginning to middle to end.
And like all the songs on the album, it came about organically, born of experience and emotion, places and people.
Radio Lark is led by Chris Rutushin of Youngstown, who wrote or co-wrote all of the songs, and sings lead vocals. Rounding out the band are a talented group of friends: Scott Burns, Eddie Davis, Lex Calder and Lake Baum.
The new CD will be celebrated at a record-release show Friday at Cedars Lounge.
“The Firefly Sessions” is the culmination of many months of effort and a lifetime of ups and downs.
Rutushin is justifiably proud of it.
“It’s a dream realized that took a long time to put together,” he said. “A lot of history went into writing the album, and I was pleased to be able to work with musicians that I know and admire.”
Rutushin has always written poems but only began putting them to music a few years ago.
Musically, the album bears the influence of bands such as Travis and Oasis.
In fact, Rutushin calls Fran Healy of Travis his “songwriting hero” and recently met him after a Cleveland concert. Because Healy once admitted that he has “nicked” songs from his favorite artists, Rutushin asked him if he could do the same. “He gave his permission,” Rutushin said with a laugh.
Rutushin is also a filmmaker, best known for the 2008 film “Fine-Tune,” which he wrote and directed. He said the completion of “The Firefly Sessions” stirred up in him a familiar sense of nervous energy — just like when “Fine-Tune” was released.
Rutushin has been utilizing both talents by making music videos. He already has made one for the song “Echo” from the new album and posted it on YouTube.
A video for “Caroline” will be shot at Friday’s gig at Cedars, and more are planned after that.
While the record-release show is exciting, Rutushin is more pleased to finally have put his music into physical form. It’s important, he said, because “art outlives the artist.”
What’s next for Radio Lark? More shows, perhaps?
Rutushin isn’t sure.
“I’ve reached a point where you let the universe decide where it will take you,” he said. “Like a leaf on a river.”