By Guy D’Astolfo
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Radio Lark today released “Saint Hazel,” the most rocking song to date from the Youngstown-based band.
The tune is the first that Radio Lark has released this year and features guest vocals by local rock veteran Timber Gilliland.
A video of the song was also released today. You can watch it on the band’s YouTube channel here.
With lyrics by Radio Lark frontman Chris Rutushin, “Saint Hazel” is immersed in Youngstown’s rock history –specifically Cedars Lounge.
Gilliland and his band, The 8 Balls, were among the founding fathers of the Cedars scene that flourished in the 1970s and ’80s. In that era, the rock club was downtown.
“Saint Hazel” is about the death of that scene, and includes characters, created by Rutushin, who were integral to it. “We attach too much to the brick and mortar, and forget that we were the ones who created the scene,” Rutushin said.
Parallel mythologies also run through the lyrics and intertwine. The song hinges on Celtic lore but the Cedars barroom has become part of Youngstown mythology.
Knowledge could be gained from the elders there, by anyone who cared to seek it out.
“It’s cool to have a curmudgeon at the bar and if you catch them in the right mood, they can tell you some amazing stories,” Rutushin said.
Gilliland’s presence in the song and video provides a real connection to its subject matter.
He also just sounds right for the song. “He has the stage presence and voice that I wish I had,” Rutushin said. “He has that grit and growl in his voice. This song was written for a voice like his.”
“Saint Hazel” was recorded in October at Ampreon Recorder in Youngstown.
After the song ends, the video – which was made by Rutushin – includes a few minutes of outtakes and bloopers from the recording sessions.
Pictured: Radio Lark is Scott Burns, Rick Deak, Chris Rutushin, Nathan Welch and Roger Lewis (Photo by Mollie Crowe of Little Blackbird Photo).
Posted May 1, 2020.