There are some who say that home is where the heart is.
And for the self-described 'indie-folk' quintet This Old Ghost, that home— in the Peekskill-Yorktown area— is also where the music is.
Because it is not only where the group grew up and reconnected with each other this past year, it’s also where the group raised funding to record a debut album and booked its first performances.
And they did it all in five months.
After trekking back to Westchester from California back in January, lead singer and songwriter Ian McGuinness used music to gather his old classmates and new friends together: drummer Rob Pizzolato, bassist Brendan Coughlan, vocalist and flautist Karri Diomede and guitarist Ryan Sniffen.
“I was home for about a week, set up my little studio and a practice space in my parents’ house and we had our first band practice. It was epic,” remembers McGuinness, who is also a music student at Purchase College.
Since then, they've joined the local music scene by playing live gigs at popular spots like Peekskill Brewery and the Hudson Valley Museum of Contemporary Art.
“There are a lot of young artists who work and live [in Peekskill]. We’ve gotten great reaction and respect than we may have somewhere else with a different attitude,” added Diomede.
So what is it about This Old Ghost that helps them stand alone in among other local acts? For one, it’s the compilation of different musical influences. Diomede, for example, toughens up classic woodwind training with rock and roll flute solos.
If you still haven't yet heard of them, not to worry: you can check out their catchy track, "This Lifeboat is For Gold, Not People" on their Facebook page, which has already amassed 168 fans.
This Old Ghost may just be hitting its stride. The band has utilized Kickstarter.com to collect about $1,600 from friends and family to fund the professional recording of its debut album, tentatively titled, “Island of Violent Lovers.”
“I didn't expect things to take off as quickly as they did. In fact I didn't really know it was possible to progress this quickly as a band, especially considering the fact that we really only practice once a week,” Pizzolato said.
The band hopes those countless hours recording in the Geller Cellar Studio in Mahopac will pay off.
“Once you’ve made it with your friends, you’ve made it,” McGuinness said.
This Old Ghost will be performing at the Bean Runner this Sunday, June 5 at 4 p.m.