Sam A. Buonavolonta - vocalist, guitarist and pianist of the Youngstown experimental act Sam Goodwill - created the band's latest full-length record, "History," as a concept album. The album showcases an emotional journey that the Girard native has been writing about since 2003.
"I was in my early 20s and had dropped out of Bible college, and then I dropped out of regular college,'' Buonovolonta said. ''From my perspective at that time, the world as well as my own life felt fragile, or vulnerable, probably for the first time. That was the platform in which the story of the album came from, as if the world, at any random time, could end."
Sam Goodwill, made up of Buonavolonta and drummer Dennis Thomas, will celebrate its ''History'' with an album release show Friday at Cedars Lounge.
Since 2002, Sam Goodwill has been Buonovolonta's musical project. The band has gone through numerous lineup and stylistic changes while sharing the stage with such acclaimed acts as Seekonk, Plus/Minus, Knife Crazy, Amplifiers and Viking Moses. Buonovolonta believes that "History" is a passionate body of work.
"I'm older and I'm working with different people and I am slightly more seasoned at the instruments that I play,'' he said. ''We had to cut about four songs once we realized that we could only fit 36 minutes on a record. We had to force a filtering process. The songs that made it on the album were the strongest and most cohesive and relevant to the mood and story."
Buonovolonta chose the title "History" because the album is an autobiographical sketch of his creative growth.
WHO: Sam Goodwill, Emily Rogers, Public Radio and DJ Richard Elmsworth
WHEN: 10 p.m. Friday
WHERE: Cedars Lounge, 23 N. Hazel St., Youngstown
HOW MUCH: $4 for the first 25 people and $5 after that
"I don't remember where that title came from, but I do remember scrapping it several times before it became the official album title. It just turned out to be the simplest connection I could make between all the album's facets. The album is autobiographical as much as it is science fiction, political or religious.''
Buonovolonta's musical journey began when he started writing his own music. His band journey began when he joined the '90s hardcore outfit Vessel. He also formed the post-hardcore project Blood Is Fashion with former Vessel-mate and local musician Steven Andrew.
"I was 18 or 19 years old when I joined Vessel. At some point shortly after I joined, the name was changed to Blood Is Fashion. Those guys basically taught me everything I know about a band work ethic and a band brotherhood. It was probably the most positive of band situations that I've been in. I had been writing stuff on my own before, during and after I joined that band and comparing the before to the after. There's no question that being in Blood Is Fashion and working with Steven Andrew influenced my song writing in a major and positive way," Buonovolonta said.
Buonovolonta also has played keyboards in the band Viking Moses, led by Brendan Massei. Sam Goodwill's 2009 EP, "Stampede" was released on Massei's label, The Epiphysis Foundation, and the band will be doing a mini-tour with Viking Moses in late June.
"(Massei) is certainly a treat to go on the road with,'' Buonovolonta said. ''His music is beautiful and he is one of the most compassionate and intelligent guys I know ... I'm really looking forward to the tour."
During the creation of "History," Buonovolonta was inspired by artists like Tom Waits, David Bazan and Colour Revolt.
Buonovolonta is enjoying the selection of music "History" embodies and wants to give audiences a chance to hear it live.
"We're trying to reach out with 'History' by playing more frequently, both at home and as far out as we can. This show is our first local show since early 2011 and we are realizing that a year and a half is too big of a gap to play for our local crowd. We just want to keep doing what we we're doing and keep trying to refine our music. We want to keep writing and traveling in hopes that our work will pay off and this thing will catch on.''