The Savage Radley celebrates debut album

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Singer-songwriters Stephen Montgomery and Shaina Goodman are The Savage Radley, and the western Kentucky natives celebrate the release of their first album "Kudzu" at 8 p.m. Friday night, at Maiden Alley Cinema. Recently they spoke with The Sun about their time together as musical partners spanning almost a decade.

Tomorrow night The Savage Radley celebrates their debut album "Kudzu" -- a significant milestone in a musical partnership spanning almost a decade.

As the group's two members, Shaina Goodman, singer and guitarist, and drummer Stephen Montgomery will perform an 8 p.m. album release party at Maiden Alley Cinema with Friday night's bandmates, lead guitarist Matt Rowan and bassist Austin Carter.

The Murray-based group Secular Pets also will perform.

Tickets are $10 advance and $12 at the door.

A line in their track "Slough Water" - "When I think of home, I think kudzu hollows" - helps portray the narrative of the album's Southern cultural influence: kudzu, an Asian-native plant that's now a common sight in the southern U.S.

For Goodman -- the album's dominant lyricist -- the plant goes hand-in-hand as she sings nostalgically about the Mississippi River's muddy waters.

"Shaina's storytelling is what the record is about," said Montgomery, a western Kentucky native like Goodman. "If you listen to it, a clear narrative is being told through the songs."

Originally the band was Goodman's project in the early 2010s when, as a Murray State University philosophy student, she met Montgomery, an international affairs major.

The two had mutual friends, and began playing together in what was originally a four-piece group.

Since then, some have come and gone, but they've remained.

"College is a time in life where you know you're expected to do something else afterward," said Goodman, who originally wanted to attend law school after MSU. "Committing to a project like this is oftentimes hard to do.

"Stephen and I were left as a two-piece for a long time and we figured if that's how it had to be, we'd get stronger as a (duo)."

With that flexibility, Montgomery added they've adapted well to a life offstage as friends, musical partners and past roommates.

"I think it's a testament to our friendship that we can both be in a band together and live together," Goodman said. "I think we've grown up together.

"We started in our early 20s and we're in our late 20s now. If you think a lot wasn't happening in that time, that would be cutting the picture short."

"Kudzu" marks their latest "happening," containing many songs penned by Goodman years ago. "Slough Water" was written originally in 2011 and finished in the album studio recording, Montgomery said.

"That goes to show you it's a slow process, and putting in a record takes time and money," Goodman said. "When we started this process, it was important for us to do it as responsibly as we could and not be in debt.

"It's also about reaching out to people … who know more than you do. It was just as important to be a listener during the process. That's why it exists."

Regarding their upcoming Paducah gig, Goodman added that playing in front of friends can be a more nerve-racking experience than larger sets in Nashville, Tennessee.

"I think there's a vulnerability in hitting a wrong note in front of people you know," she said. "You always want to play your best, but I feel like playing in front of friends, you have to rise to the occasion in a different way."

The Savage Radley also will be playing at the Riverfront Concert Series on July 13.

"Kudzu" will be available for purchase at the show.

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