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Kimberly Schad to share peak of long, hard climb at The Palace

It's an EP that's been five years in the making, this "Mystic Kingdom" that Kimberly Schad has written, recorded and produced.

You could say more, actually, if you consider the years that the young woman who carefully put together her four songs in the studio in Jamesville spent following her father Tim and uncle Steve around Central New while they played and engineered shows, big productions like Pink Floyd tribute band Childhood's End. "Styleen's (Rhythm Palace). (Oswego) Harborfest. Yes, that's where I learned delay. Give me echo," she says during an interview in the studio in the basement of the family home.

"Mystic Kingdom" will be in hand when Schad performs at 8 p.m. Friday at the Palace Theater on James Street, a free-admission concert for which she and her father were working on the production values of her numbers on a big screen behind the sound boards earlier this week.

Yes, those who go will hear some echo, I decided as she played me the four songs from the EP.

She calls her style "alternative rock meets electronic."

"Down tempo. A little experimental," Schad says.

When she was growing up, her parents listened to bands such as Genesis and Phil Collins. Now she listens to modern, "layered, rhythmic, layered stuff." Then there was her classical vocal training with Celine Dion and Whitney Houston. "I didn't want to lose that," she says.

Interesting mix, indeed.

Her first experience in the arts was with a Syracuse Stage production when she was 7 years old.

"They brought in all these equity actors, and it was so professional. I learned the work ethic of the theater," Schad says.

While growing up in the Jamesville-DeWitt school district, she made all-county and all-state for her vocal work.

After graduation, she attended Syracuse University's Music Industry program, taking the performance-based vocal track. But after two years, she decided to leave, she says, "because I was not fulfilling my hopes and dreams, and it was so tough financially. I took some time off. I applied to other colleges. I went to an 'American Idol' audition on a whim. I read the contract, and I saw they own you for six albums."

So instead, in 2010, she instead started writing her own songs and performing them, at Catherine Cummings Theater in Cazenovia, and Syracuse clubs/restaurants such as the Black Olive and Mac's Bad Art Bar. "The live band scenario didn't come to fruition," she says.

She decided to record an album.

If you don't like what you hear, learn to play it yourself, Schad figured.

"I have this sound in my head. How do I get others to hear it?," Schad says of her dilemma back then. "I kind of outsourced it, to Kenny Aronoff in LA and David Santos in Nashville, noted touring musicians. The product they came up with was outstanding. But now what I wanted to come out with from my album. It was pop cookie-cutter.

"I decided to do it myself, to learn to play the drums," Schad says. "I bought the software, learned the samples. By then it was 2013.

"And now, finally, I've learned enough and I'm happy with what I've made," she says.

She thought about going for a full LP, but was advised against it.

"People can only digest so much in this world we live in now," Schad says.

The only other player is Syracuse guitarist Kevin Farrell from the band Hard Promises, on one track.

At The Palace, in addition to the four EP songs, she'll add "old stuff and new gems."

For free admission.

"I want people to come. I want didn't want $10 or $15 to hold them back," she says. "I want them to come to my Facebook and web site. I want the exposure. And the EP and other stuff will be available (for sale) there if they like what they see and hear)."

Mark Bialczak has lived in Central New York for 30 years. He's well known for writing about music and entertainment. In 2013, he started his own blog,, to comment about the many and various things that cross his mind daily.