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This might be the most elaborate independently produced package I’ve ever seen. The single CD comes in a jewel case enclosed in a large, foam padded, die-cut box also containing two separate booklets- an oversized 24-pager with complete lyrics and original artwork, plus a 70-page volume of excerpts from drummer Michael Koep’s personal journal. A group logo sticker completes the offering.

On to the music: This is, first and foremost, a very polished, non-commercial, vocal/song-oriented contemporary rock album. There’s little happening via instrumental soloing or compositional experimentation on these 11 tracks, though I would compare much of what goes on here to present day Marillion. Perhaps that’s where the primary “progressive” connection lies, aside from some understated orchestrations, jazz/folk influences and electric/acoustic shifting around. Monte Thompson is a powerfully expressive singer, able to effectively convey a wide range of emotion. He’s positively riveting on “Tremor” and “In Sum,” two of Gravity’s strongest performances. This is a good disc over which to debate that ever-elusive definition of what makes a given work progressive. One thing for sure- Kite doesn’t skimp on production, either musically or in terms of packaging.

– John Collinge, Progression Magazine

I stumbled across these guys by replying to an internet news article last winter and they have much more going for them than just being from a supposedly isolated northwest location. The quartet’s first album, Gravity is a strong debut, independently produced and immaculately packaged unlike any other release you’re going to encounter. The band is the brainchild of Michael Koep (drums, lyrics, artist, etc.) and Monte Thompson (vocalist). With support from Scott Clarkson (lead guitars) and Doug Smith (bass), the group has assembled eleven pieces of modern rock with a rock plus prog complexity . My editor nailed the band’s style by describing them as ‘grunge Yes’ for starters. The opening track begins with a windy gust which sweeps into an aggressive wah-wah. Another standout track, Spellbound is acoustic guitar based and transitions into almost an Ambrosia like chorus line. There are also hints of folkish Pink Floyd, Echolyn and Rush as well as a curveball jazzy motif (Laughable). They group does well to mesh several styles without lifting trademark cliche’s The disc comes with a water color illustrated lyric book, band sticker and finely bound journal chronicling the making of the album. Examine their website for further information. Kite is a class act just waiting to find it’s target audience, which could be you.

-Jeff Melton, Expose’ Magazine














KITE is:

Scott Clarkson: Lead guitar, electric guitars
Michael Koep: Drums, percussion, acoustic guitar, vocals
Doug Smith: Bass, keyboards, vocals
Monte Thompson: Lead vocals, acoustic and electric guitars

All songs written by Michael Koep and Monte Thompson
All songs arranged by Kite
Produced by Kite

Additional Musicians:
Female background vocals on A is An A: Shanna Ascher, Barb Peterson, Cherie Ross-Thompson
Male background vocals on Kite: Bob Burdett, Dave Dupree
Background vocal on Kite, Spellbound and Air: Shanna Ascher
Piano on Laughable: Peter Lucht
Cello on Sunshine Blue: P.J. Paul
Monte played the lead guitar on Laughable and Shy
Michael played acoustic guitar Shy and Sunshine Blue

Engineered and Mixed by Brian Crain
All songs recorded at Synchole Studios, Hayden Lake, Idaho
except Laughable: recorded live at Eichardts Brew Pub, Sandpoint, Idaho.
Mastered by Jim Falzone for Venus Productions
Recorded September 1995- May 1997
Preproduction recorded at Chunk O’ Poodle Studios, Coeur d’Alene,
Idaho and R.R. 721 Brothel Station, Spokane, Washington.

CD cover, back and logo by Jason Williamson
CD computer graphics by Monte Thompson
Photography: David Marx
Box Design by Monte Thompson and Michael Koep
Journal and lyric book cover by Monte Thompson
Watercolor paintings by Michael Koep

Those who kept us high:

Cherie, Sebastian and Jasper, Ginette Godbout , Shanna Ascher, Jeannie Charvet, Rich Chatfield, Ken and Diana Koep, Stan Koep (for always believing), Dave Dupree, Bob Burdett, Denny Burt & Kevin Kubista at Burt’s Music and Sound, Doug Bird, Stony Johnston, Hap Ferman, The Crain Family, Woody and Darin McEvers, the Rustler’s crew, Jane Mauser, Scott Haynes, Bako Jones, Kevin and Kelly Mitchell, Tawni Beck, The Fore n’ Aft, Jade Warrior, Forrest Wolfe, Don Leonard, T.S. Elliot, Right On Fry, Jake Irvin, Tokey Smif, Eichardts, Tim Rarick, The Catcher in the Rye (a local),The Spartan Imperial Villa alumni, Tracy Williams, Kelly Dolan, Karen Kaiser, George Gordon, The guy flying kites in Vancouver B.C. before the Pink Floyd show ‘94, Mountain Sky Unlimited, John Keats, Barbara Miller, Tami Clarkson, Don Clarkson, Gram and Gramp Miller, M.O.C., Cary Beare (for making Behind The Veil), Carolyn R. Cole (our steadfast advisor), Susan Tinney, Fainting In Coils, Kotch, Virginia Johnson, Frank Smurker, Gunny Fryless, Bob, Sue and The Bean, The Moon Time, Gerard Mathis (for your time and effort), Don and Debra Sprauge, Chuck Swanson, Cory Dodson (for all your support), Patt Jeppeson, Walter and Geri Perkins, Mark Brown, Dr. Tony Wadden, Vicki Hall, and finally, Lisa Perkins. A very special thanks
to the musicians who donated their time and talent.

All lyrics © 1995/2008 Claytone music
All rights reserved