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Erik Scott | Spirits

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Spirits

by Erik Scott

Unusually melodic and spacey, Erik combines steel guitar, medieval violin, fretless bass and other vibes into a space-age swamp groove…haunting and evocative.
Genre: New Age: Contemporary Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Peace On Saturn
4:03 $1.49
2. Other Planets
4:53 $1.49
3. Free (Instrumental)
6:08 $1.49
clip
4. Donnie and Sancho
4:57 $1.49
clip
5. Weightless
3:48 $1.49
clip
6. Run (Instrumental)
5:48 $1.49
clip
7. Foggy Bridges
5:11 $1.49
clip
8. Yesterday
2:32 $1.49
clip
9. Proper Son
4:29 $1.49
clip
10. Battle for Neverland (Re-Mix)
3:42 $1.49
clip
11. The White Mouse
3:08 $1.49
clip
12. And the Earth Bleeds (Instrumental)
4:32 $1.49
clip
13. Gypsy Mother and the Royal Bastard
6:42 $1.49
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Spirits is one of those albums where I thank my lucky stars that I haven't retired from reviewing yet. Erik Scott's musical vision is unique, refreshing, and bursting with imagination and innovative approaches to instrumentation and melody. This is emotionally rich, warm music that draws you in from the first track and holds you in its beguiling grasp until the final seconds of the last song. Whether relaxed and mesmerizing, pulsing with rhythm and energy, or laid-back with a nicely chilled vibe, Spirits delights at every turn. Bill Binkelman - Zone Music Reporter

Listeners who are seeking something daringly original and extraordinarily unique need look no further than Spirits by Erik Scott. Erik’s album has far exceeded my wildest expectations and introduced me to a most imaginative artist who has reinvented himself to break new ground and explore uncharted musical territory. Spirits is a “must-have” recording for sonic seekers. Michael Diamond - Music and Media Focus

Also available by Erik Scott…….Other Planets And the Earth Bleeds

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Reviews


to write a review

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
Although "Spirits" is only his third solo release, bassist Erik Scott has had a lifelong career in music that began in the late 1960’s, mostly in rock bands. Now in his own later 60’s, Scott has reinvented himself as an instrumentalist - and a very impressive one at that! Some of the material on "Spirits" was previously released, but Scott is now embarking on the arduous task of getting his original music more widely heard. Once that starts to happen, I can almost guarantee that Erik Scott will be climbing to the top of the charts on a regular basis (pun sort of intended!).

In addition to composing and arranging the music, Scott performs on baritone guitar, fretless and fretted bass, keyboards, drum and percussion programming, and bass-generated FX. Guest artists appear on drums, guitars, mandolin, piano, organ, veille violin, flute and English whistle, creating a sound that is unique yet accessible and very beautiful. Scott’s rock roots are clearly there, but with a calming new age-y/prog rock influence that will keep your toes tapping as you mellow out. Within the contemporary instrumental realm, it seems rather uncommon to hear the real joy of making music, and that could be Scott’s secret ingredient - fun! Not that it’s all light and carefree - quite the opposite - but there is a very strong and positive spirit in the thirteen tracks. In his own words: “I made the music with a certain artistic defiance....genre and marketing be damned. If [an artist] can achieve the power of soulful nuanced beauty...so haunting it compels a response from the listener, visceral or emotional, it sticks.” Amen!

"Spirits" begins with “Peace on Saturn,” a gorgeous piece that features John Pirruccello on steel guitar and Scott on bass. Almost tropical in flavor, warmth and contentment flow through every note. “Other Planets” is built with a variety of layers of sounds and effects, but the overall feeling is serenity while floating peacefully through space. “Free” was inspired in part by a trip to the Scottish Highlands and a reminder of the price so many have paid for their freedom. The melody was originally composed for the bass, but when Scott heard the haunting quality of Shira Kammens’ veille (medieval violin), he made some changes. Emotional and very visual, this would make a terrific addition to a film soundtrack. “Run” also has very full instrumentation, a driving rhythm and a Celtic spirit. The Beatles’ “Yesterday” is a happy surprise as a duet for bass and steel guitar with strings in the background - definitely an ensemble you don’t hear very often! “Battle For Neverland (Re-Mix)” has a strong folk influence, with bass, veille, bagpipes, organ, strings and percussion - a joyful romp! The darkly mysterious and very rhythmic “And the Earth Bleeds” would also lend itself to dramatic visuals - love it! “Gypsy Mother and the Royal Bastard” is listed as an “encore” - perhaps to avoid ending with track 13. Its dark power is haunting while the compelling rhythms keep it moving forward - great stuff!

I would expect that "Spirits" will connect with a very large audience and will do much to make Erik Scott’s name much more widely-known. Highly recommended!
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Bill Binkelman - Wind and Wire

Erik Scott takes electric bass music in a new, exciting direction
There was a marketing campaign for an automobile manufacturer that stated "This is not your father's Oldsmobile." Well, folks, Spirits is not your father's bass guitar album. Erik Scott, who cut his teeth in rock groups such as Alice Cooper and Sonia Dada, as well as a slew of session work and also producing other artists, has taken the electric bass guitar and reinvented it in a way that is refreshingly original, startlingly innovative, and flat out fantastic to hear. Spirits is one of those albums where I thank my lucky stars that I haven't retired from reviewing yet. This is emotionally rich, warm music that draws you in from the first track and holds you in its beguiling grasp until the final seconds of the last song. Whether relaxed and mesmerizing, pulsing with rhythm and energy, or laid-back with a nicely chilled vibe, Spirits delights at every turn.

Besides plying his craft on bass guitar (fretless and fretted), Scott also plays keyboards and drums and percussion programming. He is joined by a great crew of guest artists, all of whom contribute mightily but the one person I feel I would be remiss not mentioning up front is John Pirruccello who plays steel guitar on five tracks and man, does he play steel guitar! (He also performs on mandolin on one song). Other guests appear on acoustic guitar, piano, organ, drums, electric guitar, percussion, violin, flute, and English whistle, I hope that, as I listed all those instruments, you started thinking, "Wow, this sounds ambitious!" Yeah, Spirits is all that and then some. Crisscrossing between genres with tasteful audacity, Scott and crew have hewed out a meshed genre that they then call their own. Jazz fusion, blues, world beat, ambient, chill-out - hell, it’s all there in one way or another, but the real joy of Spirits is what a melting pot approach it embraces. The songs are just this singular achievement of taking elements and combining them into a stew that is both wholly accessible (to say the least - I have played this album something like 10-15 times and love it more each time) and also boldly adventurous. The most amazing aspect of this recording is how effortless it sounds, as if Scott and his compatriots did all this instinctively, yet adhering to a cohesive musical vision that is, well to be honest, kinda mind-boggling.

Pealing steel guitar opens "Peace On Saturn" quickly joined by Scott's bouncy, cheery lead bass line. The merging of the steel guitar's "island" feel with the laid-back thumping of the bass notes is instantly appealing; it's funkalicious but in an oh-so-relaxed way. "Other Planets" starts off in a spacey vein before ethnic percussion cuts in on the synth pads and ethereal vocals, and here comes Scott spiraling in with a simply beautiful bass melody accented by some electric guitar that adds some cool sound effects without becoming too "out there." This music is just so darn mellow and gorgeous. Headphones are a revelation as the mix on this disc is something else, as all sorts of coolness lies in the peripheries on most songs. "Free" also kicks off in an ambient vein but when the violin cuts in, the song takes on a mournful cast with a hint of Irish melancholy. When the mid tempo rhythm enters (via percussion, drums and Scott's bass) the sad melody becomes even more pronouncedly Irish-inflected. "Donnie and Sancho" swirls out on moody synths at the outset before an acoustic guitar in the lead (accented by Scott's bass) takes the cut into spaghetti western territory, with a dash of menace and danger laced into the Spanish-flavored guitar and soulful bass lead. One expects to hear the Man With No Name utter a sparse line of dialogue at any minute. "Weightless" once again shines the spotlight on Pirruccello's steel guitar, pealing languidly alongside Scott's lead bass which pumps out another slice of laid back goodness. Scott composed all twelve of the tracks on the disc, save one which is an interesting take on Lennon/McCartney's classic "Yesterday." What strikes me every time I play Spirits is that Scott composed all this diverse music and also how unselfish he is with all these guest artists. Yeah, bass is frequently prominent in the mix, but always as part of an ensemble sound. Scott is one of the best "team players" I've heard in a long time.

There's so much more I could write about Spirits…the joyful Celtic-fusion-flavored "Run," the down-home folksiness with a hint of blues on "Foggy Bridges" and the dramatic miasma of world fusion (with Indian spiciness) meets infectious chill-out (think Ace of Bass catchiness - and don’t deny that the beats from "All That She Wants" weren't classic!) with a dash of Fargo soundtrack on "Gypsy Mother and the Royal Bastard."

Spirits is just so damn fantastic that I can’t think of a fitting end to this review except to say that it's one of the best performed, most imaginative, and most engaging albums I've had the pleasure of reviewing in the last several years. Erik "Eski" Scott is a visionary artist and Spirits is solid proof of that statement.
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Raj Manoharan (www.rajmanreviews.blogspot.com)

The RajMan Review
On his latest album, rock veteran turned solo instrumentalist Erik Scott (Sonia Dada, Alice Cooper) embarks on unique sonic excursions, using his fretted and fretless basses, baritone guitar, keyboards and drum and percussion programming to create ethereal and mystical sounds that bring listeners along on a cosmic ride.

In addition to his 12 enticing original compositions, Scott presents a stunning take on the Lennon/McCartney Beatles classic "Yesterday."

Scott's band on this outing includes Larry Beers on drums, Chris Cameron on organ and piano, Steve Eisen on flute, Hank Guaglianone and John Mader on drums, Shira Kammen on violin, Phil Miller and David Resnik on electric guitar, John Pirrucello on steel guitar and mandolin, Glen Rupp on acoustic guitar, and Ron Schwartz on effects and percussion.
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Michael Diamond (www.michaeldiamondmusic.com)

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
Erik Scott’s third and latest solo release, “Spirits,” is light years away from the kind of rock music he made a name for himself with in the past, and shares more in common with new age artists like bassist Michael Manring and Patrick O’Hearn. One of the distinguishing characteristics in Erik’s music is the way he brings the bass out front as a lead instrument. I was not prepared for when I put on the album for the first time and the opening sound I heard was a pedal steel guitar! It provided a dreamy ambience that floated over a laid back percussive bass groove, which for some reason, reminded me of a classic early U2 song. Trippy alien electronic effects added to the sonic atmosphere of this track, appropriately titled “Peace On Saturn.”

It would be easy to assume these psychedelic sounds were created on synthesizers, but they are actually what the liner notes refer to as “bass generated FX.” While Erik is listed as the creator of these effects, as well as playing fretless and fretted bass, baritone guitar, drums and percussion programming, and keyboards, there are also quite a number of guest musicians who play a variety of instruments on one track or another.

One of the many things I appreciate in Erik’s music; the way he is able to incorporate traces of various musical genres without loosing the uniqueness of his own very original musical expression. That originality is even present when he is covering someone else’s song, as he does on a stunning rendition of The Beatles’ “Yesterday.” I’m sure that Lennon and McCartney could not “imagine” the melody line of this much beloved classic played on fretless bass and pedal steel guitar. Although Erik did not write this song, the lush interpretation heard here serves to highlight his outstanding skills as an arranger as well as a multi-talented instrumentalist. I also appreciated Erik’s arranging and composing abilities on the cinematic, Celtic-tinged, “Battle For Neverland (Remix).” If there was ever a song that would serve perfectly as a film soundtrack, this is it.

Listeners who are seeking something daringly original and extraordinarily unique need look no further that “Spirits” by Erik Scott. This album has far exceeded my wildest expectations and introduced me to a most imaginative artist who has reinvented himself to break new ground and explore uncharted musical territory. “Spirits” is a “must-have” recording for sonic seekers.
To read a full length review of this CD, as well as others, please visit: www.michaeldiamondmusic.com
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