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Erik Scott | In the Company of Clouds

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In the Company of Clouds

by Erik Scott

Blending Erik's melodic fretless bass along with steel guitar, percussion and bits of choir like vocals, and with guests performers such as Jeff Pearce and Steve Hunter, this new music creates an ambience that is both earthy and ethereal.
Genre: New Age: Contemporary Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Nine Lives
4:35 album only
2. Seven Veils
4:50 album only
3. Women of Avalon
5:44 album only
4. Breathing Room
5:34 album only
5. Victory
4:50 album only
6. Open Door
3:22 album only
7. First Cup
2:47 album only
8. Waves
4:15 album only
9. The Long View
4:12 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
It's highly unlikely you have ever heard anything like Erik Scott's solo music.Coming from his background as a bassist with such influential artists as Alice Cooper, Sonia Dada, Flo & Eddie and Pops Staples, not to mention his composing for movies and television, one could hardly expect the haunting melodies that inform the utter beauty of this cinematic music. It defies specific characterization but encompasses the best of new age, ambient, jazz, and world, while forming these disparate genres into something cohesive, engaging, and utterly without equal.

As a follow-up to his highly praised release 'Spirits", Scott reignites the fire of ingenuity with "In The Company of Clouds", a recording that may leave listeners breathless with its unexpected yet wholly accessible wonders. Prepare to hear a new standard in contemporary instrumental music with electric bass as its center point...has to be considered one of the best albums of 2016 by any critic who knows his or her stuff. Bill Binkelman-Zone Music Reporter, Wind and Wire magazine



to write a review

Michael Diamond (www.michaeldiamondmusic.com)

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
On his stellar new release, “In the Company of Clouds,” bassist/composer Erik Scott follows in the lofty footsteps of his critically acclaimed and chart-topping album “Spirits.” With its blend of Erik’s signature melodic fretless bass along with steel guitar, synthesizers, guitar, percussion, and a bit of choir-like gospel vocals, the music creates an ambiance that is both earthy and ethereal. The alchemy of these elements is quite unique and takes the listener to uncharted sonic terrain. It’s not easy to forge a unique sound in today’s crowded music world, but Erik manages to produce distinctive music that absolutely sounds like no one else.

According to Erik: “I intended that a warm groove should permeate this record, and part of the instrumentation I used to convey this vibe is human voices, used as instruments, rather than to present any lyrics. I have always responded to the waves of simple chords from a gospel choir.” The opening track, “Nine Lives,” is one of two songs on the album that incorporate these sounds. While there are no lyrics on the album, I couldn’t help but notice the surprisingly vocal quality of Erik’s fretless bass playing on this song that almost seemed to be singing words. In a context of ethereal synthesizers, percussion, and the always-tasteful steel guitar playing of John Pirruccello, who plays on every track, the effect is extremely uplifting and makes for a perfect introduction to the album.

The other song that features gospel-like vocals is track 3, “Women Of Avalon.” There is a wonderful cinematic quality to this piece that draws deep inspiration from mythology. This track is truly epic and embodies the mist and magic of this ancient saga. A song I was looking forward to hearing is “Breathing Room,” as it features a guest appearance by my favorite ambient guitarist, Jeff Pearce. Here he delivers his signature dreamy sound over a background of celestial synthesizers, steel guitar, percussion, and of course, Erik’s mellifluous and melodic fretless bass – a stunning combination.

In listening to this album, every once in a while I would hear a melody or a phrase that reminded me slightly of something, perhaps in the distant past. One of those moments was on a track called “First Cup,” that brought to mind the psychedelic rock classic “It’s All Too Much” by the Beatles. Not to say that it sounds just like it at all, but perhaps there was something in the way it moved me (wink). The album draws to a serene conclusion with a dreamy piece called, “The Long View,” which quite appropriately, leaves the listener with their head in the clouds.

While in addition to bass, Erik who also contributes keyboards, drum and percussion programming, a bit of vocals, and mandolin, has brought in a superb supporting cast of accompanists to animate his creations. As well as being a highly accomplished instrumentalist, Erik Scott has a fertile imagination and the musical vision to create compositions and arrangements of unlikely elements in ways that can’t help but make you sit up and take notice of their originality. If I had to sum up my reaction to this album in one word, it would be “wow!” As a music journalist, I listen to hundreds of albums a year, and I love when a recording crosses my path that is so distinctive that hearing it for the first time feels like stepping foot on an undiscovered land.

To read a full-length feature article on this album, as well as others, please visit: www.MichaelDiamondMusic.com

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
In his long and illustrious career as a musician/composer/songwriter, I would venture to say that bassist Erik Scott has probably at least touched on just about every music genre there is, synthesizing them all into his unique and original style. How many albums can you name (besides Erik’s previous releases) that are centered around the electric bass - the pulse and heartbeat of so much music but rarely the lead? Scott performs on several bass guitars as well as keyboards, drum and percussion programs, some “wee vocals” and mandolin. Joined by fellow artists such as Jeff Pearce (guitar), John Pirruccello (steel guitar) and Chris Cameron (piano), Scott has created nine beautiful pieces inspired by some of the tales of King Arthur and the Isle of Avalon. In the liner notes of the album, Scott is quoted as saying: “As music mirrors the moods of its makers, it can lift and soothe the moods and minds of the listeners… and so I hope these offerings will lift some hearts, warm some souls, and smooth some edges.” I think it’s worth mentioning that Erik Scott recently triumphed over cancer and mentions that “It’s a huge wave of relief, a soul-opening pulse, when you’re given more time… time to try and make some things, good things. Granted leave to maybe make some music, granted some .. ‘breathing room.’” I, for one, am so glad!

"In the Company of Clouds" begins with “Nine Lives,” a gospel-tinged song-without-words that features the vocal talents of Larry Batiste, Sandy Griffith, and Bryan Dyer. Pirruccello’s steel guitar gives this song (and most of the album) a twist that makes it impossible to classify - always a good thing, I think! “Seven Veils” is mysterious and hypnotic. The slow, sensual tempo tantalizes the imagination as it casts its magical spell. “Breathing Room” features Jeff Pearce on guitar, a mega-talent in his own right. Steel guitar, bass, and light percussion as well as some keyboard effects (and some breathing sounds) blend to create a bit of ambient sorcery. The word “victory” usually brings thoughts of leaping or shouting for joy, dancing wildly, and an infinite variety of “big” images, but Scott’s piece by that name is a more personal, more internal sort of triumph - one that might reflect feelings of relief and gratitude. “Open Door” features Chris Cameron on piano as well as synth orchestration, steel guitar, and bass. Again, more ambient than melodic, darkly colorful images emerge from the slowly-swirling tempo - mysterious yet peaceful. “Waves” has a more tropical, Hawaiian flavor with gentle rhythms and warm, languid guitars that beautifully express the mesmerizing effect of watching the waves of the ocean. “The Long View” includes Rick Barnes on acoustic guitar as well as steel guitar, bass and wordless vocals - a peaceful ending to an excellent album!

Erik Scott has created another work of art with "In the Company of Clouds," and I predict you’re going to be hearing a lot about this album in the coming months. Yes, Eski, I think God and Paul McCartney would both be very pleased! Very highly recommended!

Candice Michelle

Review from Journeyscapes Radio
Erik Scott debuted with his first album in 1969, later working with a number of pop and rock artists, including having toured and recorded with Alice Cooper in the 1980’s. He has since co-written for and collaborated with a number of other recording artists, as well as embarked on an instrumental solo career. On his latest album, In the Company of Clouds, the intriguing and hypnotic lure of melodic fretless bass is Erik’s key instrument, accompanied throughout by keyboards, percussion and mandolin, as well as other innovative sound effects. Comprised of nine tracks total, In the Company of Clouds additionally features an amazing lineup of guest musicians and vocalists, including John Pirruccello who lends steel guitar to all of the compositions.

“Nine Lives” immediately lifts the spirits with its beautiful sound collage of melodic bass, tribal percussion and soulful wordless vocals. They collectively lend the piece a notable African flavor, effectively bringing to mind that of sailing down the Congo River on a breezy sunny day. The equally mesmerizing “Seven Veils” continues in this mode, as it’s similarly guided along by exotic percussion, dreamy synthesizers and sitar scattered throughout. Soulful wordless vocals intoning soothing “ooohs” return for “Women of Avalon”, another lovely piece that features Steve Hunter on guitar, as John Mader lends congas and cymbals. Warm and enveloping throughout, this piece seems to convey a celebration of the distant past. Another notable highlight, “Breathing Room”, features Jeff Pearce on ambient electric guitar. Here, Erik perfectly injects plenty of ‘breathing space’ between the notes, as Jeff’s guitars ethereally float across a seemingly liquid and nocturnal soundscape. “Victory”, featuring Kevin Haynes on drums, is perhaps the brightest piece on the album and characterized by a comforting, peaceful elation. It’s followed by “Open Door”, which likewise welcomes all of the now familiar instrumental elements – sans the percussion – along with a touch of piano courtesy of Chris Cameron. Closing out the album is the notably warm and leisurely “The Long View”, which additionally features Rick Barnes on acoustic guitar.

Seemingly taking its listener on a magical sailing journey, notes and chords often bend and sway in suspension throughout these melodically structured yet often liquid-like compositions. Exuding an overall mood and atmosphere that reminds me at times of works by Mike Oldfield, Pink Floyd and James Hood’s Moodswings project, In the Company of Clouds is an enthusiastically recommended album of impeccably beautiful ambient instrumental fusion!

Steve Sheppard (www.oneworldmusic.co.uk

Review from One World Music Radio
Erik has been on hard journey through a tough battle with his health, but this journey has allowed him to discover more about his inner workings and the kindness of others, creative instincts in great adversity may be dimmed for a while, but in arduous circumstance, creativity is one major tool in the recovery of a person.
On this release Erik has really touched bass (no pun intended) with his musical soul and has kicked on a whole 10 yards after the release of his last offering Spirits. That on its own was an impressive album, but this is another notch up the ladder of sublime brilliance.
Listen to the opener called Nine Lives and I am sure you will agree, there is a freshness, and a vibrancy that really captures us early on. Scott’s ability on bass has never been in question, but this is such a powerful and empowering start to the release. The inclusion of added vocalisations from Larry Batiste, Sandy Griffith and Bryan Dyer was also a stroke of ambient genius.
I must say track two was one of my favourites; it’s called Seven Veils and has a sensuous percussive beat to drive it along with Scott’s wonderfully deep bass. This is a piece that has a cinematic quality to its structure and also contains a little world music ethic in there as well.
There is something within Erik’s work that reminds me of the Uk’s Phil Thornton, both play fretless bass, both come from rock backgrounds and at a similar age also, and both are now new age musicians of the highest standing.
On Women of Avalon he includes the talents of Steve Hunter on guitar and gifts us a piece that reminds me of the country of my birth, as Avalon, or Glastonbury, was one of the last places I visited, before leaving the country. The backing vocals from the new team of Renee Robinson, Shawn Christopher and Yvonne Cage were imperious, but a special note must go to master percussionist, John Madder for his work on this track, this is one very magical composition arranged brilliantly by the artist.
Thrilled at this journey, we can continue dear reader and listener, deeper into the release, and as we do so we come across an offering called Breathing Room, this piece contains some marvellous guitar from a name we know well here at OWMR, Jeff Pearce, however please take note of Scott’s basson this track, its textures and layers are simply delightful. Scott reminds me of Clapton, but on bass, he just has to touch the guitar to make it sing, this is one VERY smooth song.
Victory starts with a light emphasis on tone and soon builds with a gentle crescendo into a very memorable composition with an addictive melody, attach that with the driving percussive tempo and you pretty much have the perfect instrumental composition, a tip of the hat to Kevin Haynes on drums. As a lyricist, I would venture to be so bold, that if words could be constructed to this piece, it could be a single or even an anthem.
As we move into the latter half of the album we come across a melodic offering called Open Door, which features a stylish performance by Chris Cameron on piano. This is certainly a dramatic piece and one that is narrated well by Scott’s driving bass lines. The combination of keyboards and added instrumentation does give this track a lush aged feel to the song, which is so very appealing and moves us seamlessly into the next piece called First Cup.
The quality of production is awesome and First Cup, a short form composition at just under three minutes has a beautiful symbiotic combination of both guitar and bass that creates something very colourful to enjoy.
Waves, is a moment of ambient bliss, I have listened to this a few times and it conjures up pictures in my mind’s eye. Fortunately at the bottom of my road the winter ocean and its waves crash up onto the shore and a multi coloured rainbow shines its every loving light down on us all. This is one superb piece of music, it has a little rock ethic deep within the weave, the guitar of Phil Miller echoes in the distance, here is a track that will take you back to the early 70’s and back again, simply brilliant.
Our last piece to enjoy dear reader is called The Long View, and also features Rick Barnes on acoustic guitar. Scott is back on familiar territory here and takes us to the end of this latest project with a fine example of smooth and easy musicianship, with the stylish hand of a magician who really knows his musical soul.
In the Company of Clouds is a really class album that oozes clarity and quality. Erik Scott has not only stepped up to the plate, he has crisply created something quite magnificent, and knocked the preverbal musical ball out of the park, a fresh empowered energy, a lightness of spirit, Scott is back with a bang, this is seriously one album you would be completely crazy to miss out on, contemporary instrumental music at its very best.