Various Artists | The Spirit Shines Through

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The Spirit Shines Through

by Various Artists

(Two) unreleased songs and some covers of the music of Josh Clayton-Felt, a founder of School of Fish (Three Strange Days) and later a solo artist (his final album was spirit Touches Ground)
Genre: Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Backwards World
4:02 $0.99
2. Time
Andras Jones
4:14 $0.99
3. Soon Enough
Renee Faia
3:32 $0.99
4. Dead American
Ian Baird
5:21 $0.99
5. Goodbye Green World
Josh Clayton-Felt & Michael Ward
3:31 $0.99
6. Who Am I Today (feat. Michael Ward)
Josh Clayton-Felt
3:48 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Produced and mastered by Ian Baird for Arjuna Sound
Project Manager Connie Naqvi

All proceeds from this album go to The Descendants of the Earth, a non-profit group that maintains and celebrates Native American beliefs. This was Josh's spiritual home.

(Excerpt from a review of Josh Clayton-Felt's posthumous album 'Spirit Touches Ground' by Patrick Schabe in PopMatters)

The album opens with the first single, "Building Atlantis", that has already popped up on radio stations as a reminder of Clayton-Felt's talent for writing soulful jangle-pop. Filled with upbeat acoustic guitar, playful electric riffs, a rich bass, crafty organs, lovely melodies and enough "oohs" and "ahhs" to satisfy any pop purist, the song's pristine optimism is an excellent insight into the spirit (no pun intended) that infused Josh's life. The pop/rock continues on "Diamond in Heart", as fine a tune as anything he's written since "King of the Dollar" and "Rose Colored Glasses", and showcasing his virtuosity with tight, rocking guitar lines.
For all of its pop-rock tendencies, the heavy doses of funk really stand out on Spirit Touches Ground. Inarticulate Nature Boy stood out from Clayton-Felt's previous work for its greater focus on funk guitars and bass lines, and it's a theme that continues on this album. "Invisible Tree", "Love Sweet Love", "Kid on the Train", and "Spirit Touches Ground" all fuse a bluesy rock with some extremely funky hooks in a style that straddles an intersection between the two, while also retaining distinct pop elements. "Kid on a Train" has such a deep groove that it almost dares you to get the hooky chorus out of your head. "Night of a Thousand Girls" even merges this funk element with a vaguely Middle Eastern sound that sounds like a hip kasbah.
Of course, Josh Clayton-Felt was also particularly noted for his more ballad-oriented material. If you've ever had the pleasure of listening to the gorgeous acoustic melodies of "Fell", then you already understand. Spirit Touches Ground delivers these songs in spades. From the more ornate tunes like "Backwards World" and "Too Cool for This World" to the simpler tracks like "Already Gone" and "Waiting to Be", Clayton-Felt's sensitive side is on wonderful display here. Alternately peppered with horns, chiming piano, or lush string arrangements, Josh and his warm voice stay at the forefront of these songs, conveying messages of passion, love and insight without shame.
Lyrically, Spirit Touches Ground covers the areas of life that had always been Clayton- Felt's primary interests. His songs have almost always been about soul-searching and self-discovery, delivered in such a wide-eyed manner that you couldn't help but accept them as genuine. The same holds true here. Whether it's the spirituality of "Invisible Tree" or the examination of loneliness in "Half Life" or "Deer in the Headlights", Clayton-Felt invites the listener to make a connection and explore the ideas for themselves, even when the song seems confessional. There's a simplicity and an honesty that immediately pervades these messages, but upon further reflection they reveal their depth and cleverness as well.
Of course, as with any album released after an artist's death, there is a tendency to examine the lyrics for prescient signs of imminent demise. On Spirit Touches Ground the songs are ripe for such speculation. "Too Cool for This World" could easily be read as a premonition, and "Already Gone"'s central lyric of "And I / Never thought I'd leave you / But I don't belong / Seems right / I will always love you / So don't get me wrong / But I'm already gone" is just plain eerie. But as the liner notes of the album state, "You can hear an intriguing second layer of meaning, the sense of moving on to a truer world, in many of the lyrics, and titles, . . . Yet Josh did not know he was going to leave us. He did not even know that he was very ill. He simply felt compelled to finish the music the way he wanted it to be". Putting aside the sense of synchronous timing, it's simply a blessing that he was able to complete the work on Spirit Touches Ground as both his own monument and as a final gift to music.
2 of 3 9/21/08 3:22 PM
Josh Clayton-Felt: Spirit Touches Ground - PopMatters Music ...
For all that, however, it's the final track, "Dragon Fly", that makes Spirit Touches Ground as close to transcendent as an album can be. An incredible song in music, lyric, scope and dimension, "Dragon Fly" is the final statement that Josh may ever make in album form and it sums up his life and vision as keenly as any single song could. All about finding the passage into the sublime in whatever form you can, when Josh sings, "It's gonna be different this time / They can't stop your believing / You cut a hole in your wall last night / And found a window worth keeping", you truly feel like he found that window in the end. Fans have already picked up on this song as the truest tribute to Clayton-Felt, and it's a powerful experience to hear. As the song fades out to a nighttime chorus of crickets and clicking dragonflies, a sense of closure and peace remains. Rather than dwell on the sadness of loss, "Dragon Fly" asks us to focus instead on the beauty of remaining and celebrate Josh Clayton-Felt rather than mourn him.
If all this seems like so much hyperbole, perhaps its because I counted myself among his fans long before knowing the full story of his passing. Perhaps I just wanted to give thanks for his musical companionship in a fitting tribute. But if any of this story has piqued your interest, I ask you to check out Josh Clayton-Felt's website ( and discover him for yourself. The site alone is inspiring for how much devotion was poured into commemorating the man by making Spirit Touches Ground become a reality, plus you'll be able to check out some of the songs yourself. Perhaps, if it appeals to you, you'll open yourself up to let Josh Clayton-Felt's spirit touch ground in you.



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