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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
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Other reviews from The Sounding Board by R J Lannan:
  Spirits by Erik Scott, reviewed by RJ Lannan on 4/4/2015
  Sacred Spaces by Peter Phippen, reviewed by RJ Lannan on 4/4/2015
  A Cold Wind Blows by Debra Lyn, reviewed by RJ Lannan on 3/26/2015
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By Erik Scott
Label: Self Released
Spirits tracks
1. Peace on Saturn
2. Other Planets
3. Free (Instrumental)
4. Donnie and Sancho
5. Weightless
6. Run (Instrumental)
7. Foggy Bridges
8. Yesterday
9. Proper Son
10. Battle for Neverland (Re-Mix)
11. The White Mouse
12. And the Earth Bleeds (Instrumental)
13. Encore...Gypsy Mother and the Royal Bastard
Bass of Many Colors
You have to reach far back into the early seventies and eighties to hear where Erik Scott began his illustrious career. Playing with Flo & Eddie and Alice Cooper and writing Grammy Award Winning songs was just the beginning for this multi-talented bass player. When you examine a list of all the rock performers he has collaborated with and all the film scores he has appeared on, you wonder how he ever made the intrepid journey on the road to contemporary music, with a side trip to some related genres. Well, at least I wonder. I can count the number of albums I have heard that had a lead bass on it on one finger. Nevertheless, here he is and his music is challenging and melodic. There is more than bass playing on this 13-track album. There are songs of hope, there are story songs and there are songs that celebrate the happiness of life, all with the accompaniment of wondrous spirits.

Like a world-class cello player, Scott has taught his bass many voices and they manifest themselves brilliantly on Spirits, his third album to date. Eleven additional guest artists are on Spirits and they help to achieve an album rich in timber and fullness of sound that goes way beyond your typical three guys and drummer rock band mentality.

It was an excursion of 1.4 billion miles, but Erik traveled courageously to a place that promised harmony and peace. The opening song Peace on Saturn is the musical record of that trip and from what I hear, it was an amazing journey (think Tommy). The sliding guitar, courtesy of John Pirrucello, fashioned waves of sorts for a vast ocean of sound, the bass was the ship, and luckily. Erik found what he was looking for.

Free is my favorite on the album. It has a sound of something far away that beckons you, and finally lets you discover it. It has a sense of openness, a place where you think you can see the boundaries, but you can never travel far enough, nor fast enough to touch them. Kudos to veille violinist Shira Kammen whose antique instrument adds a bittersweet flavor to the tune.

The bass is a doleful companion to two stalwart adventurers namely, Donni & Sancho. The tune has a moderate flow and exhibits a Spanish attitude that is both melodic and complex. The music embodies the spirit of one of the most memorable quests in written history and no amount of tilting at windmills will allow us to forget he stood for chivalry so passionately if only in his own mind.

I would not have expected a song with a Celtic feeling, but the Run unquestionably qualified as the penny whistle and flute took turns teasing the forest and the sun played peek-a-boo with the clouds. The sense is light hearted and fun. No grumps allowed here.

In the tune The White Mouse the mouse is undoubtedly a city mouse. He travels unseen through the maze of his world along streets, in the shadows and with the cover of darkness. There is nothing ominous here, just that the little mouse is ever searching for new friends and new adventures. This song had a video game feel, sometimes dramatic, other times nimble, but fun at all times.

Spirits features a couple of songs that are from Erik's previous works, namely The Earth Bleeds and Gypsy Mother and the Royal Bastard. As in all of the tunes, I am amazed and encouraged that the bass guitar, while obvious, does not demand the title of lead instrument for sake of the song. On the other hand, Erik’s music allows us to accept the bass as guide and confidant. There are many kinds of spirits, but in this case, every song had a sense of a familiar, something unseen, but undeniably present. The idea of a spirit in our daily lives is a constant. How else can you explain the unexplainable? Erik Scott does a remarkable job, musically of demonstrating that you can believe in something greater than yourself.
Rating: Very Good   Very Good
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 4/4/2015
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