Celebrating a prolific decade as one of new age music’s most acclaimed and innovative artists and performers, Erik Scott follows his chart-topping, two time Zone Music Reporter (ZMR) Award-winning 2016 album In the Company of Clouds with a fresh, soulfully exotic new collection whose provocative title, A Trick of the Wind, reflects another aspect of the powerful natural forces around us.
Press release by Beth A. Hilton – The B Company
On June 8, Scott released “Wings” as the new album’s lead single. With its trippy ambiances, inviting hypnosis, consciousness transporting electric sitar, intensifying percussion and soaring tribal vocal chanting textures, it’s the perfect entry point to the multi-faceted musical journey of A Trick of the Wind, releasing today on all major music sales and streaming sites including Amazon, iTunes, Pandora and Spotify.
Music reviewer Bill Binkelman (Wind and Wire/ZMR) wrote “The latest album from Erik Scott, A Trick of the Wind, reveals from the get-go what makes this artist’s work so fascinating to delve into and explore at length…Blending genres and influences…this new work presents a notable evolution in Scott’s music.”
Written and produced by Scott, the expansive nine-track set features the multi-talented musician complementing his rhythmic foundation of fretless and fretted basses with eBow bass, electric piano, organ, synthesizer, sitar, percussion programs, bass generated effects and vocals. Guest artists include John Pirruccello, Celso Alberti (drum loops, acoustic drums & percussion), John Luttrell (electric guitar), Andy Mitran (percussion), Jeff Pearce (guitar synth) and Jeff Oster (trumpet, flugelhorn).
“Wings” and the moody and sensual, gospel, country and global music influenced “Solooca” feature the lush vocal harmonies of Larry Batiste, Bryan Dyer and Sandy Griffith. Griffith also adds a distinctly human texture via her beautiful wordless vocals to two other songs – the haunting, ethereal “Ghosts of Storyville,” whose emotional core finds Scott’s deep bass melody vibing powerfully with Oster’s lush horn lines; and the atmospheric, gently languid, steel guitar/bass driven ballad “The Invisible Wand.” Other key tracks are the spacey, electronica-influenced (and perfectly titled) “The Wind Sings a Strange Song”; a sacred invitation to rise on “A Wing and a Prayer” via Scott’s dramatic church organ and elegant piano melody; and “Born Dreaming,” another slow simmering, sitar caressed meditation. The centerpiece of the album is its ambient, consciousness expanding title track, which creates a symphony of exotic and otherworldly effects around his core bass melody and percussion groove.
Lorraine Devon Wilke of Rock+Paper+Music said “There is a transportive dreaminess to Erik Scott’s new album, A Trick of the Wind, an aural experience that comes in slow, evocative waves of sound and emotion that can’t help but leave one moved. Gorgeous.”
Scott’s “musical voyages,” as he calls them, are grounded in fretless bass melodies wrapped in steel guitar, synthesizer ghostings and off-world bass generated sound effects. “But I always add something fresh,” he says, “so I learned to play an electric sitar and pipe organ synth for this one. I also wanted to incorporate more exotic subtle rhythms, lower flame moody grooves, using percussion sounds that are available through creative electronics. Another important element is my love for painting with gospel type vocal harmonies, using them as another instrument, and then playing counter melodies to these vocal melodies, very often in the upper registers of my basses, fretted and fretless, in a call and response pattern.”
In 2017, the veteran bassist, composer and producer won ZMR Awards for Album of the Year and Best Contemporary Instrumental Album. In The Company of Clouds also reached #1 on the ZMR Global Airplay Chart twice and hit the pole position on the nationally syndicated radio show ECHOES.
New age and ambient fans have been on board with the independent artist’s ever-evolving sonic landscapes since Other Planets. In choosing it as CD of the month in February 2009, John Diliberto of ECHOES declared, “To say that his solo debut, Other Planets, is a bass guitar album is to miss what a powerful, cinematic release he’s created. It’s an album that’s more Pink Floyd than Jaco Pastorius.” Bass Musician Magazine named it one of their favorite discs of 2008.
Scott’s solo discography also includes 2014’s And The Earth Bleeds, a fusion of world music, jazz and other influences on which he plays both the instruments and sings, including the song “Free” inspired by Scottish freedom fighters and the legacy of William Wallace. Scott, a descendant of the Bruce Clan, wrote the piece after visiting the Scottish Highlands in 2013. A sweeping instrumental version of “Free” is also included on Spirits (2014), a remix album that features favored tracks from his first two albums.
Earlier in his career, Scott recorded and toured with Flo & Eddie (the main voices of The Turtles) and Alice Cooper, for whom he also produced. In the 1990s, he was one of the founding members of Sonia Dada, a Chicago-based rock/soul/R&B band which reached #1 on the Australian music charts with their self-titled debut album. Scott was also the co-writer of “Father, Father,” the title track for the album by gospel/R&B legend Pop Staples’ album that won a GRAMMY(R) Award in 1994 for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Other artists Scott has worked with include Mavis Staples, Carl Palmer, and Kim Carnes. He also wrote and recorded music for a variety of hit TV shows and films, including “National Lampoon’s Vacation” and its sequels.
“At this point in my life, I make music for the same reason I did 50 years ago,” Scott says. “I make it because I have something to say, and I don’t have the words. I believe the music certainly mirrors the moods of its maker, so I guess this is how I’m feeling. My hope is that if I can get the music just right, it will paint like a picture, and be worth a thousand words.”