Released: September 2006
Official web site:
ASIN (Amazon): B000J3Q3BI
Total length: 12 tracks / 59:09
Catalog #: MSR-061
SpiritGrass was named a finalist (top 10) in the Instrumental category of the 2007 International Acoustic Music Awards (IAMA). The IAMA had 3,972 entries from 81 different countries. Apart from Folk and Bluegrass music, Blues, Flamenco, Jazz, Celtic, Japanese, Tibetian, American Indian, East Indian, Chinese and Australian Aboringinal music were represented.
SpiritGrass is a unique collaboration between the renowned jazz and bluegrass artist Eric Miller and world instrument troubadour Clint Goss.
Eric and Clint connected at a chance "in the moment" improvisation at a performance in the summer of 2005. They combined Mandolin with a Slovakian Koncovka flute. The music that emerged, as well as the standing ovation, told them they were on to something. So they began exploring combinations of instruments and motifs, expanding bluegrass traditions in new directions.
The SpiritGrass CD is a fusion of progressive bluegrass styles with world music. It draws on Eric's ripping mandolin, mandola, guitar, and electric bass work combined with Clint's skill on an expansive array of instruments including African Tongue Drums, Udus, Kalimbas, Swiss Hangs, Indian Tamboura, and flutes from Native American, African, Hawaiian, Middle Eastern, and Eastern European cultures. The feel ranges from melodic and meditative to upbeat and foot-stomping.
While Clint and Eric form the core of SpiritGrass, they have brought in "friends and family" to round out the CD. Various tracks include David Darling on cello, Lynn Miller on vocals, and Randy Brody and Vera Shanov on percussion.
An improvisational jaunt through World Bluegrass and exotic instruments with the highest caliber musicians. Clint Goss and Eric Miller's musical conversations on this CD are one's of trust and respect. It shows. From Coal Tatoo to McMiller and O'Goss the toe-tapping George Harrison influenced Guitar, Mandolin and Mandola of Miller balances perfectly with the World Flutes and exotic percussion of Goss.
Both are accomplished at what they do, but not so much they don't forget to have a load of fun. You will too. Highlights are Native Blues, a no apologies simply rocking groove! Ananda, Lone Wolf Cub and Beyond Words are stunning beauties with Hang drum and vocals. These are musicians at the level of the best jazz, bluegrass or native flute contemporaries and this CD, Spirit Grass, should not be missed.
-- Randy Granger, www.RandyGranger.net
The SpiritGrass CD is a wonderful fusion of bluegrass and world musical styles. The work is original, compelling, well composed and recorded. Just when you think you have heard every conceivable way that a Native American Flute can be used musically, along comes this wonderful offering.
-- Dan Ricketts, Voice of the Wind, www.WorldFlutes.org
I recently had the pleasure of receiving and listening to your fabulously fantastic SpiritGrass CD! I LOVE every single moment of it. It is so innovative and sophisticated in its musicality, very stylized, yet clear and easy to access. I have SpiritGrass in my studio and listen to it constantly, while working. I also listen to it in the bathtub, and play it for guests.
-- Victoria O'Neill, www.ArtyPantz.com
A delightful voyage through a wide range of musical styles and genres, SpiritGrass is definitely a journey worth taking. Mixing virtuoso David Grisman-like Newgrass, Native American stylings, a touch of Africa and the Middle East, Asian sounds, straight-up bluegrass and rockin' blues, along with ethereal vocals on some tracks, SpiritGrass presents a very winning blend.
Between the wide range of different regional flute sounds and exotic percussion instruments, percolating along with mostly acoustic guitar and mandolin, this is New Age music of a unique stripe. Goss, Miller, and their associates are to be commended for coming up with such a delightful gumbo. There's such a wide range of feelings on display here - spooky, reflective, mysterious, heartfelt - and such a sense of musical adventure: every track is like a whole new experience. SpiritGrass features some extremely talented musicianship and a very clean sound. It will definitely appeal to a wide range of musical tastes, and especially to folks whose own taste is eclectic and inclusive.
It's great stuff, and I look forward to hearing more fascinating music from Clint Goss and Eric Miller!
-- Michael S. Goldfarb
Creative interaction between bluegrass, jazz, and ethnic music. Lots for the aficionado in high-energy pairing.
-- Jon Collins, iTunes Review.
AMAZING! Unique and Soulful Music from SPIRITGRASS!
I LOVE THIS CD! It stayed put in my car's player for the first month I had it. From the first notes it drew me into a world of gorgeous wind instruments, grooving percussion, and killer bluegrass jamming. Who would have thought that a Slovakian shepherd's flute could get along with a mandolin? Proof of that relationship can be found in the title track "Spiritgrass". Goss and Miller compose and improvise on an impressive array of world instruments to create a fusion of styles and sounds that I've never heard anywhere else. Clint Goss has liberated the Native American from its stereotypical role as "only meditative". Listen to the driving intensity of his soloing on the track "Native Blues" -- then listen to the tender sounds he makes his flutes sing on "Lone Wolf Club". It moved me to stop, pull over and just listen. Eric Miller digs deep with his soulful playing on "One from the Heart" and "Hamadulas" -- this is a player who makes every note count. When two musicians who listen to each other this well are brought together, what you get is a sum that is so much more than the parts. Check out the first track "Coal Tattoo" … Miller simply rips it up (!) while Goss soars in and out of the melody on his flutes. (I have to add that the CD's liner notes have a beautiful picture of about twenty flutes of all sizes & designs!) The guest appearances by Lynn Miller and Master Cellist David Darling on "Ananda" are another example of musicians listening deeply to and trusting each other … this track moved me to tears. Luckily … I was safely parked in my driveway.
-- Stuart E. Fuchs, Buffalo, NY, January 28, 2007
The listener will travel through many countries and musical styles with each re-playing. Equate this experience with tasting foods from many lands in one sitting! Folk and country styles are uniquely blended with blues and many other up-beat branches of music types. Throughout the CD, expert guitar/string work is amazingly and comfortably meshed with a wide range of instruments - masterfully highlighting world flutes and percussion. This belongs in your collection for frequent enjoyment!
-- Stuart Hill, Review on CD Baby
It’s in my alarm clock CD radio – most days I wake up to SpiritGrass and it sets the tone for the day – ready for anything – this music is bold yet reassuring, quiet but engaging – the interactions between Clint and Eric blur many boundaries, yet has a definite home where everyone is welcome and encouraged to share in the experience.-- emma_cat, iTunes Review