From Country to Cosmic: Michael Spriggs’ Neurasenia-Echoes December CD of the Month

A country picker finds his ambient soul with Michael Spriggs’ Neurasenia:
Echoes December CD of the Month

You can hear an Audio version of this Blog with Michael Spriggs’ music.

Hot guitar pickers hang around Nashville like grapes dangling from the vineyards of Napa Valley.  Michael Spriggs is one of those grapes.  He’s played on sessions with Dolly Parton and  Faith Hill, written tunes for Kenny Rogers and Tammy Wynette, and played for much of the 1970s with Eddie Rabbit. He’s been a Nashville session guitarist and songwriter since 1971, but in the 90’s he began exploring his own sound and ten years ago he released the album, Without Words.

Michael Sprigg’s music is a long way from country.  He says that exploring his own sound isn’t the same as writing a Nashville tune like “Twenty Years Ago.”

Michael Spriggs:  Completely different.  That’s sitting in a room with two other people, or three other people and going, “OK, here’s our title.  Here’s our melody.  Let’s make sure we don’t get too far away from 16th Avenue or Music City here,” you know.

Instead, Spriggs sits alone with his acoustic guitar and starts spinning dreamy landscapes awash in melody.  Even though he’s inspired by the electronic landscapes of Steve Roach, Spriggs still has a pop composers sense of form. And there’s always a bit of country twang in his playing.

Michael Spriggs:  I guess this education that I’ve had in the studio in Nashville for the first 35 years of my serious career has kind of rubbed off into that music, hasn’t it?

Michael Spriggs’ latest album is called Neurasenia.  Don’t bother looking up the name, a Google search only yields references to Michael’s album and a Spanish book called Visions of Neurasenia.   Spriggs says he got the word from his doctor.

Michael Spriggs:  He said,“This is part of your neurasenia.”  And I go, “What is that word?” And he goes, “It’s the sum total of everything that you are.  Your neurasenia…think of it this way:  It’s your brain’s hard drive.”  And I go, “Well, that’s pretty darn interesting.  Why don’t I just use that?”  And it did come from a doctor, so I’m assuming that it is a real word.  I certainly didn’t make it up.

He did make up some beautiful music though.  Neurasenia by Michael Spriggs is the Echoes CD of the Month for December and I’ll feature it on Monday’s show 12/7/09. This has been an Echo Location, Soundings for New Music.

You can read a complete review of Neurasenia.

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

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