(CMS / Incredisongs)


Back in the ‘80s I produced a CD from a Swedish guitarist called Lasse England for my then fledgling record label Breakthru' Records. Called Anchor, this early CD release from 1987 was an acclaimed New Age instrumental music hit on radio and in print. Now, 20+ years later, in 2009, England born / Nashville based guitarist Michael Spriggs has recorded an album, called Neurasenia that from my perspective is a kindred spirit to Anchor. Like that recording, Michael's record is a soothing sonic tapestry with excellent state of the art recording sound. Back in 1987, New Age as it came to be defined by some smart alec record company guy no doubt, was all the rage as instrumental music stepped into it’s role, especially seeing as the CD had just conquered the audio industry. Of course, now we have downloads and a country of online records stores, less preferable in my opinion to actual CDs, although thankfully many musicians still see the purpose of CD and some, especially the kids who missed it the first time around are even going back to vinyl after all these years! On his 2009 CD, Neurasenia, guitarist extraordinaire Michael Spriggs fully explores the realms of New Age and assorted acoustic guitar instrumentals as well as an elegant, meditative form of modern neoclassical guitar playing in places. With a low key electronica backdrop—and the tasteful accompaniement of Jonathan Yudkin (violin, mandolin, viola, cello), Spady Brannen (bass) and Tommy Harden (percussion)—Spriggs brings his meditative guitar sound into focus. A brilliant musical statment, Neurasenia serves as a great follow up to Michael’s critically acclaimed 2001 album Without Words. In the CD liner notes, Spriggs describes the title of the album adding, ‘Neurasenia is the sum total of all that we are as human beings. It is the essence of our life force from the moment of our birth to this very second. Simply put it is our being-ness.’ Overall, that description seems very well suited for the meditative essence of the Neurasenia album. Since relocating to Nashville from Buffalo, N.Y.—where he grew up and started his career playing in rock groups at age 14—Spriggs has done sessions with some of the best of Nashville’s country and pop music. An album that owes more to the Windham Hill sound of the ‘80s New Age and 'Quiet Storm' formats than to Country music per se, Neurasenia will mostly appeal to guitar fans and music fans who enjoy Chet Atkins as well as Will Ackerman and Lasse Englund for that matter! That rare musical element contained within the grooves of Neurasenia is exactly what makes Spriggs such a vital force in the guitar world today. www.MichaelSpriggs.com


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