Spirit of the West
RELEASED ON JULY 6, 2004
This CD is a recent release on the Maplenationwide label. "Spirit of the West has released 12 albums, including four gold and two platinum recordings, plus hits like Home for a Rest and The Crawl. The group consists of John Mann, guitarist/vocalist; Geoffrey Kelly, flutist/guitarist; Hugh McMillan, guitarist; Tobin 'The Gull' Frank, bass guitarist/pianist/organist/accordion player and drummer Vince Ditrich. The band has just finished recording Star Trails, its first studio recording in several years. 'We've been on a low simmer for about four years', explained Ditrich. 'We did a huge number of albums with record labels, fulfilled our contract by doing a greatest hits album then we went off and did some solo albums.' He said this time, band members are all writing together and have made a conscious effort to make the album sound less slick. 'Through the years, we've realized we've made some recordings that were pretty nice productions but didn't bear a strict resemblance to our live performance', noted Ditrich. 'Live performances have been the main thrust for us through the years. We've always been a sweat band -- sweat, blood and tears. We've tried to capture a bit more of that on this album.' He added the album shows the band's versatility. 'We've got folk, Celtic traditional, punk, alternative, grunge, jazz, rock and roll', said Ditrich. 'As individuals, you wouldn't believe the breadth of our musical interest and experience. It's quite remarkable. We're borrowing from all those things we've experienced in our musical careers and are bringing it together for this.'