New vinyl pressing: HILL SPIRITS are an energetic folk quintet from the fabled hills of southern Ohio. While at some points boisterously uplifting and at other times stirringly mystical, Hill Spirits have become known for their passionate live energy and wholesale love for lifting their voices in song together. Based in Athens, Ohio, the group has forged deep musical bonds over the course of a decade in a multitude of musical projects ranging in sound from psychedelic rock to acoustic to neo-soul, eventually finding home in the Appalachian folk modes of their forebearers. In the course of their work diving into the revival of both Americana and old-world folk styles, Hill Spirits seem to have found a way to communicate with other realms, creating spaces during performances that summon restless spirits to join in a spirit-dance.
Hill Spirits’ self-titled debut album is a showcase of the kind of original songs that set them apart from the contemporary folk scene. Drawing on the inspiration of characters from fable and American folk history, the album visits a grown-up gun-blazing Red Riding Hood in the bawdy “Red Rider” and an indentured Irish-American Civil War soldier in the heart-wrenching “Giving Hand”. An energized fiddle wails and reigns supreme in sentimental “Cold Frosty Mornin” and thunderous “Elzics Farewell”, and a sultry rhythmic swagger takes the reins in “Out with the Gaslamps”.
Hill Spirits are Kyle Lyons (Knux) on banjo, Eric (the Reverend) Osborne on fiddle, George Joseph van Fossen (Old Dutch) on upright bass, Benjamin Stewart (O’Burteen) on guitar and mandolin, and Brother Hill on lead vocals, guitar, and Irish bodhran.
In addition to the new album, be sure to check out the Hill Spirits Gin available from West End Distillery in Athens, Ohio (if that’s your tipple). Hill Spirits was the first band we have worked with to pick up their own records via a private airplane – kudos!