Track Premiere: Spores on Grass from Miles Gannett

From Baltimore, by way of Louisiana, comes singer/songwriter Miles Gannett, whose debut solo project, Meridian, is due this Friday.

Gannett is a tough artist to peg, as his original songs are as likely to be arranged for a bluegrass band as given an acid rock treatment. Folks in the Charm City are familiar with his work with Fractal Cat, a band he launched in 2011, which has been popular in Baltimore’s indie scene ever since. Miles began hanging with the region’s progressive grassers like Frank Solivan and members of Seldom Scene, and refined his interest and skill in that direction.

Meridian is likewise on the genre-bending side, but strongly leaning toward bluegrass and country. Some tracks include pedal steel and drums, but on this one we are sharing today, it’s a bluegrass vibe.

Spores on Grass examines a topic rarely explored in bluegrass songs… psychedelic drugs.

Miles explains how this tongue-in-cheek number came to be written.

“It has been theorized that the spiritual catalyst of the Eleusinian Mysteries of Ancient Greece was a psychedelic beer made from grains containing the fruiting bodies of the hallucinogenic ergot fungus, the same fungus from which Albert Hoffmann much later synthesized LSD. Various other events in history involving mass hallucinations and religious geneses have been attributed (or proposed to be attributed) to ergot and other psychedelic fungi and plants.

The musical inspiration for this song is a synthesis of HankWilliams’ I Saw the Light and The Clancy Brothers’ whiskey songs. I wanted to write an irreverent, psychedelic gospel bluegrass song that both celebrated psychedelics in history, and poked fun at ‘stoned ape’ historians who are quick to attribute every significant development in the evolution of human consciousness and spirituality to psychedelic drugs.

This song is special to me because it features Fred Travers and Ron Stewart of Seldom Scene, the band that originally got me into bluegrass!”


Meridian will be available on April 16 wherever you stream or download music online. Pre-orders and pre-saves can be made now online.

Share this:

About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.