CD submissions accepted! Guest writers always welcome!!

I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


Please email me at Info@Bmansbluesreport.com
Showing posts with label Eric Johnson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eric Johnson. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Eric Johnson Hits The Road To Support First All Acoustic Solo Album: EJ

Run Begins In Johnson’s Home Town Of Austin, Texas on January 15

Austin, TX – Eric Johnson will hit the road next month in support of his first acoustic solo album titled EJ.  Thirty years after his breakthrough solo release 'Tones' brought him national recognition, the new release showcases nine original compositions and four covers.  Johnson shares, "Ever since I was young, I've played piano and acoustic guitar in my private life.  This type of music has always been a part of me, but I never showcased it on any kind of bigger level, like a full acoustic record. With EJ, I just decided to be more honest with myself and everybody, and show more of my personal side."  

Johnson, long known for his painstaking approach to making records, used a much more immediate attack for the self-produced EJ. "Almost all of that material was cut live," Johnson explains. "Some of the songs I actually sang and played at the same time - just live in the studio. Recording this way gave it more of an honest realism and organic emotion. Especially on the acoustic, you just have to get in there and play."

On the original compositions "Wonder," "Fatherly Downs," and "All Things You Are," Johnson frames his voice with his prized 1980 Martin D-45, a gift from his late father. He plays the steel-string on his superlative instrumentals "Once Upon a Time in Texas," "All Things You Are," and "Song for Irene." He conjures the beautiful, pensive tones of "Serinidad," another original instrumental, on a Ramirez nylon-string guitar. A spirited steel-string arrangement of Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" rounds out the solo guitar tracks.

Johnson recasts another Simon and Garfunkel favorite, "Scarborough Fair," for voice and piano, and plays piano on the originals "Water Under the Bridge," "November," and "Wrapped in a Cloud," an ensemble track with acoustic bass, cello, drums, and percussion. In a move that's sure to surprise his fans, Johnson rearranged Jimi Hendrix' "One Rainy Wish" for guitar and piano, capping the performance with a jazz-inflected piano solo. Rounding out the record is Johnson and guest guitarist Doyle Dykes' superlative cover of Les Paul and Mary Ford's 1951 classic, "The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise."

Throughout his career, Johnson has approached music as a healing force, a way to enhance a listener's consciousness and conjure joy and inspiration. "That's what I've always appreciated most about other artists," he says. "Some artists inspire us to wake up and get back to the clarity of consciousness. With this record, I'm trying to do that too, because I appreciate it so much in other people."

Confirmed appearances include:
1/15     Austin, TX                                                      Paramount Theatre
1/17     Tucson, AZ                                                     Rialto Theater
1/18     Phoenix, AZ                                                    MIM
1/19     Anaheim & Los Angeles, CA                         NAMM & Grammy Museum Appearances
1/20     Agoura Hills, CA                                            Canyon Club
1/21     Pasadena, CA                                                  Rose Theater
1/22     San Juan Capistrano, CA                                Coach House
1/24     Sacramento, CA                                              Crest Theater
1/25     Oakland, CA                                                   Yoshi’s
1/26     Napa, CA                                                        Blue Note
1/27     Napa, CA                                                        Blue Note
1/28     Napa, CA                                                        Blue Note
1/30     Seattle, WA                                                    Jazz Alley
1/31     Portland, OR                                                   Aladdin Theater
2/01     Spokane, WA                                                  Bing Crosby Theater
2/03     Boise, ID                                                         Egyptian Theater
2/04     Salt Lake City, UT                                          State Room
2/07     Ft. Collins, CO                                                Lincoln Theater
2/08     Denver, CO                                                     Gothic Theater
2/10     Santa Fe, NM                                                  Lensic Theater
2/16     Dallas, TX                                                       House of Blues
2/18     San Antonio, TX                                             Aztec
2/19     Houston, TX                                                   House of Blues
Additional appearances will be announced as confirmed.


Friday, October 28, 2016

Provogue artist: Eric Johnson - ej - New release review

I just had the opportunity to review Eric Johnson's newest release, ej and it's quite special. An all acoustic release with acoustic guitar and piano it is a different side of Johnson. Opening the release is an instrumental cover of Simon and Garfunkel's Mrs. Robinson. Solid and very ornately adorned, a beautiful track. Somber ballad, Wrapped In A Cloud features Johnson of vocal, piano and acoustic guitar with strings. A very nice track outside of what you would traditionally think of with Johnson. Once Upon A Time In Texas is a curious, adventuresome, guitar interlude with a lot of dynamics and almost Spanish accents. Very nice. Jimi Hendrix's One Rainy Wish has the introspective melody of Hendrix with it's complexity but with a totally new twist. Johnson has successfully take it to a new place with new dynamics. Very nice. One of my favorites on the release is the classically structured, Serinidad, with it's chord bases and jazz like lead. Very special indeed. Les Paul's The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise is a super guitar duet with Doyle Dykes and it literally really runs. A fine blend of gypsy styling, country jazz and pure Les Paul style, this track is a shining star. Simon and Garfunkel's Scarborough Fair, gets a more classical styling with piano and solid vocals. One of the best vocal outings on the release. Wrapping the release is Song For Irene, an intricate acoustic piece with cleanly articulated melodic runs. A nice conclusion to an interesting direction for Eric Johnson.

View Bman Blueswriter's profile on LinkedIn

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

 For added exposure - Blues World Wide Group "LIKE" 

  qrcode

“Like” Bman’s Facebook page and get support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Twisted Blues Vol. 1 - Oz Noy - Special Review

Been waiting a while for the opportunity to review this utterly spectacular release. Yes, I know it's been out for some time, but it's terrific and under appreciated. Opening with Twisted Blues, Noy is joined by a who's crew of unbelievable musicians. Oz plays a tele on this first outrageous funky track and is joined by Jeff Beck pal Vinnie Colaluta on drums, Will Lee on Bass, Jerry Z on Organ and John Medeski on organ. This is such a great groove and features spectacular bass, drums and guitar work difficult to describe. On Oh Really, Noy and gang is joined by Alan Toussaint for a little twist of New Orleans. Maintaining incredible musicianship, the band takes you on an incredible trip through the quarter like you've never seen. Noy is relentless on guitar and Colaluta punctuates the day like only he can. Touyssaint plays a really nice classic piano solo snugged up to these musical madmen. Unbelievable! You Are The State has a different line up and a different feel. Featuring Noy on a strat, Anton Fig on drums, Roscoe Beck on bass, Reese Wynans on organ and Eric Johnson on guitar, this track has a ballad feel to it and of course without saying... all instrumental. With warm concentric lead guitar runs at the bottom of the fretboard, Noy takes the listener on a brilliant journey. Whole Tone Blues is written around a SRV lope and coincidentally is backed by Chris Layton on drums. This is a swinging track but not at all complying to any kind of borrowing but sticking to his own style...and with style like this...why not? Wynans steps up with a pretty serious organ solo on this track and the release is really well balanced instrumentally, but it's Noy who is running this carnival! On the classic Sissy Strut, Noy gives us a whole new look at how it's to be heard. Using guitar loops and his tele, Noy creates a sonic wall before the jam. Joined by Fig on drums, Lee on bass, Medeski on organ and Talph MacDonald on tamburin. I do want to comment that most everyone who covers this track on thier own release finds this to be the best track on the release. This is a really good cut, but Noy hits the ball so far on every track that this is pale by comparison to the best. Ripping solid blues guitar riffs and with solid back drumming, this track moves. Light Blue, a Thelonius Monk track, is treated with honest respect and the guitar wizardry is just perfect. Noy creates super effects with reverb and clean tones mixed. Wyans on organ has just the right touch and a pristine melody played by Noy is beautiful. Steroids is a funky R&B style track with a bit of James brown mixed in. An eccentric guitar break in the track keeps it from being an outright dance track... but it is artistic and well done. Colaluta takes some really nice explosive breaks on this track showing why he is such high demand as drummer for the best of the best. Two Centers is a solemn study on musical theme. Noy has such a great sense of musicianship and technique that this track, laid back and easy creates a super punch. The release is completed with Trinkle Tinkle with Noy on Strat, Layton on drums and Beck on Bass. A moving jazz like piece with a cool walking bass line and chasing drums, it is a super soaker to keep you foot tapping and you head bobbin waiting for the next release. In case you haven't already figured it out, I think that this release is terrific! If you haven't already heard it, bought it, seen the band and gone nuts... don't say I didn't warn you!!

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Eric Johnson's UK tour starts at Shepherds Bush Empire on April 3

UK Release Date: Monday 1st April 2013
To coincide with Nationwide UK Tour
Provogue Records (a division of Mascot Label Group) is pleased to announce the UK release of Eric Johnson’s special edition album "Up Close - Another Look" on Monday 1st April. The album coincides with Johnson’s nationwide UK tour which starts at London’s Shepherd Bush Empire on Wednesday 3rd April (tour dates listed below).
Guitarist, songwriter and singer Eric Johnson brings listeners up close to his stunning musicality when the Grammy winning artist releases a custom European version of his sixth studio album. The 13-track affair presents 12 new Johnson compositions, plus his version of the Electric Flag song Texas.

Praised by All Music Guide as one of the "very few musical artists [to] achieve a true signature style which makes comparisons to other musicians impossible," Johnson expands, deepens and enhances his sound on his first album release since Bloom in 2005.
The title reflects the revelatory and spontaneous performances on Up Close - Another Look as well as its sonic immediacy, thanks to Johnson's second look and revisions on six songs plus mixes on the seven others by legendary veteran engineers Richard Mullen and Andy Johns.
"I decided to let go a bit and allow things to happen and just go with the flow," explains Johnson of his approach to the album. "I like my work to have a high proficiency, but I also
wanted to go for the energy and magic of the performances."
The many live shows he's performed in various configurations since the album came out in America in 2010 and the songs he's already recorded for his next album prompted Johnson to replay some tracks and revise and remix them to make what the Austin Chronicle praises as a disc that "brings out the best in him" even better.
"The whole premise of this new record I've started making is to perform with more of a live feel in the studio," he explains. "So when I got this European deal, I listened to the Up Close record and heard a few ways I could do that with this album." After refining his technique and tone to masterful levels over the course his recording and performing career, "I've found that the music happens more naturally live and that's what I am trying to address more in the music I record."
The album has already earned high praise in the music press. "Guitar fans – prepare to be dazzled," raves MusicRadar.com. All Music Guide notes how Johnson "continues to find interesting ways to hone his specific craft on Up Close," and Guitar Player magazine observes, "Despite the esteemed company, however, it is Johnson’s spectacular guitar work that elevates the record to empyrean heights."
Lyrical themes of reflection, emotional revelations, personal growth and fulfillment are underscored on the album by Johnson’s most daring, urgent, progressive and at times raw and fervent guitar work to date. As with all of Johnson’s work, his all-encompassing style draws from rock, blues, pop, country, jazz and classic to exemplify his stature as "an extraordinary guitar player accessible to ordinary music fans," as the Memphis Commercial Appeal observes.
Johnson burst into the musical mainstream with his landmark 1990 album Ah Via Musicom, which won him a Grammy, yielded a record three Top 10 instrumental hits like "Cliffs of Dover" from a single LP release, and earned him platinum sales status. Enshrined in Guitar Player’s Gallery of Greats and named one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century by Musician magazine alongside numerous other awards, Johnson’s career has been marked by his gift for writing songs with vivid and indelible melodies and lyrical, concise and adventurous playing that focuses on melody and the song rather than six-string gymnastics.
A frequent collaborator with other guitar legends, he has continued to explore the myriad possibilities of guitar-based musical artistry since his debut major label release in 1986, Tones, that landed him on the cover of Guitar Player.
Up Close - Another Look is energized by Johnson’s continuing focus on broadening and enriching his work "I wanted to bare myself a little further and show myself more," he says. "I want my music to always grow and have more of a profound meaning and impact."
24 HOUR BOX OFFICE: 0844 478 0898
BOOK ONLINE: www.thegigcartel.com
All Tickets £25 (except £30, London)
London o2 Shepherds Bush Empire
Wednesday 3rd April

Tickets: £30 / Box Office: 0844 477 2000
Doors 7pm/ Stage 8pm
Shepherd's Bush Green, London W12 8TT
www.o2shepherdsbushempire.co.uk


Harrogate Theatre

Thursday 4th April
Tickets: £25 / Box Office: 01423 502 116
Doors 7pm / Stage 7.30pm
Oxford Street, Harrogate, HG1 1QF
www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk


Edinburgh Queen's Hall
Friday 5th April

Tickets: £25 / Box Office: 0131 668 2019
85 - 89 Clerk Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9JG
Doors 6.30pm / Stage 7.30pm
www.thequeenshall.net


Manchester Royal Northern College of Music
Saturday 6th April

Tickets: £25 / Box Office: 0161 907 5555
Doors: 7pm / Stage: 7:30pm
124 Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9RD
www.rncm.ac.uk


 Birmingham Town Hall
Sunday 7th April

Tickets: £25 / Box Office: 0121 345 0600
Doors: 7:30pm / Stage: 8pm
Victoria Square, Birmingham, B3 3DQ
www.thsh.co.uk
Salisbury City Hall
Monday 8th April

Tickets: £25 / Box Office: 01722 434 434
Doors: 7:30pm / Stage: 8pm
Malthouse Lane, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2 7TU
www.cityhallsalisbury.co.uk
ERIC JOHNSON - ESSENTIAL FACTS
Eric is enshrined in Guitar Player magazine’s Gallery of Greats and was named one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century by Musician magazine. He has won and placed high in numerous readers and critic polls conducted by guitar publications over the last 25 or so years, most recently in 2010 when he was named Guitarist of the Year by Guitar International. Eric has also won more Austin Music Awards (33) than anyone else since they began in 1981, including Musician of the Year and Best Electric & Acoustic Guitarist plus Best Instrumental & Video, and was inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame in its first year in 1983.
He won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for "Cliffs of Dover" in 1992. He’s also been nominated for the Best Rock Instrumental Grammy for his album Ah Via Musicom and the tracks "Zap" (from Tones) and "Pavilion" and "S.R.V." (both from Bloom). The Bloom LP received a Best Pop Instrumental nomination, plus the track "Rain" from the Alien Love Child album Live and Beyond for a total of six Grammy nominations.
His songs "Cliffs of Dover," "Trademark" and "Righteous" were Top 10 Album Rock hits and "Pavilion" and "High Landrons" were Top 40 singles.
Eric has recorded and/or performed with such other notable guitar players as Chet Atkins, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, James Burton, Jerry Reed, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani (on the original G3 tour), John McLaughlin, Jimmie Vaughan, Sonny Landreth, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, Dweezil Zappa, Adrian Legg, Peppino D'Agostino, Andy McKee, John Petrucci and others. He was tapped by Eric Clapton to play the first Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2004, and has appeared on four Experience Hendrix tours. He has also played with such esteemed rhythm sections as the Les Paul Trio, Double Trouble (bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton), and bassist Will Lee and drummer Anton Fig of the "Late Night with David Letterman" band.
He has paid homage in song to such players as Jerry Reed ("Tribute to Jerry Reed" on his album Bloom), fellow Texan Stevie Ray Vaughan (the Grammy-nominated track "SRV") and Wes Montgomery (who Johnson saluted in his Ah Via Musicom song "East Wes"). As well, Alex Lifeson of Rush credits Johnson as the inspiration for his guitar solo in the song "Cut To The Chase," and Steve Morse recorded a song titled "TruthOla" as a tribute to Jeff Beck, Alex Lifeson, and Eric.
Eric has recorded and/or performed with such musical artists as Carole King, Cat Stevens, Christopher Cross, Rodney Crowell, Richard Marx, Jennifer Warnes, and Carla Olson, among others.
Musical instrument and equipment makers have developed with Eric and market Eric Johnson custom and signature items such as: Fender Stratocaster electric and Martin MC-40 acoustic guitars, Fullton-Webb amplifier, DiMarzio DP211 Custom Pickups, Dunlop Fuzz Face pedal, Eminence EJ1250 12-inch guitar amp speaker, GHS Nickel Rockers Electric Guitar Strings, and signature Jazz III guitar picks.
He has released three instructional videos: Eric Johnson: Total Electric Guitar, Eric Johnson: The Fine Art of Guitar and Eric Johnson: The Art of Guitar.
"Cliffs of Dover" is the final qualifying round song on the video game "Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock" and Eric's song "Camel's Night Out" is featured on "Guitar Hero World Tour."
"An extraordinary guitar player accessible to ordinary music fans." – Memphis Commercial Appeal
"Eric is a wonderful cat. He’s always been one of my favorite people in the world, as well as one of my favorite guitar players. The guy has done more trying to be the best that he can be than anybody I’ve ever seen. He plays all the time, and tries to get his instrument in perfect shape all the time. He works hard on his tone, sound, techniques. He does incredible things with all kinds of guitars – electric, lap steel, acoustic, everything. Few people understand that when the guy was 15, he was playing Kenny Burrell and Wes Montgomery stuff, and he was doing it right – that's pretty cool! The guy deserves a lot more recognition than he's ever gotten. Eric is an honest human being, and he cares about everything. Just listen to him and learn." - Stevie Ray Vaughan
"Eric Johnson plays guitar the way Michelangelo painted ceilings: with a colorful vibrancy that's more real than life." – The New Age Music Guide
"When I first heard Eric, he was only 16, and I remember wishing that I could have played like that at that age." – Johnny Winter
"Johnson entices listeners with seductive sounds and soulful playing rather than seeking to impress solely with displays of technical virtuosity." – Guitar Player
"The distinct guitar stylings of Eric Johnson never cease to astound, amaze and entertain." – Vintage Rock
"Eric has more colorful tone in his fingers than Van Gogh had on his palette. He is one of those few musicians who keeps getting better and better." – Steve Vai
"While his fabled technical prowess precedes him (after all, this is the man who once wowed Prince), there is more to Johnson than guitar. He is the complete package – a creative singer/songwriter who is one with his instrument. Throughout the evening, Johnson danced romantically across the stage with his guitar as he tapped switches on his pedal board and changed his trademark tones from dirty to clean and back again to evoke different moods and textures – all effortlessly. Pure sonic bliss." – Grammy.com
"Eric Johnson, bar none, is one of the greatest guitar players in the history of the electric guitar. I'm proud to call him an inspiration." – Joe Bonamassa
"Very few musical artists achieve a true signature style — one which makes comparisons to other musicians impossible. But Texas guitarist Eric Johnson arguably comes as close to this echelon as any musician from the past quarter-century." – All Music Guide
"One of the most respected guitarists on the planet." – Guitar Player
"Eric Johnson? Damn, that guy can play!" – Billy Gibbons
Eric Johnson – Official Website
www.ericjohnson.com
Eric Johnson - Facebook
www.facebook.com/OfficialEricJohnson
Eric Johnson - Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/EJUpClose
Mascot Label Group
www.mascotlabelgroup.com

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Eric Johnson to release new album "Up Close - Another Look"

UK Release Date: Monday 1st April 2013
To coincide with Nationwide UK Tour
Provogue Records (a division of Mascot Label Group) is pleased to announce the UK release of Eric Johnson’s special edition album "Up Close - Another Look" on Monday 1st April. The album coincides with Johnson’s nationwide UK tour which starts at London’s Shepherd Bush Empire on Wednesday 3rd April (tour dates listed below).
Guitarist, songwriter and singer Eric Johnson brings listeners up close to his stunning musicality when the Grammy winning artist releases a custom European version of his sixth studio album. The 13-track affair presents 12 new Johnson compositions, plus his version of the Electric Flag song Texas.

Praised by All Music Guide as one of the "very few musical artists [to] achieve a true signature style which makes comparisons to other musicians impossible," Johnson expands, deepens and enhances his sound on his first album release since Bloom in 2005.
The title reflects the revelatory and spontaneous performances on Up Close - Another Look as well as its sonic immediacy, thanks to Johnson's second look and revisions on six songs plus mixes on the seven others by legendary veteran engineers Richard Mullen and Andy Johns.
"I decided to let go a bit and allow things to happen and just go with the flow," explains Johnson of his approach to the album. "I like my work to have a high proficiency, but I also
wanted to go for the energy and magic of the performances."
The many live shows he's performed in various configurations since the album came out in America in 2010 and the songs he's already recorded for his next album prompted Johnson to replay some tracks and revise and remix them to make what the Austin Chronicle praises as a disc that "brings out the best in him" even better.
"The whole premise of this new record I've started making is to perform with more of a live feel in the studio," he explains. "So when I got this European deal, I listened to the Up Close record and heard a few ways I could do that with this album." After refining his technique and tone to masterful levels over the course his recording and performing career, "I've found that the music happens more naturally live and that's what I am trying to address more in the music I record."
The album has already earned high praise in the music press. "Guitar fans – prepare to be dazzled," raves MusicRadar.com. All Music Guide notes how Johnson "continues to find interesting ways to hone his specific craft on Up Close," and Guitar Player magazine observes, "Despite the esteemed company, however, it is Johnson’s spectacular guitar work that elevates the record to empyrean heights."
Lyrical themes of reflection, emotional revelations, personal growth and fulfillment are underscored on the album by Johnson’s most daring, urgent, progressive and at times raw and fervent guitar work to date. As with all of Johnson’s work, his all-encompassing style draws from rock, blues, pop, country, jazz and classic to exemplify his stature as "an extraordinary guitar player accessible to ordinary music fans," as the Memphis Commercial Appeal observes.
Johnson burst into the musical mainstream with his landmark 1990 album Ah Via Musicom, which won him a Grammy, yielded a record three Top 10 instrumental hits like "Cliffs of Dover" from a single LP release, and earned him platinum sales status. Enshrined in Guitar Player’s Gallery of Greats and named one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century by Musician magazine alongside numerous other awards, Johnson’s career has been marked by his gift for writing songs with vivid and indelible melodies and lyrical, concise and adventurous playing that focuses on melody and the song rather than six-string gymnastics.
A frequent collaborator with other guitar legends, he has continued to explore the myriad possibilities of guitar-based musical artistry since his debut major label release in 1986, Tones, that landed him on the cover of Guitar Player.
Up Close - Another Look is energized by Johnson’s continuing focus on broadening and enriching his work "I wanted to bare myself a little further and show myself more," he says. "I want my music to always grow and have more of a profound meaning and impact."
24 HOUR BOX OFFICE: 0844 478 0898
BOOK ONLINE: www.thegigcartel.com
All Tickets £25 (except £30, London)
London o2 Shepherds Bush Empire
Wednesday 3rd April

Tickets: £30 / Box Office: 0844 477 2000
Doors 7pm/ Stage 8pm
Shepherd's Bush Green, London W12 8TT
www.o2shepherdsbushempire.co.uk


Harrogate Theatre

Thursday 4th April
Tickets: £25 / Box Office: 01423 502 116
Doors 7pm / Stage 7.30pm
Oxford Street, Harrogate, HG1 1QF
www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk


Edinburgh Queen's Hall
Friday 5th April

Tickets: £25 / Box Office: 0131 668 2019
85 - 89 Clerk Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9JG
Doors 6.30pm / Stage 7.30pm
www.thequeenshall.net


Manchester Royal Northern College of Music
Saturday 6th April

Tickets: £25 / Box Office: 0161 907 5555
Doors: 7pm / Stage: 7:30pm
124 Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9RD
www.rncm.ac.uk


 Birmingham Town Hall
Sunday 7th April

Tickets: £25 / Box Office: 0121 345 0600
Doors: 7:30pm / Stage: 8pm
Victoria Square, Birmingham, B3 3DQ
www.thsh.co.uk
Salisbury City Hall
Monday 8th April

Tickets: £25 / Box Office: 01722 434 434
Doors: 7:30pm / Stage: 8pm
Malthouse Lane, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2 7TU
www.cityhallsalisbury.co.uk
ERIC JOHNSON - ESSENTIAL FACTS
Eric is enshrined in Guitar Player magazine’s Gallery of Greats and was named one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century by Musician magazine. He has won and placed high in numerous readers and critic polls conducted by guitar publications over the last 25 or so years, most recently in 2010 when he was named Guitarist of the Year by Guitar International. Eric has also won more Austin Music Awards (33) than anyone else since they began in 1981, including Musician of the Year and Best Electric & Acoustic Guitarist plus Best Instrumental & Video, and was inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame in its first year in 1983.
He won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for "Cliffs of Dover" in 1992. He’s also been nominated for the Best Rock Instrumental Grammy for his album Ah Via Musicom and the tracks "Zap" (from Tones) and "Pavilion" and "S.R.V." (both from Bloom). The Bloom LP received a Best Pop Instrumental nomination, plus the track "Rain" from the Alien Love Child album Live and Beyond for a total of six Grammy nominations.
His songs "Cliffs of Dover," "Trademark" and "Righteous" were Top 10 Album Rock hits and "Pavilion" and "High Landrons" were Top 40 singles.
Eric has recorded and/or performed with such other notable guitar players as Chet Atkins, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, James Burton, Jerry Reed, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani (on the original G3 tour), John McLaughlin, Jimmie Vaughan, Sonny Landreth, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, Dweezil Zappa, Adrian Legg, Peppino D'Agostino, Andy McKee, John Petrucci and others. He was tapped by Eric Clapton to play the first Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2004, and has appeared on four Experience Hendrix tours. He has also played with such esteemed rhythm sections as the Les Paul Trio, Double Trouble (bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton), and bassist Will Lee and drummer Anton Fig of the "Late Night with David Letterman" band.
He has paid homage in song to such players as Jerry Reed ("Tribute to Jerry Reed" on his album Bloom), fellow Texan Stevie Ray Vaughan (the Grammy-nominated track "SRV") and Wes Montgomery (who Johnson saluted in his Ah Via Musicom song "East Wes"). As well, Alex Lifeson of Rush credits Johnson as the inspiration for his guitar solo in the song "Cut To The Chase," and Steve Morse recorded a song titled "TruthOla" as a tribute to Jeff Beck, Alex Lifeson, and Eric.
Eric has recorded and/or performed with such musical artists as Carole King, Cat Stevens, Christopher Cross, Rodney Crowell, Richard Marx, Jennifer Warnes, and Carla Olson, among others.
Musical instrument and equipment makers have developed with Eric and market Eric Johnson custom and signature items such as: Fender Stratocaster electric and Martin MC-40 acoustic guitars, Fullton-Webb amplifier, DiMarzio DP211 Custom Pickups, Dunlop Fuzz Face pedal, Eminence EJ1250 12-inch guitar amp speaker, GHS Nickel Rockers Electric Guitar Strings, and signature Jazz III guitar picks.
He has released three instructional videos: Eric Johnson: Total Electric Guitar, Eric Johnson: The Fine Art of Guitar and Eric Johnson: The Art of Guitar.
"Cliffs of Dover" is the final qualifying round song on the video game "Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock" and Eric's song "Camel's Night Out" is featured on "Guitar Hero World Tour."
"An extraordinary guitar player accessible to ordinary music fans." – Memphis Commercial Appeal
"Eric is a wonderful cat. He’s always been one of my favorite people in the world, as well as one of my favorite guitar players. The guy has done more trying to be the best that he can be than anybody I’ve ever seen. He plays all the time, and tries to get his instrument in perfect shape all the time. He works hard on his tone, sound, techniques. He does incredible things with all kinds of guitars – electric, lap steel, acoustic, everything. Few people understand that when the guy was 15, he was playing Kenny Burrell and Wes Montgomery stuff, and he was doing it right – that's pretty cool! The guy deserves a lot more recognition than he's ever gotten. Eric is an honest human being, and he cares about everything. Just listen to him and learn." - Stevie Ray Vaughan
"Eric Johnson plays guitar the way Michelangelo painted ceilings: with a colorful vibrancy that's more real than life." – The New Age Music Guide
"When I first heard Eric, he was only 16, and I remember wishing that I could have played like that at that age." – Johnny Winter
"Johnson entices listeners with seductive sounds and soulful playing rather than seeking to impress solely with displays of technical virtuosity." – Guitar Player
"The distinct guitar stylings of Eric Johnson never cease to astound, amaze and entertain." – Vintage Rock
"Eric has more colorful tone in his fingers than Van Gogh had on his palette. He is one of those few musicians who keeps getting better and better." – Steve Vai
"While his fabled technical prowess precedes him (after all, this is the man who once wowed Prince), there is more to Johnson than guitar. He is the complete package – a creative singer/songwriter who is one with his instrument. Throughout the evening, Johnson danced romantically across the stage with his guitar as he tapped switches on his pedal board and changed his trademark tones from dirty to clean and back again to evoke different moods and textures – all effortlessly. Pure sonic bliss." – Grammy.com
"Eric Johnson, bar none, is one of the greatest guitar players in the history of the electric guitar. I'm proud to call him an inspiration." – Joe Bonamassa
"Very few musical artists achieve a true signature style — one which makes comparisons to other musicians impossible. But Texas guitarist Eric Johnson arguably comes as close to this echelon as any musician from the past quarter-century." – All Music Guide
"One of the most respected guitarists on the planet." – Guitar Player
"Eric Johnson? Damn, that guy can play!" – Billy Gibbons
Eric Johnson – Official Website
www.ericjohnson.com
Eric Johnson - Facebook
www.facebook.com/OfficialEricJohnson
Eric Johnson - Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/EJUpClose
Mascot Label Group
www.mascotlabelgroup.com

Monday, September 24, 2012

Eric Johnson returns to UK for nationwide tour

PLANET ROCK PRE-SALE STARTS
WEDNESDAY 26th SEPTEMBER 2012
GENERAL ON-SALE: FRIDAY 28th SEPTEMBER 2012
24 HOUR BOX OFFICE: 0844 478 0898
BOOK ONLINE: www.thegigcartel.com
All Tickets £25 (except £30, London)
Eric Johnson, the celebrated American electric guitarist, hailed by Joe Bonamassa as “one of the greatest guitar players of all time,” returns to the UK in 2013 for a tour that kicks off at the London o2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Wednesday 3rd April. 
The 6-date tour will showcase material from his current album Up Close, as well as from his rich back catalogue, including the classic Cliffs of Dover.
Planet Rock will start at ticket pre-sale on Wednesday 26th September, followed by general on-sale date of Friday 28th September from www.thegigcartel.com and 0844 478 0898.
Eric Johnson is also a respected acoustic, lap steel, resonator and an accomplished pianist and vocalist. He’s best known for his diverse array of music genres evidenced by many different styles incorporated in his studio and live performances, including rock, blues, jazz, fusion, folk, New Age & country.
Guitar Player magazine called Johnson "one of the most respected guitarists on the planet.” His critically acclaimed, platinum-selling 1990 recording Ah Via Musicom produced the single Cliffs of Dover, for which he won the 1991 Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance (the track also appeared in Guitar Hero 3 – Legends of Rock.)
In 1996 he joined forces with Joe Satriani and Steve Vai for the original and legendary G3 tour that garnered a worldwide audience with the platinum selling CD/DVD.
Johnson’s best known for playing stock Fender Stratocasters and Gibson ES-335 electric guitars through a triple amp setup, consisting of vintage Fender and Marshall amplifiers.
He plays vintage Stratocasters but also his ‘Fender Signature Stratocaster’ model, which is one of the best selling instruments in the Fender catalogue. He also designed a Signature acoustic guitar that was released by Martin guitars.
PLANET ROCK PRE-SALE STARTS
WEDNESDAY 26th SEPTEMBER 2012
GENERAL ON-SALE: FRIDAY 28th SEPTEMBER 2012
24 HOUR BOX OFFICE: 0844 478 0898
BOOK ONLINE: www.thegigcartel.com
All Tickets £25 (except £30, London)
London o2 Shepherds Bush Empire
Wednesday 3rd April

Tickets: £30 / Box Office: 0844 477 2000
Doors 7pm/ Stage 8pm
Shepherd's Bush Green, London W12 8TT
www.o2shepherdsbushempire.co.uk


Thursday 4th April
Harrogate Theatre

Tickets: £25 / Box Office: 01423 502 116
Doors 7pm / Stage 7.30pm
Oxford Street, Harrogate, HG1 1QF
www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk


Edinburgh Queen's Hall
Friday 5th April

Tickets: £25 / Box Office: 0131 668 2019
85 - 89 Clerk Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9JG
Doors 6.30pm / Stage 7.30pm
www.thequeenshall.net


Manchester Royal Northern College of Music
Saturday 6th April

Tickets: £25 / Box Office: 0161 907 5555
Doors: 7pm / Stage: 7:30pm
124 Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9RD
www.rncm.ac.uk


 Birmingham Town Hall
Sunday 7th April

Tickets: £25 / Box Office: 0121 345 0600
Doors: 7:30pm / Stage: 8pm
Victoria Square, Birmingham, B3 3DQ
www.thsh.co.uk
Salisbury City Hall
Monday 8th April

Tickets: £25 / Box Office: 01722 434 434
Doors: 7:30pm / Stage: 8pm
Malthouse Lane, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2 7TU
www.cityhallsalisbury.co.uk
Eric Johnson’s stature as one of the premier guitar players in contemporary music is his artistic trump card, backed by a Grammy Award and five nominations, platinum album, Top 10 hits like Cliffs of Dover, praise from critics and the esteem of his peers. The full range of his talents marks him as a gifted songwriter, dynamic live performer, singer, pianist, and song interpreter.
His myriad and distinctive musical gifts are vividly evident on Johnson’s current studio album, Up Close, released on his own Vortexan Music label. The 15-track disc finds the noted master craftsman cutting loose, roaming through variations on the rock, blues, pop, country and jazz genres,  pushing the dynamic range of his artistry, and mixing it up with such friends and peers as guitarists Jimmie Vaughan and Sonny Landreth, plus guest vocalists Steve Miller, Johnny Lang and Malford Milligan.
“I decided to let go a bit and allow things to happen and just go with the flow,” explains Johnson about his approach to the album. “That’s a direction that works better for any artist, and especially for me. I like my work to have a high proficiency, but I also want to go for the energy and magic of the performances.”
That vitality and vivid musicality brims from such hook-filled numbers as the hard-rocking instrumentals Fat Daddy and Vortexan and the driving vocal song Brilliant Room (sung by Milligan). Gem is splashed with bright and painterly six-string colors, Soul Surprise finds Johnson weaving a picturesque tapestry of both his guitar and piano gifts, and Arithmetic summons up a swirling and spectral kaleidoscope of guitars, keyboards and Johnson’s singing.
His early years and influences are explored on the Mike Bloomfield/Buddy Miles-composed blues song Texas (from the 1968 Electric Flag album A Long Time Comin’) on which Miller sings and Johnson’s and Vaughan’s guitars engage in stirring interplay, and Austin (sung by Lang), which looks back to his teens in his hometown as a budding player and avid music fan who would be allowed to slip under-aged into music nightclubs and “go sit in the back and listen to bands.”
On The Way is a delightful Texas meets Tennessee twang romp, and A Change Has Come To Me opens with a six-string nod to Jimi Hendrix (a prime Johnson influence) that carries through the track as it burgeons into a celebration of the pleasures of the deep and soulful groove. Interstitial instrumental snippets like the spellbinding Indian music-flavored opener Awaken and the dreamlike Traverse and The Sea and the Mountain plus Change (Revisited) weave the collection together. Johnson caps the CD with the uplifting grace note of  Your Book on which he and Landreth interweave their playing (including Johnson’s stately piano work) with emotive elegance.
The lyrical themes of reflection, emotional revelations, personal growth and fulfillment are underscored on the album by Johnson’s most daring, urgent, progressive and at times raw and fervent guitar work to date. With its sonic immediacy (thanks to a mix by engineering legend Andy Johns) and openhearted musicality and songwriting, Up Close truly lives up to its name as Johnson continues to forge fresh and compelling new dimensions of his artistry.
Johnson leapt to the forefront of contemporary music some 20 years ago as “an extraordinary guitar player accessible to ordinary music fans,” as the Memphis Commercial Appeal hails him, with his landmark million selling 1990 album Ah Via Musicom. Hailed as a record that reached near-classic proportions within the guitar community, it was preceded by dedicated groundwork as a live performer that marked him as a talent bound for great things. And it’s been followed by a diverse and fascinating musical journey that inspired The New Age Music Guide to rave that “Eric Johnson plays guitar the way Michelangelo painted ceilings: with a colorful vibrancy that's more real than life."
His achievements include being enshrined in Guitar Player’s Gallery of Greats and named one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century by Musician magazine amongst numerous other awards. He enjoys the admiration of many of his fellow players and has performed/ recorded with such notables as Chet Atkins, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and others.
He was tapped by Eric Clapton to appear at the 2004 Crossroads Guitar Festival and plays his second stint of the Experience Hendrix tour in fall 2010. He has paid homage in song to such players as Jerry Reed (“Tribute to Jerry Reed” on his album Bloom), fellow Texan Stevie Ray Vaughan (the Grammy-nominated track “SRV”) and Wes Montgomery (who Johnson saluted in his Ah Via Musicom song “East Wes”), and boasts both a signature Fender Stratocaster electric and Martin MC-40 acoustic guitar. "Cliffs of Dover" is featured in the video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock as the final winning challenge. And in addition to his recordings, tours and DVDs under his own name, Johnson also plays with his side project Alien Love Child, which released an in concert album in 2000, Live and Beyond, that earned an instrumental Grammy nomination for the song “Rain.”
Even before his breakthrough with Ah Via Musicom, Johnson made his indelible mark with his 1986 first album release Tones. It landed him on the cover of Guitar Player magazine, which hailed the album as "a majestic debut,” and earned him his first Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance with the track “Zap.” Ah Via Musicom won Johnson a Grammy for Cliffs of Dover, which was one of his record three Top 10 instrumental hits from a single album alongside Trademark and Righteous. Following three years of concerted touring that established him as a continuing popular concert attraction, Johnson recorded Venus Isle, which on its release in 1996 garnered him another Grammy nomination. In 1998, his previously unreleased first album recording from 1976, Seven Worlds, was finally issued. A limited-release collection of demos, outtakes and live tracks, Souvenir, hit the streets in 2002. His most recent studio album, 2005’s Bloom, yielded a fifth Grammy nomination.
Johnson’s success over the last 20 years was presaged by a grassroots rise in which he made his bones and burgeoning reputation as a formidable musical talent and player since he first became a local sensation in the Austin clubs as a teen with the psychedelic rock band Mariani.
Trained on classical piano as a youth, he switched to the guitar after the stateside arrival of the Beatles in 1964. As a young player he delved deeply into blues, jazz, country and other styles that inform his music. By the mid-1970s, Johnson began touring and sparking a buzz about his astonishing talents in the jazz-rock outfit Electromagnets, whose recordings and a live TV performance from that era were released in the 1990s to critical acclaim. He cut his teeth in the studio on sessions for Cat Stevens, Christopher Cross and Carole King, and by 1984 his stature in Texas and beyond was so strong that the unsigned artist was tapped to make his first appearance on the prestigious PBS concert show “Austin City Limits.” At the urging of such stars as Cross and Prince, Johnson was signed to a major label deal with Reprise Records and emerged onto the international recording scene.
His dynamism as a performer is captured on the 2008 DVD Anaheim and the 2005 DVD/CD release of his second “Austin City Limits” show in 1994, Live From Austin, Texas. His 1996 G3 tour with guitarists Joe Satriani and Steve Vai yielded a best-selling album and platinum DVD, G3: Live in Concert.
Johnson’s eminence as an artist goes beyond just his stunning guitar mastery. His keen compositional sense and lyrical playing create instrumentals that speak to listeners and convey thoughts, emotions and imagery, and Up Close also spotlights his singing and sure way with words.“It really boils down to the music and the song at the end of the day,” he explains. “If it doesn’t have that it gets boring for me.”
On his current album release, “I wanted to bare myself a little further and show myself more,” says Johnson. “As you evolve as a person and artist, you reach forks in the road where you look at what it is you really want in life and to bring out in yourself and thereby affect other people. What’s most important to me is to grow as a person, and because of that, I want my music to also grow and have more of a profound meaning and impact.” And Up Close finds Eric Johnson continuing to expand his artistry with compelling and enriching results.
Eric Johnson Essential Web Links
Eric Johnson – Official Website
www.ericjohnson.com
Eric Johnson - Facebook
www.facebook.com/OfficialEricJohnson
Eric Johnson - Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/EJUpClose

Friday, August 17, 2012

All Along the Watchtower - Eric Johnson


Eric Johnson’s stature as one of the premier guitar players in contemporary music is his artistic trump card, backed by a Grammy Award and five nominations, platinum album, Top 10 hits like “Cliffs Of Dover,” praise from critics and the esteem of his peers. But the full hand of his talents marks him as well as a gifted songwriter, dynamic live performer, singer, pianist, song interpreter, and creator of a rich and diverse musical legacy.

His myriad and distinctive musical gifts are vividly evident on Johnson’s aptly titled new album, Up Close, released on his own Vortexan Music label via EMI Distribution. The new 15-track disc finds the noted master craftsman cutting loose, roaming through variations on the rock, blues, pop, country and jazz all found at the core of his sound, pushing the dynamic range of his artistry, and mixing it up with such friends and peers as guitarists Jimmie Vaughan and Sonny Landreth and guest singers Steve Miller, Jonny Lang and Malford Milligan.

“I decided to let go a bit and allow things to happen and just go with the flow,” explains Johnson of his approach to the album. “I think that’s a direction that works better for any artist, and especially for me. I like my work to have a high proficiency, but I also wanted to go for the energy and magic of the performances.”

That vitality and vivid musicality brims from such hook-filled numbers as the hard-rocking instrumentals “Fat Daddy” and “Vortexan” and the driving vocal song “Brilliant Room” (sung by Milligan). “Gem” is splashed with bright and painterly six-string colors, “Soul Surprise” finds Johnson weaving a picturesque tapestry of both his guitar and piano gifts, and “Arithmetic” summons up a swirling and spectral kaleidoscope of guitars, keyboards and Johnson’s singing. His early years and influences are explored on the Mike Bloomfield/Buddy Miles-composed blues song “Texas” (from the 1968 Electric Flag album A Long Time Comin’) on which Miller sings and Johnson’s and Vaughan’s guitars engage in stirring interplay, and “Austin” (sung by Lang), which looks back to his teens in his hometown as a budding player and avid music fan who would be allowed to slip underaged into music nightclubs and “go sit in the back and listen to bands.” “On The Way” is a delightful Texas meets Tennessee twang romp, and “A Change Has Come To Me” opens with a six-string nod to Jimi Hendrix (a prime Johnson influence) that carries through the track as it burgeons into a celebration of the pleasures of the deep and soulful groove. Interstitial instrumental snippets like the spellbinding Indian music-flavored opener “Awaken” and the dreamlike “Traverse” and “The Sea And The Mountain” plus “Change (Revisited)” weave the collection together. And Johnson caps the CD with the uplifting grace note of “Your Book” on which he and Landreth interweave their playing (including Johnson’s stately piano work) with emotive elegance.

The lyrical themes of reflection, emotional revelations, personal growth and fulfillment are underscored on the album by Johnson’s most daring, urgent, progressive and at times raw and fervent guitar work to date. With its sonic immediacy (thanks to a mix by engineering legend Andy Johns) and openhearted musicality and songwriting, Up Close truly lives up to its name as Johnson continues to forge fresh and compelling new dimensions of his artistry.

Johnson leapt to the forefront of contemporary music some 20 years ago as “an extraordinary guitar player accessible to ordinary music fans,” as the Memphis Commercial Appeal hails him, with his landmark million selling 1990 album Ah Via Musicom. Lauded as a “recording [that] has reached near-classic proportions within the guitar community” by All Music Guide, it was preceded by dedicated groundwork as a live performer that marked him as a talent bound for great things. And it’s been followed by a diverse and fascinating musical journey that inspired The New Age Music Guide to rave that “Eric Johnson plays guitar the way Michelangelo painted ceilings: with a colorful vibrancy that’s more real than life.”

His many achievements include being enshrined in Guitar Player’s Gallery of Greats and named one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century by Musician magazine alongside numerous other awards. He also enjoys the admiration of many of his fellow players and has performed and/or recorded with such notables as Chet Atkins, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and others, and follows the release of Up Close with an acoustic Guitar Masters tour sharing the stage with six-string masters Peppino D’Agostino and Andy McKee. He was tapped by Eric Clapton to appear at the 2004 Crossroads Guitar Festival and plays his second stint of the Experience Hendrix tour in fall 2010. He has paid homage in song to such players as Jerry Reed (“Tribute to Jerry Reed” on his album Bloom), fellow Texan Stevie Ray Vaughan (the Grammy-nominated track “SRV”) and Wes Montgomery (who Johnson saluted in his Ah Via Musicom song “East Wes”), and boasts both a signature Fender Stratocaster electric and Martin MC-40 acoustic guitar. “Cliffs of Dover” is featured in the video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock as the final winning challenge. And in addition to his recordings, tours and DVDs under his own name, Johnson also plays with his side project Alien Love Child, which released an in concert album in 2000, Live and Beyond, that earned an instrumental Grammy nomination for the song “Rain.”

Even before his breakthrough with Ah Via Musicom, Johnson made his indelible musical mark with his 1986 first album release Tones. It landed him on the cover of Guitar Player magazine, which hailed the album as “a majestic debut,” and earned him his first Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance with the track “Zap.” Ah Via Musicom won Johnson a Grammy for “Cliffs Of Dover,” which was one of his record three Top 10 instrumental hits from a single album alongside “Trademark” and “Righteous.” Following three years of concerted touring that established him as a continuing popular concert attraction, Johnson recorded Venus Isle, which on its release in 1996 garnered him another Grammy nomination. In 1998, his previously unreleased first album recording from 1976, Seven Worlds, was finally issued. A limited-release collection of demos, outtakes and live tracks, Souvenir, hit the streets in 2002. His most recent studio album, 2005’s Bloom, yielded a fifth Grammy nomination.

Johnson’s success over the last 20 years was presaged by a grassroots rise in which he made his bones and burgeoning reputation as a formidable musical talent and player since he first became a local sensation in the Austin clubs as a teen with the psychedelic rock band Mariani. Trained on classical piano as a youth, he switched to the guitar after the stateside arrival of the Beatles in 1964. As a young player he delved deeply into blues, jazz, country and other styles that inform his music. By the mid-1970s, Johnson began touring and sparking a buzz about his astonishing talents in the jazz-rock outfit Electromagnets, whose recordings and a live TV performance from that era were released in the 1990s to critical acclaim. He cut his teeth in the studio on sessions for Cat Stevens, Christopher Cross and Carole King, and by 1984 his stature in Texas and beyond was so strong that the unsigned artist was tapped to make his first appearance on the prestigious PBS concert show “Austin City Limits.” At the urging of such stars as Cross and Prince, Johnson was signed to a major label deal with Reprise Records and emerged onto the international recording scene.

His dynamism as a live performer is captured on the 2008 DVD Anaheim as well as the 2005 DVD/CD release of his second “Austin City Limits” show in 1994, Live From Austin, Texas. His 1996 G3 tour with fellow guitarists Joe Satriani and Steve Vai yielded a best selling album and platinum DVD, G3: Live in Concert.

Johnson’s eminence as a musical artist goes well beyond just his stunning guitar mastery. His keen compositional sense and lyrical playing create instrumentals that speak to listeners and convey thoughts, emotions and imagery, and Up Close also spotlights his singing and sure way with words. “It really boils down to the music and the song at the end of the day,” he explains. “If it doesn’t have that it gets boring for me.”

On his new release, “I wanted to bare myself a little further and show myself more,” says Johnson. “As you evolve as a person and artist, you reach forks in the road where you look at what it is you really want in life and to bring out in yourself and thereby affect other people. What’s most important to me is to grow as a person, and because of that, I want my music to also grow and have more of a profound meaning and impact.” And Up Close finds Eric Johnson continuing to expand his artistry with compelling and enriching results.
If you like what I’m doing, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Legendary guitarist Eric Johnson's UK tour starts Friday 6 July

24 HOUR BOX OFFICE: 0844 478 0898
BOOK ONLINE: www.thegigcartel.com

Eric Johnson, the celebrated American electric guitarist, hailed by Joe Bonamassa as “one of the greatest guitar players of all time,” will embark on his first UK tour at the Holmfirth Picturedrome on Friday 5th July. The 5-date mini tour will showcase material from his current album “Up Close”, as well as from his rich back catalogue.

Planet Rock will start at ticket pre-sale on Wednesday 7th March, followed by a ticket pre-sale from Ents24 on Thursday 8th March.

Tickets go on sale to the general public via the 24 hour box office: 0844 478 0898, www.thegigcartel.com.

Johnson is also a respected acoustic, lap steel, resonator and an accomplished pianist and vocalist. He’s best known for his diverse array of music genres evidenced by many different styles incorporated in his studio and live performances, including rock, blues, jazz, fusion, folk, New Age and country music.

Guitar Player magazine called Johnson "one of the most respected guitarists on the planet". His critically acclaimed, platinum-selling 1990 recording Ah Via Musicom produced the single Cliffs of Dover, for which he won the 1991 Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. Cliffs of Dover also appeared in Guitar Hero 3 – Legends of Rock.

In 1996 he joined forces with Joe Satriani and Steve Vai for the original and legendary G3 tour that garnered a worldwide audience with the platinum selling CD and DVD release.

Johnson is best known for playing stock Fender Stratocasters and Gibson ES-335 electric guitars through a triple amp setup that consists of vintage Fender and Marshall amplifiers.

He plays vintage Stratocasters but also his ‘Fender Signature Stratocaster’ model, which is one of the best selling instruments in the Fender catalogue. He also designed a Signature acoustic guitar that was released by Martin guitars.

During Eric Johnson's latest tour through Northern California, he visited Dunlop HQ in Benicia to personally see where and how his new signature Fuzz Face pedal and his signature Jazz III pick are made. He spoke to Bryan Kehoe about the story behind the creation of both his products, and how committed Eric is to the art and crafting of his guitar sound.

24 HOUR BOX OFFICE: 0844 478 0898
BOOK ONLINE: www.thegigcartel.com

Holmfirth Picturedrome
Friday 6th July

Tickets: £25.00 (advance)
Box Office 0844 478 0898
Market Walk, Holmfirth, HD9 7DA
www.picturedrome.net

Glasgow O2 ABC
Saturday 7th July

Tickets: £25.00 (advance)
Box Office 0844 477 2000
Doors: 7pm / Stage: 7:30pm
300 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3JA
www.o2abcglasgow.co.uk

The Sage Gateshead
Sunday 8th July

Tickets: £25.00 (advance)
Box Office 0191 443 4661
Doors: 7pm / Stage: 7:30pm
St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead, NE8 2JR
http://thesagegateshead.org

Bath Komedia
Monday 9th July

Tickets: £25.00 (advance)
Box Office: 0844 478 0898
Doors: 7:30pm / Stage: 8pm
22-23 Westgate Street, Bath, Avon, BA1 1EP
www.komedia.co.uk/bath

London – Leicester Square Theatre
Tuesday 10th July

Tickets: £30.00 (advance)
Box Office: 0844 478 0898
Doors: 7pm / Stage: 7:30pm
6 Leicester Place, London, WC2H 7BX
www.leicestersquaretheatre.com

London – Leicester Square Theatre
Wednesday 11th July

Tickets: £30.00 (advance)
Box Office: 0844 478 0898
Doors: 7pm / Stage: 7:30pm
6 Leicester Place, London, WC2H 7BX
www.leicestersquaretheatre.com

Eric Johnson’s stature as one of the premier guitar players in contemporary music is his artistic trump card, backed by a Grammy Award and five nominations, platinum album, Top 10 hits like Cliffs of Dover, praise from critics and the esteem of his peers. The full range of his talents marks him as a gifted songwriter, dynamic live performer, singer, pianist, and song interpreter.

His myriad and distinctive musical gifts are vividly evident on Johnson’s current studio album, Up Close, released on his own Vortexan Music label. The 15-track disc finds the noted master craftsman cutting loose, roaming through variations on the rock, blues, pop, country and jazz genres, pushing the dynamic range of his artistry, and mixing it up with such friends and peers as guitarists Jimmie Vaughan and Sonny Landreth, plus guest vocalists Steve Miller, Johnny Lang and Malford Milligan.

“I decided to let go a bit and allow things to happen and just go with the flow,” explains Johnson about his approach to the album. “That’s a direction that works better for any artist, and especially for me. I like my work to have a high proficiency, but I also want to go for the energy and magic of the performances.”

That vitality and vivid musicality brims from such hook-filled numbers as the hard-rocking instrumentals Fat Daddy and Vortexan and the driving vocal song Brilliant Room (sung by Milligan). Gem is splashed with bright and painterly six-string colors, Soul Surprise finds Johnson weaving a picturesque tapestry of both his guitar and piano gifts, and Arithmetic summons up a swirling and spectral kaleidoscope of guitars, keyboards and Johnson’s singing.

His early years and influences are explored on the Mike Bloomfield/Buddy Miles-composed blues song Texas (from the 1968 Electric Flag album A Long Time Comin’) on which Miller sings and Johnson’s and Vaughan’s guitars engage in stirring interplay, and Austin (sung by Lang), which looks back to his teens in his hometown as a budding player and avid music fan who would be allowed to slip under-aged into music nightclubs and “go sit in the back and listen to bands.”

On The Way is a delightful Texas meets Tennessee twang romp, and A Change Has Come To Me opens with a six-string nod to Jimi Hendrix (a prime Johnson influence) that carries through the track as it burgeons into a celebration of the pleasures of the deep and soulful groove. Interstitial instrumental snippets like the spellbinding Indian music-flavored opener Awaken and the dreamlike Traverse and The Sea and the Mountain plus Change (Revisited) weave the collection together. Johnson caps the CD with the uplifting grace note of Your Book on which he and Landreth interweave their playing (including Johnson’s stately piano work) with emotive elegance.

The lyrical themes of reflection, emotional revelations, personal growth and fulfillment are underscored on the album by Johnson’s most daring, urgent, progressive and at times raw and fervent guitar work to date. With its sonic immediacy (thanks to a mix by engineering legend Andy Johns) and openhearted musicality and songwriting, Up Close truly lives up to its name as Johnson continues to forge fresh and compelling new dimensions of his artistry.

Johnson leapt to the forefront of contemporary music some 20 years ago as “an extraordinary guitar player accessible to ordinary music fans,” as the Memphis Commercial Appeal hails him, with his landmark million selling 1990 album Ah Via Musicom. Hailed as a record that reached near-classic proportions within the guitar community, it was preceded by dedicated groundwork as a live performer that marked him as a talent bound for great things. And it’s been followed by a diverse and fascinating musical journey that inspired The New Age Music Guide to rave that “Eric Johnson plays guitar the way Michelangelo painted ceilings: with a colorful vibrancy that's more real than life."

His achievements include being enshrined in Guitar Player’s Gallery of Greats and named one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century by Musician magazine amongst numerous other awards. He enjoys the admiration of many of his fellow players and has performed/ recorded with such notables as Chet Atkins, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and others.

He was tapped by Eric Clapton to appear at the 2004 Crossroads Guitar Festival and plays his second stint of the Experience Hendrix tour in fall 2010. He has paid homage in song to such players as Jerry Reed (“Tribute to Jerry Reed” on his album Bloom), fellow Texan Stevie Ray Vaughan (the Grammy-nominated track “SRV”) and Wes Montgomery (who Johnson saluted in his Ah Via Musicom song “East Wes”), and boasts both a signature Fender Stratocaster electric and Martin MC-40 acoustic guitar. "Cliffs of Dover" is featured in the video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock as the final winning challenge. And in addition to his recordings, tours and DVDs under his own name, Johnson also plays with his side project Alien Love Child, which released an in concert album in 2000, Live and Beyond, that earned an instrumental Grammy nomination for the song “Rain.”

Even before his breakthrough with Ah Via Musicom, Johnson made his indelible mark with his 1986 first album release Tones. It landed him on the cover of Guitar Player magazine, which hailed the album as "a majestic debut,” and earned him his first Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance with the track “Zap.” Ah Via Musicom won Johnson a Grammy for Cliffs of Dover, which was one of his record three Top 10 instrumental hits from a single album alongside Trademark and Righteous. Following three years of concerted touring that established him as a continuing popular concert attraction, Johnson recorded Venus Isle, which on its release in 1996 garnered him another Grammy nomination. In 1998, his previously unreleased first album recording from 1976, Seven Worlds, was finally issued. A limited-release collection of demos, outtakes and live tracks, Souvenir, hit the streets in 2002. His most recent studio album, 2005’s Bloom, yielded a fifth Grammy nomination.

Johnson’s success over the last 20 years was presaged by a grassroots rise in which he made his bones and burgeoning reputation as a formidable musical talent and player since he first became a local sensation in the Austin clubs as a teen with the psychedelic rock band Mariani.

Trained on classical piano as a youth, he switched to the guitar after the stateside arrival of the Beatles in 1964. As a young player he delved deeply into blues, jazz, country and other styles that inform his music. By the mid-1970s, Johnson began touring and sparking a buzz about his astonishing talents in the jazz-rock outfit Electromagnets, whose recordings and a live TV performance from that era were released in the 1990s to critical acclaim. He cut his teeth in the studio on sessions for Cat Stevens, Christopher Cross and Carole King, and by 1984 his stature in Texas and beyond was so strong that the unsigned artist was tapped to make his first appearance on the prestigious PBS concert show “Austin City Limits.” At the urging of such stars as Cross and Prince, Johnson was signed to a major label deal with Reprise Records and emerged onto the international recording scene.

His dynamism as a performer is captured on the 2008 DVD Anaheim and the 2005 DVD/CD release of his second “Austin City Limits” show in 1994, Live From Austin, Texas. His 1996 G3 tour with guitarists Joe Satriani and Steve Vai yielded a best-selling album and platinum DVD, G3: Live in Concert.

Johnson’s eminence as an artist goes beyond just his stunning guitar mastery. His keen compositional sense and lyrical playing create instrumentals that speak to listeners and convey thoughts, emotions and imagery, and Up Close also spotlights his singing and sure way with words.“It really boils down to the music and the song at the end of the day,” he explains. “If it doesn’t have that it gets boring for me.”

On his current album release, “I wanted to bare myself a little further and show myself more,” says Johnson. “As you evolve as a person and artist, you reach forks in the road where you look at what it is you really want in life and to bring out in yourself and thereby affect other people. What’s most important to me is to grow as a person, and because of that, I want my music to also grow and have more of a profound meaning and impact.” And Up Close finds Eric Johnson continuing to expand his artistry with compelling and enriching results.


If you like what I’m doing, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”