Eric Johnson Electric Band
One only can be regarded as a stellar guitar talent when the likes of Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Buddy Guy all number as fans and supporters.
Though not bearing the same high profile name recognition as those players, Austin's Eric Johnson is on the same short list of guitar icons as those prestigious gents.
Johnson is sharing many summer concert dates by invitation with Buddy Guy; is currently recording for Steve Vai's custom label, Favored Nations Records; and has stood shoulder to shoulder with Vai and Satriani on the now famous G3 guitar hero tours.
Soft spoken and humble, Johnson clearly loves talking about music, guitars and his latest album release, "Bloom," which was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Pop Instrumental Category.
"I'm not pushing a specific song. We're just letting radio feel it out and choose what songs they want to play," Johnson said. "I've talked to a few radio stations and they kind of like, 'Good to Me,' and this radio guy I talked to last night felt 'From My Heart' was strong, even though it's kind of long."
"Bloom" has 16 tracks in all and is broken down into three suites -- "Prelude," "Courante" and "Allemande" -- with a fairly even split between vocal numbers and instrumentals.
Though Johnson received a Grammy nomination for the instrumental "Cliffs of Dover" (from 1990's "Ah Via Musicom"), and is best known for his string bending talents, he also shines as a vocalist.
When asked if having his lyrical composition and vocal talents overlooked because of his 'guitar god' image was irritating, Johnson responded, "Once you get known for a certain thing, the general tendency is to freeze frame it. Sometimes it is hard to change that freeze-framed image people have of you. But that can also be a good thing, because it tends to challenge you. It makes you rise to the occasion to be strong enough in whatever you are doing, to really grab people's attention with it."
Johnson's current emphasis on singing is due to recently having spent a good deal of time playing solo piano gigs.
"When you are writing songs and singing and sitting at a piano, there is just no way people can interpret that you are going out there to be some kind of viking guitar god," he laughed. "It's what it is -- a voice and some soft piano music. Doing that brought out more of these kinds of songs in me and made me focus more on writing lyrics."
The only song on "Bloom" not written by Johnson is his delightful take on Bob Dylan's forgotten 1964 chestnut, "My Back Pages," which is remarkably well done and could very well be fodder for radio playlists.
In the past, Johnson has even honored his audiences with requests, though it was not known if that will be the case this time through.
Official Website: http://www.ericjohnson.com/
Added by ranakabir on April 7, 2006