The kind of gushing, jaw-dropping reaction to Austin guitarist/ singer/ songwriter Eric Johnson has been pretty much consistent since he started attracting heady praise in the mi-1970s as guitarist in the Electromagnets. By 1980 Eric Johnson was already developing an almost mythical reputation as a spectacular player, enough to garner the cover story of Guitar Player without any record deal! This was 15 years before technology made it possible for an indie musician to compete with” the bigs”.
It was 1990 that Eric Johnson broke out of cult hero status among simply guitar cognescenti and nabbed those two universally recognized standards of success in popular music: Eric sold over 1,000,000 copies of his Ah Via Musicom album and won a Grammy Award for 1991.
For the first twenty-five years of his solo career, Eric Johnson was famous (or notorious ) for disappearing into the recording studio for years at a time, but since his albums Bloom in 2005 and Up Close five years later, EJ has had a major musical epiphany which he shares with us while discussing the rippling “Zenland”, the tasty cosmopolitan Wes Montgomery nod “Manhattan”, the heavy 12-step anthem “Last House on the Block”, the dizzying instrumental from the Tones album entitled “Zap”, and the hit song “Cliffs of Dover” all from his new Europe Live . –Redbeard