Eric Johnson

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Eric Johnson
Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson is a guitarist and songwriter born August 17, 1954 in Austin Texas, USA. Although best known for his solo work, Eric Johnson is also associated with other projects and appearing on many other records such as "Distant Star" by Steve Morse and "The Washing Away of Wrong" by John5.

Eric Johnson has been widely appraised for his guitar skills by many guitar magazines including Guitar World and Total Guitar as well as other well known guitar players such as Joe Satriani, Allan Hodsworth, Steve Morse, B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughn (SRV). Eric Johnson has also appeared on the G3 tour with Joe Satriani and Steve Vai.


The Early Stages

Eric Johnson began playing guitar at the age of 11. However Johnson was born into a musically related family and took up playing Piano prior to guitar. Eric Johnson was able to develop his style quickly and studied his influences who at the time included Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Wes Montgomery.

At the age of 15 Johnson recorded his first demo tape with his first band which attracted a lot of attention to Johonson's guitar playing from the local music scene. The group soon parted however when the members of the band graduated from school.

After school, Eric Johnson became a part of a local fusion band called Electromagnets. Although the music scene was impressed by Johnson's guitar skills, the band were unsuccesful and split 3 years later. During that time however Eric Johnson had managed to gather fans of his playing and decided to form his own group of musicians which included Bill Maddox and Kyle Brock

Seven Worlds

Seven Worlds was the name of his first solo recording project along with Bill Maddox on Drums and Kyle Brock on Bass. There were a few disputes about the release of the album and therefore it was delayed due to the rights to the original recordings. Because of this, the album was delayed by 20 years being re-released in 1998.

Although Seven Worlds was Johnson's first solo recording project it generally wasn't his first album released on a label. Due to the issues with the release of Seven World, Johnson was denied a label signing and therefore continued to play to the local scene.

Eric Johnson began doing guess work for many different artists and singers and even appeared on a TV show which featured Eric Johnson's playing style. In 1984, Eric Johnson was finally signed to a major record label thanks to the recommendations by guitarist Prince and producer David Tickle who upon listening to Eric Johnson's playing had liked his playing style. Soon afterwards, Eric Johnson began his second solo project, Tones with David Tickle as producer.

Ah Via Musicom and Venus Isle

Although Eric Johnson's album Tones got him a lot of attention from the global music scene and Guitar Magazines which included him appearing on the cover of Guitar World, the album wasn't a success and soon after his label company left him.

Although Tones didn't sell very well, Eric Johnson continued to receive praise from the guitar scene for not just his playing style but the sound of his tone as well. Eric Johnson may have been aware of the richness of the tone he got, hence why his album was called Tones however this hasn't been confirmed.

Eric Johnson eventually signed with a new record label company called Capital records and began work on Ah Via Musicom. The release of the new album saw Eric Johnson becomming known as a huge guitar hero and the track "Cliffs of Dover" won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. The album was a huge success which soared to a Platinum status. Ah Via Musicom was Eric Johnson's biggest breakthrough.

Venus Isle saw much more problems than its previous record. Eric Johnson quite often ended up redoing or completely scrapping certain track off the record as he became increasingly frustrated with the result which he admitted was due to him being too much of a perfectionist on record. Despite the album taking 6 years to release, Venus Isle didn't become anywhere near as succesful as Ah Via Musicom. And like the album Tones, the record company soon dropped Eric Johnson due to poor sales.

G3 And Beyond

In 1996 Eric Johnson was invited on tour with Joe Satriani and Steve Vai to be a part of the G3 tour which ran from October to November. The tour became a huge success and it was sold as a DVD which was soon certified as Platinum.

In 2002 and 2005 Eric Johnson released 2 more albums; Souvenir and Bloom. Souvenir was released on the internet through Eric Johnson's website. The album contained a lot of tracks that were taken out of previous albums. Although without a mjor label the album did sell fairly well and received generally good reviews from critics.

Bloom however was released through Steve Vai's Favored Nations label. bloom saw Eric Johnson taking a slightly different direction in style however it was still welcomed by fans on the Bloom tour that followed. To date Eric Johnson has released 6 Studio Album and 1 Live Album. The most recent of which is Live From Austin, TX.

Albums And Tracklisting

Seven Worlds
1. Zap
2. Emerald Eyes
3. Showdown
4. Missing Key
5. Alone With You
6. I Promise I Will Try
7. Winter Came
8. Turn The Page
9. A Song For Life
10. By Your Side

1. Soulful Terrain
2. Friends
3. Emerald Eyes
4. Off My Mind
5. Desert Song
6. Trail Of Tears
7. Bristol Shore
8. Zap
9. Victory

Ah Via Musicom
1. Ah Via Musicom
2. Cliffs Of Dover
3. Desert Rose
4. High Landrons
5. Steve's Boogie
6. Trademark
7. Nothing Can Keep Me From You
8. Song For George
9. Righteous
10. Forty Mile Town
11. East Wes

Venus Isle
1. Venus Isle
2. Battle We Have Won
3. All About You
4. S.R.V
5. Lonely In The Night
6. Manhattan
7. Camel's Night Out
8. Song For Lynette
9. When The Sun Meets The Sky
10. Pavilion
11. Venus Reprise

1. Good To Go
2. Space Of Clouds
3. Paperback Writer
4. Forever Yours
5. Hard Times
6. Climbing From Inside
7. I'm Finding You
8. Paladin
9. Fanfare One
10. Virginia
11. A Memory I Have
12. Dusty

1. Bloom
2. Summer Jam
3. My Back Pages
4. Good To Me
5. Columbia
6. 12 To 12 Vibe
7. Sea Secret
8. Sad Legacy
9. From My Heart
10. Cruise The Nile
11. Tribute To Jerry Reed
12. Your Sweet Eyes
13. Hesitant
14. Sunnaround You
15. Magnetized
16. Ceil

Live From Austin, TX
1. Righteous
2. Love Or Confusion
3. Steve's Boogie
4. Trail Of Tears
5. Western Flyer
6. East Wes
7. C.W
8. Camel's Night Out
9. Emerald Eyes
10. Cliffs Of Dover
11. Desert Rose
12. Zap
13. Are You Experienced?

Related GMC Lessons

Check out these great lessons at GMC in the style of Eric Johnson!

Eric Johnson Style 2

Eric Johnson Style Solo

Eric Johnson Scales

See also

Eric Johnson Official Site