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

     Eric Johnson will hit the road next week 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:
10/05   Jackson, MS                                                   Duling Hall
10/06   Atlanta, GA                                                     Center Stage
10/07   Rocky Mount, VA                                          Harvester Performance Center
10/08   Elkins, WV                                                     Mountain Stage
10/09   Cleveland, OH                                                Music Box Supper Club
10/11   Oakmont, PA                                                  The Oaks Theater
10/12   Annapolis, MD                                               Rams Head On Stage
10/13   Richmond, VA                                                Tin Pan
10/14   Sellersville, PA                                               Sellersville Theater
10/15   Westbury, NY                                                 The Space At Westbury
10/16   Washington DC                                              The Hamilton
10/18   Fairfield, CT                                                    StageOne
10/19   Fall River, MA                                                Narrows Center For The Arts
10/20   New Brunswick, NJ                                       State Theatre
10/21   Beverly, MA                                                   Cabot Theatre
10/22   Cohoe, NY                                                      Cohoes Music Hall
10/23   Shirley, MA                                                    Bull Run Restaurant
10/25   New York, NY                                               Highline Ballroom
10/26   Londonberry, NH                                           Tupelo Music Hall
10/27   Norfolk, CT                                                    Infinity Hall
10/28   Brownfield, ME                                              Stone Mountain Arts Center
10/29   Londonderry, NH                                           Tupelo Music Hall
10/30   Pawling, NY                                                   Daryl’s House
11/01   Ferndale, MI                                                   The Magic Bag
11/02   St. Louis, MO                                                 Old Rock House
11/03   Minneapolis, MN                                            Dakota Jazz Club
11/04   Milwaukee, WI                                               Back Room @ Colectivo Coffee
11/05   Chicago, IL                                                     City Winery
11/06   Nashville, TN                                                  City Winery
11/09   Charlotte, NC                                                  McGlohan Theatre
11/10   Durham, NC                                                   Carolina Theatre
11/11   Charleston, SC                                                Charleston Music Hall
11/13   Asheville, NC                                                 Diane Worham Theatre
11/15   Clearwater, FL                                                Capitol Theatre
11/16   Ponte Vedra Beach, FL                                   Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
11/18   New Orleans, LA                                            House of Blues
11/19   Austin, TX                                                      Paramount Theatre