Guitarist, songwriter and singer Eric Johnson brings listeners Up Close to his stunning musicality when the Grammy winning artist releases his sixth studio album on his own Vortexan Music label (via EMI Distribution) on December 7th 2010. The 15-track disc presents 14 new Johnson compositions plus his version of the Electric Flag song “Texas,” and features guest appearances by fellow master players Jimmie Vaughan and Sonny Landreth on guitar and vocals by Steve Miller and Johnny Lang.
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” (Memphis Commercial Appeal). Malford Milligan as well as Johnson. It returns him to the EMI family where Johnson enjoyed his greatest record success with the albums Ah Via Musicom and Venus Isle.
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 as well as its sonic immediacy thanks to a mix by legendary veteran engineer 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.”
He precedes the album’s release with a special acoustic Guitar Masters tour alongside acclaimed players Peppino D’Agostino and Andy McKee in October, and follows it with his second appearance on the Experience Hendrix tour later this year and another leg of the Guitar Masters tour in January 2011.
Lyrical themes of reflection, emotional revelations, personal growth and fulfillment are underscored on the album by Johnson’s most daring, urgent, progres- sive 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” (Memphis Commercial Appeal).
3. BRILLIANT ROOM (Malford Milligan -vocal)
4. TEXAS (Steve Miller –vocal, Jimmie Vaughan - guitar)
7. AUSTIN (Jonny Lang - vocal)
8. SOUL SURPRISE
9. ON THE WAY
11.THE SEA AND THE MOUNTAIN
13. A CHANGE HAS COME TO ME
14. CHANGE - revisited
15. YOUR BOOK (Sonny Landreth - guitar)
Johnson burst into the musical main- stream 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 magazine.
Up Close 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.”
For more information, visit www.ericjohnson.com