Ask any guitarist to describe Eric Johnson in one word, and you'll likely get one response: “Tone." Johnson took the music world by storm with the release of his 1986 album Tones and the subsequent Ah Via Musicom from 1990. Since that time, he's released a successful DVD, appeared on several G3 and Experience Hendrix tours -- and he's even won a Grammy.
The Experience Hendrix tour, a traveling show that pays tribute to the music of Jimi Hendrix, will head back on the road in March. Thirteen dates have been confirmed (See the schedule below), and several more dates will be announced soon.
The youngest of four guitar-playing brothers, all of whom play lefty and upside-down, Eric Gales was a fretboard monster early on, raised on a healthy diet of Jimi Hendrix via his older siblings. Before the mainstream successes of Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joe Bonamassa, Derek Trucks, Jonny Lang, John Mayer and others of his generation, Gales, aka “Raw Dog,” was jamming with gods like Shawn Lane and Carlos Santana and getting interviewed by Arsenio Hall.
Guitar great Eric Johnson has announced a run of shows in the U.S. that kicks off tonight in Foxborough, Masschusetts. The tour comes in support of his latest album, Up Close, which was released back in 2010.
Speaking with the legendary Texas guitarist as he prepares for his upcoming tour, Eric Johnson reveals much on his recording process, the musicians he works with and how he embraces music's ever-changing digital frontier.
This is an Eric Johnson-inspired melodic climb in the key of E. It's based on a six-note sequence that I transpose to different tonal centers as I move up and across the neck. The first part of the lick, up until the legato ending, is all alternate picked with palm muting.
Ah, the quest for tone. I imagine that sooner or later, every musician desires to possess a sound that flows with the sweet feeling of inspiration. Eric Johnson is a long-tenured seeker who has certainly reaped the sonic rewards of his efforts. He recently took a moment with me to discuss the gear he is using as he tours in support of his 2010 release, Up Close.