Eric Johnson, Andy McKee and Peppino D’Agostino
Eric Johnson, Andy McKee and Peppino D’Agostino are hitting the road this fall on the Guitar Masters tour. The 21-date two-leg run of theaters, colleges and clubs will feature individual sets by each capped with a finale where all three interplay and collaborate for the first time together.
Grammy-winner Johnson is one of the most respected and renowned guitarists playing today, celebrated for his electric six-string playing and songwriting gifts, but also his acoustic talents that have graced his albums and which he has showcased on a number of previous solo tours.
Andy McKee is an Internet phenomenon whose solo acoustic six-string performance videos and compositional flair have racked up an astounding 78 million-plus plays on YouTube, where he has also held the three Top-Rated Videos of All Time. His creative and innovative use of altered tunings, syncopated rhythm guitar taps, partial capos, and his textural use of polyphonic tones are showcased on his six critically-lauded independent albums.
Native Italian steel-string player Peppino D’Agostino, who now resides in the San Francisco Bay area, has nine U.S. CD releases to his credit, including collaborations with electric rock guitar star Stef Burns and classical guitar expert David Tanenbaum. The guitarist also adds his steel string playing to eight nylon-string savants in the United Guitar Ensemble.
The tour will be the first time that McKee has met Johnson, whose hit “Cliffs of Dover” inspired him to play guitar. “He’s really musical.” McKee observes. “It’s like hearing a song but rather than having a vocalist he covers the melody and all the bases at once with his guitar. I still listen to his music all the time and even make references to it in my playing.”
D’Agostino has opened shows for Johnson and notes, “When he plays he really puts his special knowledge in it.” He is also an admirer of McKee’s talent. “What he does with techniques like tapping and his compositions is fabulous. He’s an amazing player.”
“Andy is a great player who puts it all these guitar technique into songs he writes and plays that make them quite interesting. But it’s still all about the song,” Johnson observes of McKee. “Peppino is a really emotional and very soulful player. And he comes from a little bit different background than Andy and I do, so it’s really nice combination for all of us to come from our different sources and mix it all together.
The tour will coincide with the release of Johnson’s new album, Up Close, on his own Vortexan label via EMI. McKee issued his latest recording, the CD/DVD package Joyland, on Razor & Tie Records in March. And D’Agostino’s latest album, Nine White Kites, comes out on his own label August 24.
Guitar Masters tour itinerary:
Oct 1 Milwaukee, WI Northern Lights Theater
Oct 2 Indianapolis, IN Clowes Memorial Hall
Oct 3 Ann Arbor, MI The Ark
Oct 6 Salina, KS Stiefel Theatre
Oct 7 Iowa City, IA Englert Theatre
Oct 8 Kansas City, MO Uptown Theatre
Oct 9 Rochester, MN Mayo Civic Center
Oct 10 Evanston, IL Space
Oct 13 Phoenixville, PA Colonial Theatre
Oct 14 Lebanon, NH Lebanon Opera House
Oct 15 Bethesda, MD Music Center at Strathmore
Oct 16 Westhampton Beach, NY Performing Arts Center
Oct 17 Ridgefield, CT Ridgefield Playhouse
Jan 14 San Luis Obispo, CA Spano Theatre
Jan 15 Mission Viejo, CA Norman P. Murray Center
Jan 16 San Rafael, CA Marin Center
Jan 17 Visalia, CA Fox Theatre
Jan 19 Arcata, CA Van Duzer Theater
Jan 20 Chico, CA Laxson Auditorium
Jan 21 Napa, CA Opera House