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Eric Johnson (born August 17, 1954) is one of the most respected guitarists of all time, known predominantly for his electric guitar skills, the musician is also a highly accomplished acoustic, resonator and bass guitarist, as well as a pianist and vocalist from Austin, Texas, U.S.
In 1974 Johnson joined Austin, Texas, U.S. band the Electromagnets and despite failing to sign to a major label, Johnson earned himself a small cult following for his astounding guitar playing. He would later be session musician for the likes of Cat Stevens and Christopher Cross, but it was a performance on the TV show Austin City Limits in 1984 that really paved the way for his enviable career.
Johnson’s debut studio album “Tones” was released in 1986 and made waves across the U.S. among guitar and music communities. His mix of instrumentals and vocal tunes led to the song “Zap” being nominated for the Grammy Ward for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, however the album didn’t sell well and Johnson was dropped for Warner Bros. Music.
It’s follow-up 1990’s “Ah Via Musicom” adopted the same half-and-half format, and again produced the kind of critical acclaim most guitarists can only dream of. The track “Cliffs of Dover” earned him a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental and unlike its predecessor the album was certified as platinum.
Due to nerves, perfectionism and pressure to raise the standard of his music to even greater heights, Johnson’s subsequent album “Venus Isle” was not released until 1996, and the resulting CD received mixed reviews, though showed the development of the guitarist's influences. A year later however in 1997 the guitarist joined Joe Satriani and Steve Vai on the G3 tour, which had the effect of revamping Johnson’s musical curiosity and led to the live album “G3: Live in Concert”.
Side project Alien Love Child allowed Johnson to move past some of his perfectionist tendencies through which he released the life performance “Live and Beyond” in 2000 on Steve Vai’s Favored Nations label. The guitarist released “Souvenir” his fourth full-length debut digitally through his own website in 2002, followed shortly after by “Bloom” his sophomore release on Vai’s Favored Nations label.
2010 brought the studio album “Up Close” released through EMI and Vortexan Records, followed the full-length “ECLECTIC” and live album “Europe Live” in 2014.