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, Johnny Lang and collaborator Malford Milligan as well as Johnson himself. 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). Up Close returns Johnson to the EMI family where he 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.
Up Close Track Listing:
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)
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.”
Experience Hendrix Tour Dates:
Oct. 26 – Pittsburgh – Benedum Theater
Oct. 28 – Toronto, ON – Sony Center
Oct. 29 – Quebec City, QUE – Grand Theatre
Oct. 30 – Montreal, QUE – Place des Arts
Nov. 01 -Ottawa, ON -National Arts Center Southam Hall
Nov. 02 – Buffalo, NY – Center for the Arts
Nov. 03 – Morristown, NJ – Community Theatre
Nov. 04 – Mashantucket, CT – MGM Grand @ Foxwoods
Nov. 06 – Albany, NY – Palace Theater
Nov. 07 – Boston, MA – Orpheum Theater
Nov. 09 – Hershey, PA – Hershey Theatre
Nov. 10 – New York, NY – Beacon Theatre
Nov. 11 – Baltimore, MD – Hippodrome
Nov. 12 – Richmond, VA – Landmark Theater
Nov. 13 – Atlantic City, NJ – Caesars Casino
Nov. 16 – Columbus, OH- Palace Theater
Nov. 17 – Cincinnati, OH – Taft Theater
Nov. 18 – Detroit, MI – Fox Theater
Nov. 19 – Merrilville, IN – Star Plaza Theater
Nov. 20 – Indianapolis – Murat Theatre