Album Review: Eric Johnson – EJ

Posted on 7 November 2016
By Chris High
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Eric Johnson: “One of the most respected guitarists on the planet”. This according to Guitar Player Magazine and on the evidence of his latest album, the acoustic, eponymously initialled EJ, they’ve not gone far enough with ‘respected’ because ‘best’ might have been more appropriate because this is absolute guitar heaven!

Of the thirteen beautifully worked tracks on this album, four are covers. However, none of them are mere packing. The opening Mrs. Robinson is a guitar solo rendition of the Simon & Garfunkel classic to die for, whereas the Jimi Hendrix Experience classic One Rainy Wish is totally rejuvenated here, thanks to Johnson’s slick control and gentle vocals.

Of the original tracks featured. Wrapped in a Cloud is delicately delivered, with some magisterial keyboards underpinning the whole, whereas The World is Waiting for Sunrise is simply Johnson having guitar fun. Indeed, so uplifting is the track you can almost picture the barn, the hay and the checked shirt locals clapping along to the young buck picking chords at will.

Yet it is the pseudo-progressive/folkness of Fatherly Downs that truly stands out. It’s almost reverential liberation of chords and words, drip down like rain on warm day before Johnson’s playing finally explodes like a brief autumnal storm across the entire track.

Not rock, not, folk … not really singularly belonging to any genre, truth be told … Eric Johnson’s first foray into the world of completely acoustic recordings is an absolute joy and a must listen album filled with grace, skill and energy.

Eric Johnson
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download

PR Rating: **** Enigmatic Genius

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