Eric Johnson

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About Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson became a guitar hero in the ’90s with a sound that could be lyrical or lacerating, depending on the mood, and a style that brought a pan-genre cornucopia of influences to a rock setting. Born in Austin, TX, in 1954, Johnson grew up loving jazz, country, rock ’n’ roll, and more. He worked with acid rockers Mariani while still in his teens and released an album with the jazz-rock band Electromagnets in 1975. He then cut an album in the late ’70s that went unreleased for decades, so his official debut was 1986’s high-sheen, vocal-heavy Tones. The 1990 follow-up, Ah Via Musicom, was his Grammy-winning breakthrough, led by a trio of big rock-radio instrumental hits including “Cliffs of Dover” that showed off his fleet-fingered fret work. Over the years, his approach became increasingly eclectic, highlighting disparate influences like Wes Montgomery, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Jerry Reed. In 1996 Johnson took part in the high-profile G3 dream-team tour featuring fellow guitar heroes Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, and over the years he’s guested with the likes of Chet Atkins, John McLaughlin, and Mike Stern, but he’s never stopped bringing his all to his solo statements.

Austin, TX, United States
August 17, 1954
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