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Rock/Blues Review: Eric Johnson-Europe Live

Release Date: June 23, 2014
Label: Mascot

Eric Johnson’s status has grown exponentially and if you have ever caught him live you would come to understand why. His catalog of studio recordings is superb but hearing him play live takes everything to another level. I can attest to that fact from my own personal experience seeing him live in an intimate setting in upstate New York in 2011.

With his latest release Europe Live from the Mascot label, fans will get a chance to hear what EJ sounds like more recently. Rest assured, he has not missed a step and still plays fluidly and his voice is pitched perfect for select songs where lyrics are part of the mix. If it’s an instrumental romp then I cannot compliment the man enough for his incredible talent and mastery of the six string instrument.

I think what illustrates all of his talent along with his band profoundly are “Mr. P.C.,”  where he takes the guitar into jazz rock fusion territory and the band follows with precise albeit complex partnerships. Two of my all-time favorites shine brightly as well, the easy going “Forty Mile Town” and the rocking instrumental “Cliffs of Dover.” Both are from his breakthrough album Ah Via Musicom (1990). That album blew me away when I first heard and it still does to this day. Hearing those tracks played live elevate the excitement level a few more notches and they include some different changes and nuances that you will never hear on the studio recording.

Guitar players and the artistry of people like Eric Johnson is a special thing to treasure whether you are music fan in general, six string aficionado, or love instrumental rock flavored with blues and jazz, there is enjoyment to be found in every nook and cranny of this music.

Europe Liveis a fine document to the stage presence of Mr. Johnson and the absolute command and mastery of his craft. Don’t pass this one up!

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Mr. P.C., Forty Mile Town, Cliffs of Dover

04.Forty Mile Town
05.Mr. P.C.
08.Song For Life
10.Last House on The Block
12.Cliffs of Dover
13.Evinrude Fever
14.Sun Reprise

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Write A Music Review Founder

July 6, 2014

Review Provided By Write A Music


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