Provogue/Mascot Label Group
Touted as one of the all-time greatest guitar players, Grammy-winning musician Eric Johnson has been on the music scene since the 1960s, recording with the likes of Cat Stevens and Carole King to Christopher Cross, Dweezil Zappa and slide guitar extraordinaire Sonny Landreth. On his latest offering, Europe Live, Johnson presents a sweeping potpourri of jazz-tinged, blues-infused rock. Recorded at stripped-down performances in Amsterdam, Germany and Paris with only himself, drummer Wayne Salzmann and bassist Chris Maresh gracing the stage, this 14-song collection features career-spanning electric and acoustic staples as well as more recent material that allow Johnson to enthrall audiences with his predominantly unrivaled skills.
Alternating between understated, acoustic and electric performances on such tracks as “Song for Life,” “Interlude,” “Manhattan” and “Forty Mile Town,” which offers an alluring vocal, and the more rock-based “Zap” and blues-oriented “Austin” as well as a newer song, “Fatdaddy,” Johnson takes us on a musical tour de force. Also noteworthy are his inclusion of Alien Love Child classics “Zenland” and the epic, eleven-minute, multi-layered blues rocker/melodic “Last House on the Block.” Another true gem that spotlights Johnson’s love for jazz is his version of John Coltrane’s “Mr. P.C.” Of course, no Eric Johnson live assortment would be complete without his monumental, Grammy garnering guitar-driven “Cliffs of Dover,” which he absolutely slays. Wrapping up the record is a lively version of “Evinrude Fever” followed by a stellar, reinterpreted version of “When the Sun Meets the Sky” entitled “Sun Reprise.”
Crisply produced and bursting with energy and color, this refreshing collection of Johnson favorites features the guitar virtuoso at his finest.