Get this crazy baby off my head!


Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson - Tones - 1986 - Reprise

Tones, Eric Johnson's first solo album, is an exceptionally strong debut, and a record that is just as good as the guitarist's breakthrough 1990 release Ah Via Musicom. Grouped with long-time compatriots Roscoe Beck and Tommy Taylor, Johnson's trademark composing voice and so-sweet electric guitar are already on full display. True to the album's title, Johnson showcases many different guitar tones, from the violin-like sustain of his trademark distortion to the bell-like timbre of his clean-toned rhythm work. Johnson also sings on five of the nine songs on Tones, and his voice is as competently expressive as ever. The second half of this record is really where it moves from being simply "good" to "great." Emerging from Stephen Barber's almost new-agey Fairlight CMI vamp, "Trail of Tears" kicks into a driving groove punctuated by Johnson's chordal stabs and arpeggios and carried by one of the guitarist's best vocal melodies. The multi-tiered arrangement is also one of the high marks of Johnson's catalog. This track segues in turn into the wonderful "Bristol Shore." This song features Johnson making his guitar sound like a koto as well as throwing in some impossibly in-tune upper-register licks that are played so sweetly they seem to threaten to fly off into the stratosphere (pun intended). The lack of a "Cliffs of Dover," a catchy, driving instrumental showcase for Johnson's chops, does not cheapen Tones in any way. It is a beautiful and important album by one of the greatest electric guitarists ever to pick up the instrument. © Daniel Gioffre © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/tones-mw0000193561

Guitar maestro, Eric Johnson has been called "A perfection-driven, genre-bending axe slinger from Texas with one of the most distinctive electric guitar tones in music". Guitar Player Magazine called Eric “one of the most respected guitarists on the planet”, and called “Tones” a majestic debut. Eric also made the cover of Guitar Player magazine after the album’s release. The track “Zap” earned Eric his first Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. Eric has been criticized for being too much of a technical musician and not playing with his heart, but he takes great pride in his technical mastery of the guitar and sees himself fulfilling a different role in the guitar world. He says "you have to start out slowly and develop your “ear theory” before you worry about the “book theory” of playing guitar. Eric may be a perfectionist but his albums are worth waiting for. “Tones”’ songs' structures are mostly progressively influenced. The album has Latin, jazz, Beatlesque, and even classical influences but all these elements are embedded in beautiful bluesy fret runs and jazzy fusion grooves. A truly great album and HR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to Eric's stunning "Ah Via Musicom" album. [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 110 Mb]


1. Soulful Terrain - Eric Johnson 4:15
2. Friends - Eric Johnson 5:35
3. Emerald Eyes - Eric Johnson, Jay Aaron 3:22
4. Off My Mind - Eric Johnson 3:59
5. Desert Song - Eric Johnson 4:19
6. Trail of Tears - Eric Johnson, Carla Olson, Stephen Barber 6:02
7. Bristol Shore - Eric Johnson 6:39
8. Zap - Eric Johnson 4:42
9. Victory - Eric Johnson, Roscoe Beck, Tommy Taylor 6:38


Eric Johnson - Guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Vocals
Roscoe Beck - Bass, 6-String Bass
Stephen Barber - Piano, Fairlight Cmi Computer
Tommy Taylor - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Jerry Marotta - Percussion, Vocals
David Tickle - Percussion, Fairlight Cmi Computer
[See sleeve notes] - Background Vocals


Very few musical artists achieve a true signature style -- one that makes comparisons to other musicians impossible. But Texas guitarist Eric Johnson arguably comes as close to this echelon as any musician from the past quarter-century. Like fellow Lone Star State guitarists Johnny Winter, Billy Gibbons, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnson blends the rock style of Jimi Hendrix and the blues power of Albert King. Yet Johnson's wide array of additional influences (from the Beatles and Jeff Beck to jazz and Chet Atkins) makes for a guitar sound as unique as his fingerprints. "When I first heard Eric," Winter recalls, "he was only 16, and I remember wishing that I could have played like that at that age." Former Doobie Brothers guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter says, "If Jimi Hendrix had gone on to study with Howard Roberts for about eight years, you'd have what this kid strikes me as." The Austin prodigy appeared on the cover of Guitar Player magazine while working with Texas jazz/fusion band the Electromagnets and as a session player (Cat Stevens, Carole King, Christopher Cross), and a 1984 performance on the TV show Austin City Limits set his recording career in motion. Johnson's 1986 debut album, Tones, certainly proved that the hype was warranted. Playing with the ace rhythm section of bassist Roscoe Beck and drummer Tommy Taylor, Johnson mixed blazing instrumentals ("Zap," "Victory") with Beatles-influenced vocal tunes like "Emerald Eyes" and "Bristol Shore." Johnson used the same half-and-half format on the 1990 follow-up, Ah Via Musicom, but a trio of the album's tunes surprisingly made him the first artist to have three instrumentals from the same album to chart in the Top Ten in any format (with "Cliffs of Dover" earning Johnson a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental). But, if Johnson had a perceived weakness, it was the perfectionism that caused four years to pass between recordings. Even in concert, he would painstakingly tune his guitar between songs, by ear, for minutes on end. With the success of Ah Via Musicom, the guitarist admitted to feeling pressure to raise the bar again. But Johnson's studio nitpicking delayed Venus Isle until 1996, and the disappointing CD contained fewer instrumentals and sounded forced. A stint on the 1997 G3 tour with fellow headlining guitarists Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, and its resulting live release, breathed new life into Johnson and sparked the idea of a live album. Overhauling his band for the 2000 CD Live and Beyond, Johnson brought in bassist Chris Maresh and drummer Bill Maddox, and concentrated on more of a blues feel. The guitarist still blended instrumentals with his vocal tunes ("Shape I'm In," "Last House on the Block"), but perhaps realized that his thin voice was too one-dimensional for guttural blues or R&B. Guest vocalist Malford Milligan ignites "Don't Cha Know" and "Once a Part of Me," helping Johnson's blazing debut on Vai's Favored Nations label and reestablishing the versatile virtuoso's status for the 21st century. As Vai himself testifies, "Eric has more colorful tone in his fingers than Van Gogh had on his palette." Souvenir, an album available only through Johnson's website, appeared in 2002, followed by CD and DVD versions of New West's Live from Austin, TX and Bloom, the second album for Vai's Favored Nations imprint, in 2005. Johnson returned in 2010 with Up Close, a studio album that slightly emphasized the guitarist's Texas roots. © Bill Meredith © 2012 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/eric-johnson-mn0000188261188261


A.O.O.F.C said...


Password is aoofc

Anonymous said...

Hey mi amigo excelente y muy agradable post, el de Eric Johnson - Tones – 1986
y el de Derek Sherinian - Inertia – 2001.


A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks, Daniel, my friend. It's my pleasure! TTU soon...Paul