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25.7.14

Eric Johnson

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Eric Johnson - Bloom - 2005 - Favored Nations

Bloom is Eric Johnson's fifth studio release, released in June 2005. It was the first studio release since his 1996 album Venus Isle almost nine years prior. However in these nine years he had released a live album by his side-project Alien Love Child entitled Live and Beyond in 2000 as well as an album of previously unreleased material titled Souvenir in 2002. The album is split into three sections, 'Prelude' (tracks 1-6), 'Courante' (tracks 7-12) and 'Allemande' (tracks 13-16). The album was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2006 under the category of Best Pop Instrumental Album. - Wiki

It's no secret that the time gap between albums by guitarist Eric Johnson is on par with such notorious 'hibernators' as Boston. And the arrival of his fourth all-new studio release, Bloom, was no different, as it appeared nearly nine years after the release of 1996's Venus Isle. Whereas most guitar heroes of the late '80s and early '90s were all about reeling off a zillion notes per second, Johnson was the exception, as he penned songs that saw his guitar supplying the melody where a voice could have been. This 16-track release (his second for Steve Vai's Favored Nations label) is split into three separate sections -- 'Prelude,' 'Courante,' and 'Allemande' -- which are supposedly "grouped together in terms of vibe and style." Highlights include "Summer Jam" (which does a splendid job of showcasing his guitar tone), the chicken'-pickin' ditty "Tribute to Jerry Reed," and the almost Steely Dan-esque "Magnetized." If you like your sounds raw and gritty and music off-the-cuff, Bloom isn't the place for you. But for die-hard fans, Johnson delivers once more, as all his trademarks are well represented -- chops, tone, and extremely fluid playing. © Greg Prato © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/bloom-mw0000343771

Eric Johnson is known as a great guitar virtuoso and also he is known as a perfectionist, who constantly rewrites his songs when something doesn't make him pleased.That's one of the reasons why it took him more than 4 years to finish recording the album.He also changed his record label.This album was written on "Favored Nations", which was founded by his friend and a guitar-god Steve Vai. Eric said that while working on the Capitol records he felt constant pressure because of the bosses.On Favored Nations he felt free and released a great album. Eric is the guitarist who sings and he does it quite good, in my opinion even better than Steve Vai. Also Eric is a good composer. All of his albums are full of songs of different styles,you can hear him play jazz or rock, or blues or even country. So he's the man whose albums are full of songs of different genres. As for his guitar playing... I think the fact that he played on G3 with Joe Satriani and Steve Vai speaks for itself. But his guitar playing changed a bit. His tone is recognizeable as  always. He just doesn't shred so much on the album like in the previous ones. His solos became even more melodic than they were.He just knows where to shred and where not. As for the album,it's really good, but it has got some weak points.And I suppose fans who liked "Zap" and "Cliffs of Dover" will be a little disappointed, because they won't find songs like those on the album. However, the album has got its highlights. The album is divided into three parts: Prelude, Courante, & Allemande.The first part is a "rock part", the second -a "blues part", the third- a "jazz part". 1.Bloom. An instrumental song. Quite a good one, starts with a good riff. It's a good mid- tempo song with good solos and a very beautiful bridge. Sometimes you may hear Eric's voice in the background. In the end of the song Eric starts to shred. On the whole I think this song is a very good start to the album. 4/5: 2.Summer Jam. Well, I've read one review about this album and the author of the review called this song the highlight of the album. As for me, I don't find this neither a highlight nor even a good one. It's just an average song of Eric. He's written a lot of such stuff though, I have to admit that Eric's guitar work is good on the track. By the way, it's also an instrumental track. 2,5/5: 3.My Back Pages.This song was originally written by Bob Dylan. Eric did a great cover. His singing is good here. The guitar work is also great, and the solos he plays are really good. And, of course, the lyrics written by Bob Dylan are definitely great. Eric did his best. I like his version of the song even more than the original. 5/5: 4.Good to Me.An instrumental track.This song reminded me of some stuff of Jeff Beck. It has some electronic voices.The riffs are great. So are the solos,very melodic ones. Good song. 4/5: 5.Columbia. It is also an instrumental song. Eric shows his beautiful tone in this song, a very nice piece. Nothing to add.4/5: 6.12 to 12 Vibe. I find this song somehow similar to Summer Jam. Also an instrumental piece, and also an average Eric's piece. Nothing special. Though the guitar work is really good, it doesn't save the situation. 2/5: Courante: 7.Sea Secret. Here Eric plays an acoustic guitar.The guitar playing is really beautiful on this track. It has got a relaxing atmosphere. You can hear the sound of the sea. I wish it was a bit longer, but still a nice piece. 4/5: 8.Sad Legacy. Eric sings on this track. I really like the lyrics of the track. It's about peace and love. He says he'd like he'd like to throw the screams, guns and pain away.The song is beautiful and so are the solos. Eric also plays the piano and does it quite good. 4.5/5: 9.From my heart. I was a little bit bored with the track, maybe because it's also a ballad as "Sad Legacy",and it's also the longest track on the album.This track is not that bad. It's just a little bit boring. Though the arrangement is as good as Eric's singing and everything else, it just doesn't make me feel anything. 3/5. 10.Cruise the Nile. Eric plays electric sitar here. It's also an instrumental track. It has some eastern feel, and it's something I haven't heard from Eric before.There's also something like a dialogue of an electric guitar and a sitar.Great track 5/5: 11.Tribute to Jerry Reed.An instrumental country song. Eric doesn't solo in this. Adrian Legg, a guest guitarist, solos here. I'm not a fan of country but this song is definitely good.4,5/5: 12.Your Sweet Eyes. It's a song about love and reminds me of some stuff of Richard Marx. It starts off with an acoustic guitar, then the drums begin to play, and Eric starts singing.This song also features Grammy-Award winner Shawn Colvin, who sings in the background.The solo in the middle and in the end are great, and the song itself is great. 5/5 13.Hesitant. A jazz instrumental song. Here Eric's playing with octaves just like Wes Montgomery, the guitarist who influenced Eric's guitar playing. Eric often shows his admiration for Wes Montgomery, as he did in "Manhattan"and "East Wes". Eric doesnt even sound here like he usually does, but anyway a good track. 3,5/5 14.Sonnaround you. Eric sings here about love, but it's a little bit similar to the previous track. I really like Eric's piano playing in the song. The diminished chords he plays are really beautiful.3/5: 15.Magnetized. An instrumental track and one of the highlights of the album. Everything is just great on the track.Nothing to add.5/5: 16.Ciel.The last track of the album, a relaxing one. For the most part of the song Eric plays an acoustic guitar,and in the end he accompanies it with sitar and piano.A good end of the good album: What I really liked is: 1.Eric's guitar work.He's just proved that he's one of the great guitarists ever. 2.The variety of musical genres on the album. 3.His lyrics are also good. What i disliked is that some songs are really repetitive and sometimes it becomes really boring to listen to the album: The Highlights are: My Back Pages, Sad Legacy, Cruise the Nile,Your sweet Eyes, and Magnetized. In conclusion, I'd like to say that Eric released a record which is very easy to listen to. Also, it isn't worse than his previous albums, "Ah Via Musicom" or "Venus Isle". I really recommend it to anyone, because everybody will find something to his liking on this album. - Review by & © CoverHit September 4th, 2005 [4.0 excellent] © 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/3440/Eric-Johnson-Bloom/

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 his album, “Tones” a majestic debut. Eric also made the cover of Guitar Player magazine after “Tones” release. 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. On “Bloom”, the 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 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 = 143 Mb]

TRACKS

Prelude

1. Bloom 3:10
2. Summer Jam 2:11
3. My Back Pages 3:47
4. Good to Me 4:31
5. Columbia 2:22
6. 12 to 12 Vibe 2:21

Courante

7. Sea Secret 1:57
8. Sad Legacy 4:06
9. From My Heart 7:26
10. Cruise the Nile 2:13
11. Tribute to Jerry Reed 2:27
12. Your Sweet Eyes 6:08

Allemande

13. Hesitant 6:28
14. Sunnaround You 3:07
15. Magnetized 3:21
16. Ciel 3:26

All tracks composed by Eric Johnson except "My Back Pages" composed by Bob Dylan

MUSICIANS

Eric Johnson - Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Classical Guitar, Pedal Steel, Electric Sitar, Bass, Rhodes Electric Piano, Piano, Synth, Vocals
Adrian Legg - Guitar
Chris Maresh, C. Roscoe Beck - Bass
Tony Phillips - Bass, Synth, Drums
Steve Barber - Acoustic Piano, Moog Synth, Vocals
Rich Harvey - Acoustic Piano
Tal Bergman, Tom Brechtlein, Barry "Frosty" Smith - Drums
Tommy Taylor, Bill Maddox - Drums, Percussion
Tom Burrit, Brad Evilsizer, James Fenner - Percussion
Salvatore Banzai La Rocca - Harp
Shawn Colvin, Lisa Tingle, Jody Lazo - Vocals

BIO

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 © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/eric-johnson-mn0000188261/biography

6 comments:

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ratso said...

Thanks for this. No doubt its soothing tones will assist me in getting over this fershluginer flu. It is still so cold that the bugs have to carry around tiny little hot water bottles to survive outside. Suffice to say they are whooping it up in my head and chest just now. Your ol' china. Ratsorat

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

G'day,ratso, me ol' china. Hope your wog improves soon. I was on the beach today. 25 C! Can you believe it? I've a head like a sun dried tomato, but my Jackson Pollocks are in love with each other again! LOL! Catch you later...Achhhhhhhhhhhhoo! ATB..Paul

Gruguons said...

Thanks for this one !
Cheers. Yann

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

Thanks, Gruguons /Yann! A.A.Pleasure...TTU later...Paul

dondo said...

Thanks