Collage CD With Autographed Postcard
Purchase includes a 3"x3" album art card signed by Eric Johnson.
Collage makes a fitting title for Eric Johnson's eighth official studio album release. Hailed as a musician who “plays guitar the way Michelangelo painted ceilings: with a colorful vibrancy that's more real than life," as The New Age Music Guide so eloquently put it, he mixes and matches a variety of musical modes into a cohesive, lovely and engaging work of art.
It features five original songs and five interpretations of numbers by other artists who are among his major inspirations: Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, B.B. King and the instrumental surf-rock group The Ventures. The variety of both material and the musical modes found on Collage underscores how Johnson, best known as one of the most virtuosic guitar players on the planet, is a diverse and multitalented musical creator.
The disc opens with Wonder's "Uptight (Everything's Alright)," a #3 pop hit in 1966 that Eric transforms into a soulfully rocking mode all his own, laced with glimmering guitar lines and figures. His own "Morning Sun" follows, a lament about lost love that further draws on his affection for R&B.
Up next is an eight-minute devotional, "To Love You," that reflects Johnson's gift for setting a seductive mood with words and music in which his guitar playing further explores and enhances the theme and vibe. "Stratagem" echoes the instrument style of his biggest hit, "Cliffs of Dover," in how his guitar style is both lyrical and painterly in the way it conveys both thematic and visual elements. His originals are rounded out by "The Fade," on which he uses multiple vocal tracks in a way that's similar to how his recordings interweave guitar parts, and the album closer "To Whom It May Concern," an evocative instrumental guitar showcase created in collaboration with bassist Chris Maresh and drummer J.J. Johnson.
His solo acoustic guitar instrumental interpretation of Hendrix's "One Rainy Wish (a song from Jimi's second album, Axis: Bold as Love) highlights the melodic compositional gifts of Eric's guitar idol. He then reworks the Lennon/McCartney classic "We Can Work It Out" into something unexpected yet utterly apropos: A lilting ray of Afro-Caribbean sunlight. Similarly, he melds B.B. King's "Rock Me Baby" into a seductive slow-groove fusion of jazz, rock and R&B. "Pipeline," a landmark from the early 1960s golden age of pop-rock instrumentals, originally recorded by The Chantays and later The Ventures , gives Johnson a forum for a stunning six-string workout that includes not only searing electric guitar leads but also a delightful flamenco-flavored acoustic passage.
Collage underscores yet again how "The distinct guitar stylings of Eric Johnson never cease to astound, amaze and entertain," as Vintage Rock observes. It's yet another revelatory chapter in one of the most fascinating recorded journeys by a truly gifted guitarist in popular music.
- Number of discs: 1
- Label: Independent Label Services
- Mono/Stereo: Stereo
- Catalog Number: 8527777522