In Concert

Tuesday, 21 September 2010 16:45

Eric Johnson on "Acoustic Masters" Tour Featured

Written by

gmcomp

Eric Johnson, Peppino D’Agostino and Andy McKee are setting off on the "Acoustic Masters" tour starting October 21, 2010. Heading through the Midwest to the East Coast and finishing up on multi-date tour of California venues, the three talented guitarists will be bringing their particular brand of acoustic guitar mastery to a town near you. We talked with Eric Johnson briefly about the tour and touched on some other subjects as well.

 

Can you tell us a little bit about the Acoustic Masters Tour?

Yeah, it’s Peppino D’Agostino, Andy McKee and I – all of us doing a 3-way acoustic thing. It’s going to be fun, we’re doing a few weeks in the midwest and the east coast and then we’re going to do it again in California in January. I’ve toured with Peppino before – I’ve never worked with Andy, but we’ll probably all just do an individual set a piece and then all come out and play a song or two together at the end of the night.

How is it for you to come in and play together with someone new like Andy McKee?

Well, I kinda do it off and on with different people – I’ve never had the opportunity to do it with Andy before or Peppino (though we have toured before), but it’s always nice to do that, you know, just jump in with somebody else and see where it goes. We’ll probably leave the songs we play together kind of open and improv a bit.

Andy McKee gained a lot of popularity on YouTube – what’s your opinion of this new medium and how it’s being used?

I think it’s great – it puts it where it really should be and gives anybody an opportunity to showcase their talent. They’re not under the constraints of who they know, or funds, or anything else. It’s an immediate window.

What have you been listening to lately?

I’m just all over the map – I’ve been checking out Chopan and listening to a bunch of old Motown and Stevie Wonder.. been listening to Sam Cooke a lot lately, trying to check all that out.

Is your playing still being changed and influenced by other sources of inspiration?

I definitely am keeping it open and trying to reinvent myself or to, you know, open up and try to be more musical.

I read that one of your influences was Chet Atkins, do you have other guitar influences from when you were first starting out?

Yeah, yeah – Hendrix was a big influence.. Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Wes Montgomery, John McLaughlin, Les Paul, Jerry Reed, yeah.. I love all those guys.

Jimi Hendrix is often described as an innovative guitar player, but talking to you now.. is he that great of a technical guitarist?

Yeah, there are certain songs that you hear of his that are extremely technically great, and it would be difficult for anyone (no matter how technical they are) to play them as well as he played them. In addition to that, I think that he was such an emotional, innovative player that stuff like that didn’t really rule him. So a lot of that stuff isn’t so technical, but is extremely emotional or extremely different, unique and innovative. I think he really crossed all of those bridges. And in addition, put in perspective what he was playing and doing 43 years ago.. it’s just mind boggling. At the time that he came out - with the knowledge and what we had learned and gained on guitar style and technique at that time... he just came out of left field with something that was light years different, and beyond what anyone else was doing.

Can you tell us a little about your new album?

Yeah, it’s called "Up Close" and it’s 15 pieces of new music. We finished it a couple of nights ago, it’ll be coming out on AMI Records in late October, I think. And so we’ll be touring off of that probably early next year right after the January leg of the acoustic tour finishes up.

Ok, and how does the new album "Up Close" differ from recordings you’ve done in the past?

I think mainly it’s a step in me trying to let go a little bit of it being too "studio-ish". There’s still a little bit of that in there.. there will always be a little bit, but it’s a step towards trying to just perform more in the studio and kinda let go a bit. We had other artists guest on it as well and try to let it just go where it’s gonna go. It really brought a different type of integrity to what’s going on. I’m kinda looking to go that way more in the future.

What guests did you have on this album?

Sonny Landreth, Jimmie Vaughan played on songs, Steve Miller sang on a tune and Jonny Lang as well.

We’re looking forward to the show in Chicago, thank you for giving us a moment of your time!

 

Guitar Masters tour itinerary:

Oct 1                        Milwaukee, WI                                    Northern Lights Theater
Oct 2                        Indianapolis, IN                                  Clowes Memorial Hall
Oct 3                        Ann Arbor, MI                                    The Ark
Oct 6                        Salina, KS                                            Stiefel Theatre
Oct 7                        Iowa City, IA                                       Englert Theatre
Oct 8                        Kansas City, MO                                Uptown Theatre
Oct 9                        Rochester, MN                                   Mayo Civic Center
Oct 10                      Evanston, IL                                       Space
Oct 13                      Phoenixville, PA                                 Colonial Theatre
Oct 14                      Lebanon, NH                                       Lebanon Opera House
Oct 15                      Bethesda, MD                                     Music Center at Strathmore
Oct 16                      Westhampton Beach, NY                  Performing Arts Center
Oct 17                      Ridgefield, CT                                    Ridgefield Playhouse
Jan 14                      San Luis Obispo, CA                        Spano Theatre
Jan 15                      Mission Viejo, CA                             Norman P. Murray Center
Jan 16                      San Rafael, CA                                    Marin Center
Jan 17                      Visalia, CA                                          Fox Theatre
Jan 19                      Arcata, CA                                          Van Duzer Theater
Jan 20                      Chico, CA                                            Laxson Auditorium
Jan 21                      Napa, CA                                             Opera House

 

Dave Biggs

Exploring Chicago for all it has to offer..

 

 

10 Years! Fave Issue Covers

Register

Latest Articles

  • Mysteriously seductive, Joffrey’s "Giselle" charms with its darkness
    Written by
    Giselle, Adolphe Adam’s beautiful tale created for the ballet’s premiere in Paris back in 1841, has been re-imagined by the Ballet Master and Stager Lola de Avila, marking the opening of Joffrey Ballet’s 2017-2018 Season. Set in the Middle Ages…
  • An Evening with Chris Thile – The Man, The Mandolin
    Written by
    “That didn’t even sound like a mandolin,” I said to my companion – a mandolinist of some considerable skill – as we left Skokie’s North Shore Center for the Performing Arts after attending An Evening with Chris Thile. “That’s what…
  • Review: "Hard Times" at Lookingglass Theatre
    Written by
    Lookingglass Theatre Company opens its 30th Anniversary Season with the return of the award-winning “Hard Times”, adapted from Charles Dickens and directed by Artistic Director and Ensemble Member Heidi Stillman , in association with The Actors Gymnasuim. It was first…
  • BLUE MAN GROUP CELEBRATES 20th BIRTHDAY!
    Written by
    With two decades in its home at Lakeview’s Briar Street Theater under its belt, Blue Man Group is still going strong. The show can best be described as a bizarre, performance-arty take on STOMP, with both running about 90 minutes…

Guests Online

We have 452 guests and no members online

Buzz Chicago on Facebook Buzz Chicago on Twitter