Eric Johnson Returns With ‘EJ VOL II’, Embarks on 55-Date North American Tour

As another decade turns, the Austin, TX based prolific guitarist, vocalist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist – Eric Johnson – will release a new studio offering titled EJ Vol II, on February 28, 2020. To celebrate this 11th studio album, JOHNSON has a 55-date tour, spanning nearly 3-months. The tour will hit every major city across the U.S. and will also enter into Canada, for one show in Toronto as well.

EJ Vol II follows its predecessor from 2016 which was simply EJ, an all-acoustic collection of songs which showcased nine original compositions and four covers. JOHNSON’s approach was deeply honest, intimate, personal and delivered with organic emotion. With EJ Vol II, he presents new repertoire that combines electric and acoustic arrangements and once again represents a collection of originals with a couple of select covers.

Among the new songs, there is deep meaning and messaging with each track, sometimes figurative while at times literal. On “Waterwheel,” he captures personal feelings about the gift of the flow of the spirit and synchronicity of all things under the universe in creation, utilizing the water wheel or an old paddle wheel that turns in water as the metaphorical symbolism. The song “Golden Way,” approaches finding the true higher path in life, while the poignant “For the Stars,” captures his introspection surrounding the loss of his mother as he looks up towards the sky at night wondering where she is now. Along with the 11 original songs there are two covers on the album; The Beatles “Hide Your Love Away” and Eric’s arrangement of Bert Jansch’s take on the traditional “Black Waterside.” The latter was first recorded in 1966, but became infamous through Jimmy Page performing a similar riff on Led Zeppelin’s 1969 debut without acknowledging the credit (on “Black Mountain Side”).

The new 2020 tour titled “Classics: Present and Past” will feature EJ Vol. II alongside selections from his prolific career. The EJ touring band will feature Roscoe Beck on bass (Leonard Cohen, Robben Ford, Dixie Chicks), Tom Brechtlein on drums (Kenny Loggins, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, Robben Ford), and on keyboards + second guitar, Dave Scher (a rising star from the Austin music scene).

The new year will also see the release of a new Fender Stratocaster as a part of their “Stories Collection” (modeled after an instrument Johnson frequently used early in his career). This model will be his fourth in the Fender collection of signature Johnson guitars.

Over the course of more than four decades,Johnson has been traveling on a prolific odyssey. Along the way, his creations have cross pollinated the various musical genres which include rock, blues, jazz, fusion, soul, folk, new-age, classical and even country. Inevitably E.J. says it best himself in sharing that regardless of the genre “It really boils down to the music and the song at the end of the day,” he explains. “If it doesn’t have that it gets boring for me. The most important thing for me is to grow musically and make a more expansive and meaningful artistic statement with every new project.”

Eric Johnson on “Classics – Present and Past” Tour:

January 3 The State Room Salt Lake City, UT
January 4 The State Room Salt Lake City, UT
January 5 Revolution Event Center Boise, ID
January 6 Hult PAC, Silva Concert Hall Eugene, OR
January 8 The Bing Crosby Theater Spokane, WA
January 9 Lincoln Theatre Mt. Vernon, WA
January 10 Admiral Theatre Bremerton, WA
January 11 The Triple Door Seattle, WA
January 12 Aladdin Theater Portland, OR
January 14 Miner Auditorium San Francisco, CA
January 15 Crest Theatre Sacramento, CA
January 16 Sunset Cultural Center Carmel, CA
January 17 The Grove of Anaheim Anaheim, CA
January 18 The Regent Theater Los Angeles, CA
January 19 Majestic Ventura Theater Ventura, CA
January 21 House of Blues San Diego, CA
January 22 Rialto Theatre Tucson, AZ
January 23 The Crescent Ballroom Phoenix, AZ
January 24 KiMo Theatre Albuquerque, NM
January 25 Paramount Theatre Denver, CO
January 26 The Lincoln Center Fort Collins, CO
January 29 House of Blues Dallas, TX
January 30 The Aztec Theater San Antonio, TX
January 31 House of Blues Houston, TX
February 1 Paramount Theatre Austin, TX
Tour Break
February 18 Cain’s Ballroom Tulsa, OK
February 19 Madrid Theatre Kansas City, MO
February 20 The Castle Theatre Bloomington, IL
February 21 The Arcada Theatre St. Charles, IL
February 22 St. Andrew’s Hall Detroit, MI
February 23 The Clyde Theatre Fort Wayne, IN
February 25 Opera House Toronto, ONT
February 26 Tralf Music Hall Buffalo, NY
February 27 Tupelo Music Hall Derry, NH
February 28 Cabot Performing Arts Center Beverly, MA
February 29 The Center for Arts in Natick Natick, MA
March 1 YMCA Boulton PAC Bay Shore, NY
March 3 Sony Hall New York, NY
March 4 Warehouse Fairfield, CT
March 5 Swyer Theatre Albany, NY
March 6 The Fillmore – Silver Spring Silver Spring, MD
March 7 Sellersville Theater Sellersville, PA
March 9 Kent Stage Kent, OH
March 11 Center Stage Atlanta, GA
March 12 Ponte Vedra Concert Hall Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
March 13 Broward PAC – Amaturo Theatre Ft. Lauderdale, FL
March 14 House of Blues Lake Buena Vista, FL
March 15 Capitol Theatre Clearwater, FL
March 17 Vinyl Music Hall Pensacola, FL
March 18 Civic Theatre New Orleans, LA
March 21 City Winery Nashville, TN
March 22 Jackson Terminal Knoxville, TN
March 27 Diana Wortham Theatre Asheville, NC
March 28 House of Blues North Myrtle Beach, SC
March 29 McGlohon [email protected] Square Charlotte, NC

Photo credit: Max Crace

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