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Articles Home » 1998 Articles » Johnson, Eric - 1998 Seven Worlds
Johnson, Eric - 1998 Seven Worlds

ARTIST: Johnson, Eric
ALBUM: Seven Worlds
LABEL: Ark 21 Records
SERIAL: 7243 4 97010 2 1
YEAR: 1998


LINEUP: Eric Johnson - vocals, guitars * Steve Barber - synthesizer * C Roscoe Beck - bass * Kyle Brock - bass * Christopher Cross - vocals * David Dennard - bass, sitar * Bill Maddox - drums * Jimmy Martin - guitars * Nick Phelps - flute, trumpet * Mark Singer - drums * Kim Wilson - harmonica

TRACK LISTING: 01 Zap * 02 Emerald Eyes * 03 Showdown * 04 Missing Key * 05 Alone With You * 06 I Promise I Will Try * 07 Winter Came * 08 Turn The Page * 09 A Song For Life * 10 By Your Side


Followers of Texan rock and guitar players in general will need no introduction to Eric Johnson. He has a unique blend of styles which fuses all types across the rock genre. Previous albums such as 'Tones', the fabuloso 'Ah Via Musicom' and 'Venus Isle' all demonstrate Eric's diversity. sometimes blues, sometimes melodic rock, and sometimes down home 'country'. Whatever the style, melody is essential and is apparent in everything he does. Though this CD came in 1998, it actually has it's roots during the years of 1976 and 1978, long before 'Tones' was released in 1988. Not that Eric was sitting on his chuff doing nothing.. far from it. Gigs with Cat Stevens and Carole King kept him busy. Eric had massive contractual difficulties, hence 'Seven Worlds' seeing the light of day years later, as well as a lengthy period to 'wait' out the contract he was in. A snapshot of his musical dabblings twenty years earlier show a serious talent even that far back. Producer of the album was none other than Texan melodic rock identity Jay Aaron (Podolnick).

The Songs
The wistful vocals of 'Emerald Eyes' (first heard on 'Tones') drifts on a Larry Carlton West Coast shuffle, though played in Eric's own Texas style. Listening to 'Showdown' the song sort of sounds out of place. Eric has since admitted in a interview that he would have preferred this track not be on the album. 'Missing Key' is a quaint guitar dabble not unlike a Christopher Cross track, while 'Winter Came' is a laid back guitar instrumental which again errs on the side of Larry Carlton. I wonder if a Gibson E335 guitar was used? A piano intro paves the way for 'By Your Side', another mood filled piece given an injection of six-string soloing toward the end, while a superb acoustic track called 'A Song For Life' shows what Eric can do with the electrics switched off. Another track in this style is 'I Promise I Will Try', which is so emotion filled for a 2min 41s song, that I can't help think about a guy like Peter Mayer.. who plays in a similar fashion. Beautiful..

In Summary
Again, if you're listening to this album, think of it in the context of the year of it's production, rather than the year it came out. Then again, if you like a guitarist who plays and sings with a degree of passion and intensity, then go on a hunt for Eric's discography.

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