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Articles Home » 1990 Articles » Johnson, Eric - 1990 Ah Via Musicom
Johnson, Eric - 1990 Ah Via Musicom

ARTIST: Johnson, Eric
ALBUM: Ah Via Musicom
LABEL: Capitol/EMI
SERIAL: CDP 7 90517 2
YEAR: 1990
CD REISSUE: 2001, Capitol, 07777-90517-9-3


LINEUP: Eric Johnson - vocals, guitar, lap steel guitar, electric sitar, piano * Steven Hennig - guitars * Wee Willie - harmonica * Steve Barber - synthesizer * Roscoe Beck, Kyle Brock, Reggie Witty - bass * Tommy Taylor - drums * Paul Bissell, James Fenner - percussion * Jody Lazo - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Ah Via Musicom * 02 Cliffs Of Dover * 03 Desert Rose * 04 High Landrons * 05 Steve's Boogie * 06 Trademark * 07 Nothing Can Keep Me From You * 08 Song For George * 09 Righteous * 10 Forty Mile Town * 11 East Wes


Someone summed it up perfectly for me upon reading on the Internet recently, when describing Texan guitar legend Eric Johnson: The speed of Eddie Van Halen, the tone of Stevie Ray Vaughn, and best of all the soul of Jimi Hendrix. To a tee exactly I thought. Though Eric has been around for years, particularly the Texan scene, it is largely through the efforts of this 1990 album 'Ah Via Musicom' that his reputation and career took off. A brace of different styles all come together on this tasty set, but all the way through, the album is supremely melodic. It will appeal to guitar gear-heads, blues aficionados, melodic rockers, plus the jazz/fusion brigade. A tall order to appease these wide-ranging genres, but it is something that Johnson does with ease.

The Songs
Navigate your way through the obtuse sounding instrumental title track and you will strike the first in a rich vein of goodies. 'Cliffs Of Dover' is another instrumental with deceiving light styled guitar licks that pick up with intensity and speed as it goes along. Next up is one of the albums finest moments 'Desert Rose'. A vocal track, it's got everything really.. an interesting arrangement, beautiful chorus and a stunning explosion of guitar solos as a finale. Eric then moves into 'High Landrons', with a ton of guitar effects, including a sweeping phaser and EQ - this track is another highlights. The modern blues shuffle of 'Trademark' touches jaz fusion territory as well.. not unlike a guy like Pat Metheny, though less eclectic. Taking a commercial line is 'Nothing Can Keep Me From You', though the guitars do get a bit over-extended toward the end there. 'Righteous' sees Eric return to his Texan boogie roots, then we've got 'Forty Mile Town' which is the cruisy West Coast sounding track on the album - sort of like David Pack or Peter Mayer (of PM fame), while the album finishes with the jazz/fusion cruise of 'East Wes'.. let me guess, a tribute to the smooth sounding guitar lines of the legendary Wes Montgomery? I somehow think so.

In Summary
For me this album is a keeper, and recommended to anymore remotely interested in melodic rock guitar stylings. For me, if I was to be stranded on a Desert Island and I was allowed five albums to take with me, this would be one of them. Can't really say much more - if you've never heard this album, then go grab a couple of soundbytes and check them out.

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