Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Eric Johnson is a guitarist and recording artist from Austin, Texas. Best known for his success in the instrumental rock format, Johnson regularly incorporates jazz, fusion, New Age, and country and western elements into his recordings.
Personnel: Eric Johnson (vocals, guitar); Chris Maresh (bass guitar, background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Chet Himes; Richard Mullen .
Recording information: The Grove, Anaheim, CA (05/03/2006).
Director: Hank Lena.
Photographer: Max Crace.
Filmed at the Grove in Anaheim, CA on May 3, 2006, this DVD presents 50 minutes of Eric Johnson in concert, leading a trio that also includes Tommy Taylor on drums and Chris Maresh on bass. The nine songs showcase Johnson's versatility and virtuosity on electric guitar on both instrumental and vocal numbers. Johnson moves between Hendrix-indebted effects (in fact, according to the back cover blurb, this has his only recorded performance of Jimi's "Manic Depression") to passages which nod to jazzy fluidity and folky dexterity, though most often with a hard rock base. While five of the songs are Johnson originals, Maresh contributes "Rocktopus," and in addition to the Hendrix cover, versions of standards by Bob Dylan ("My Back Pages") and Neil Diamond (the Monkees hit "Little Bit Me Little Bit You") are also tackled. Visually it's a basic but very accomplished document of the event, focusing on the fairly no-nonsense musicianship, with plenty of angles allowing aficionados to watch Johnson's fingering and techniques in action. Also included on the DVD are three acoustic performances, two of them on piano (including another Hendrix cover in "Wind Cries Mary"), as well as a short interview sequence from July 2007 in which Johnson discusses the creative process and working on his upcoming album, interspersed with some concert footage not found in the disc's principal feature. ~ Richie Unterberger