From the Vault...


Eric Johnson
"Ah Via Musicom"

© Capitol Records

Year of Release: 1990

track listing
  • Ah Via Musicom
  • Cliffs Of Dover
  • Desert Rose
  • High Landrons
  • Steve's Boogie
  • Trademark
  • Nothing Can Keep Me
    From You
  • Song For George
  • Righteous
  • Forty Mile Town
  • East Wes

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    Eric Johnson
    "Ah Via Musicom"

    Eric Johnson is one of the guitar players, where you may not know the name, but if your're familiar with his hit, "Cliffs Of Dover," you'll immediately know that EJ is one of the top guitar players of the day. "Cliffs Of Dover" made Johnson "one of the most respected guitarists of the planet" (Guitar Player magazine). The song won him a 1991 Grammy award, for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.

    What's interesting is that Johnson sings on this album, where other guitarists he is compared to (Joe Satriani, Steve Vai) are mostly instrumental. Although the instrumentals are the standouts, Johnson's vocals are as exceptional.

    The opening and title track sounds like an introduction to a radio show, or even the opening of a soundtrack. Electric Light Orchestra's "Fire On High" kinda comes to mind on this one as well. "Desert Rose" definitely can be compared to Joe Satriani; even though there are vocals contained in the beginning, and mostly instrumental towards its end. "High Landrons" is another great Rock track, compared more to Eric Clapton.

    "Steve's Boogie" is a three-chord boogie, country style. The song is dedicated to Austin-based pedal steel guitarist Steve Hennig. "Trademark" was another popular instrumental played on FM stations. "Nothing Can Keep Me From You" has vocals and musical style as in Paul Rodgers and Bad Company. "Song For George" is a gentle acoustic guitar piece, dedicated to an 80 year-old guitarist friend by the name of George Washington. "Righteous" is another good rocker, just as "Cliffs Of Dover." "Forty Mile Town" is a nice easy going track, with vocals. The album closes with "East Wes," dedicated to jazz legend Wes Montgomery, and takes the name from the Paul Butterfield Blues Band album, East-West.

    Fantastic sums up the review of Eric Johnson's Ah Via Musicom. If there was one album to turn people on to Eric Johnson's music, it would be this one. Same for Surfing With The Alien by Joe Satriani. As for Steve Vai, I have yet to venture through his albums, and I'm sure the die-hard Vai fan would answer this question more thoroughly. Now that Eric Johnson has been a WSVNRadio Album Pick of the Week, he joins Joe Satriani, who has 4 albums reviewed on this site. Time will tell when we'll be reviewing the music of Steve Vai. If you like guitar players, instrumental Rock guitarists, and the likes, Eric Johnson's Ah Via Musicom is a must for your collection.

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    Michael Jackson--Bad
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