In the world of guitar aficionados, Eric Johnson is widely admired for his technical expertise. His 1990 outing Ah Via Musicom achieved that rare feat of being a predominantly instrumental collection of songs that garnered a hefty amount of chart success and radio airplay when it was released. While the native Texan has been accused of being a bit too much of a perfectionist in the studio, he’s nonetheless found Guitar Player magazine deeming him to be “one of the most respected guitarists on the planet.”
Currently out in support of his current record, last year’s Collage, he took some time out to share who some of his favorite string-benders are.
Jimi Hendrix (November 27, 1972-September 18, 1970)
“Not just because he was such a great lead player, but because he was a great songwriter, lyricist and rhythm guitar player. I love his lead playing and I love the whole thing. But his guitar persona was encased inside a bigger picture of music. That’s, to me, what makes it more timeless.”
Jeff Beck (June 25, 1944-present)
“He’s always searching to reinvent himself and not for his career. It seems like he makes changes in his music that have nothing to do with his career. It probably adversely affects his career. He’s always pushing the envelope and changing who he is because he’s passionate about guitar and music. He’s one of the few guys that is one of my mentors who is older than me who has kept fresh and kept on. I really admire him for that.”
Wes Montgomery (March 6, 1923-June 15, 1968)
“He was my favorite jazz guitar that ever was.”
Eric Johnson will be appearing on March 4 at @ B.B. King Blues Club and Grill, 237 West 42nd St., NYC. To find out more information, visit www.bbkingblues.com or call 212-997-4144.