As another decade turns, the Austin, TX based prolific guitarist, vocalist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist – ERIC JOHNSON – will release a new studio offering titled EJ Vol II, on February 28, 2020. To celebrate this 11th studio album, JOHNSON has a 55-date tour, spanning nearly 3-months. The tour will hit every major city across the U.S. and will also enter into Canada, for one show in Toronto as well.
EJ Vol II follows its predecessor from 2016 which was simply EJ, an all-acoustic collection of songs which showcased nine original compositions and four covers. JOHNSON’s approach was deeply honest, intimate, personal and delivered with organic emotion. With EJ Vol II, he presents new repertoire that combines electric and acoustic arrangements and once again represents a collection of originals with a couple of select covers.
Among the new songs, there is deep meaning and messaging with each track, sometimes figurative while at times literal. On “Waterwheel,” he captures personal feelings about the gift of the flow of the spirit and synchronicity of all things under the universe in creation, utilizing the water wheel or an old paddle wheel that turns in water as the metaphorical symbolism. The song “Golden Way,” approaches finding the true higher path in life, while the poignant “For the Stars,” captures his introspection surrounding the loss of his mother as he looks up towards the sky at night wondering where she is now. Along with the 11 original songs there are two covers on the album; The Beatles “Hide Your Love Away” and Eric’s arrangement of Bert Jansch’s take on the traditional “Black Waterside.” The latter was first recorded in 1966, but became infamous through Jimmy Page performing a similar riff on Led Zeppelin’s 1969 debut without acknowledging the credit (on “Black Mountain Side”).
The new 2020 tour titled “Classics: Present and Past” will feature EJ Vol. II alongside selections from his prolific career. The EJ touring band will feature Roscoe Beck on bass (Leonard Cohen, Robben Ford, Dixie Chicks), Tom Brechtlein on drums (Kenny Loggins, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, Robben Ford), and on keyboards + second guitar, Dave Scher (a rising star from the Austin music scene).
The new year will also see the release of a new Fender Stratocaster as a part of their “Stories Collection” (modeled after an instrument JOHNSON frequently used early in his career). This model will be his fourth in the Fender collection of signature Johnson guitars.
Throughout his career, Johnson has approached music as a healing force, a way to enhance a listener’s consciousness and conjure joy and inspiration. “That’s what I’ve always appreciated most about other artists,” he says. “Some artists inspire us to wake up and get back to the clarity of consciousness. With this record, I’m trying to do that too, because I appreciate it so much in other people.”
EJ Vol II Track Listing:
Waterwheel 8. Lake Travis
Gift of love 9. Hotel Ole
Hide Your Love Away 10. Different Folks
Charldron’s Boat 11. Golden Way
Over The Moon 12. Black Waterside
Divanae 13. For The Stars
Let A Friend Find You