By Rachael E. Worthington
Widely viewed as one of the most prolific guitarists of his generation, and named “one of the most respected guitarists on the planet” by Guitar Player magazine, Eric Johnson will visit the Fort Collins Lincoln Center for a rare acoustic performance on February 7.
Renowned for his electric guitar prowess and technicality, Johnson is likely best known for his Grammy-winning rock instrumental “Cliffs of Dover.” The electric guitar anthem was voted number 17 on Guitar World magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos — a distinguished list that also includes Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. Since the song’s 1990 release, it has been used as a measure for budding guitarists and has been incorporated into video games such as Guitar Hero III and Rocksmith.
The focus of his current tour, Johnson released his first all-acoustic album, titled “EJ” in 2016. This is the six-time Grammy Award nominee’s twelfth album overall and one of his most intimate, featuring him on piano and vocals in addition to guitar.
Though it may surprise his fans to hear him play piano, for Johnson it’s just a natural extension. Raised in a musically inclined family, Johnson learned to play piano at age 5 before learning guitar at 11. “Some of the songs I actually sang and played at the same time — just live in the studio. Recording this way gave it more of an honest realism and organic emotion, ” says Johnson.
Playing acoustically has been therapeutic for Johnson, as it gives him the opportunity to truly connect with himself and his instruments, keeping the songs raw in a sense. In an interview with Guitar World magazine, Johnson said “There’s no mascara to hide behind and nothing to cloak the real value of what’s going on. If you don’t have a good song, you don’t have anything.”
Seats start at $15. Visit LCtix.com for more information.