The very announcement of a (largely) solo acoustic album from Eric Johnson is enough to startle fans of the Texas bluesman as well as those who know him only by name and a little of his tenure as a contemporary guitar hero. Hearing EJ: Song Explorations on Acoustic Guitar and Piano will no doubt dazzle those in both camps.
That’s because even in his use of a non-electrified fretboard instrument, with occasional utilization of acoustic piano, Johnson’s able to retain the taut tenor of authentic blues. And he’s able to accomplish that on nouveau folk material likePaul Simon‘s “Mrs. Robinson” (yes, the song from the film The Graduate!) and a ghostly keyboard cum vocal arrangement of “Scarborough Fair”/Canticle.”