Eric Johnson

Up Close (EMI / Vortexan Music)

Texas Platters

Eric Johnson

Up Close (EMI/Vortexan Music)

"It was somewhat of the beginning of an awakening for me on this project," writes Eric Johnson in the liner notes to Up Close, explaining, with some hesitation, why a mere five years has passed since his last venture, 2005's Bloom. "Start to let go a bit and see what happens." Coming from Austin's most prominent studio perfectionist, the concept of letting go is purely relative. Up Close showcases exactly what's come to be expected from the local guitar magician: future-age fusion in soft tones – rich in mood and melody – executed with surgical precision, most notably on instrumentals "Gem," "Awaken," and "Fatdaddy." Johnson's vocals still sound thin and timid ("Your Book," "A Change Has Come to Me"), but the collaborative process brings out the best in him. Jimmie Vaughan sparks Lone Star shoot-out "Texas," voiced by Steve Miller – the result of a late-night guitar pull after the Joker's last Backyard visit – and Jonny Lang nails the other local calling card, the autobiographical "Austin." Up Close, an encouraging start to letting go.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Eric Johnson
Texas Platters
Eric Johnson
EJ (Record Review)

Michael Toland, Oct. 21, 2016

Texas Platters
Eric Johnson / Eric Johnson & Mike Stern
Europe Live, Eclectic (Record Review)

Michael Toland, Oct. 31, 2014

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Jeffrey Zeigler/Golden Hornet
The Sound of Science (Record Review)

Jeremy Steinberger, Nov. 30, 2018

Live at the Aragon (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Aug. 26, 2011

More by Austin Powell
Record Review: The Young
Record Review: The Young

Aug. 22, 2014

Pickathon Polishes Off No. 16
Pickathon Polishes Off No. 16
Oregon fest boasts IPAs, ATXs, camping, and sustainability

Aug. 4, 2014


Eric Johnson

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle