A world-class electric guitarist since his 1986 debut album “Tones,” Austin musician Eric Johnson broadens his horizons on “EJ,” playing acoustic guitar and piano on a 13-song set that’s due out Oct. 7 on the Provogue label.
Johnson gave local fans a sneak peek at the album in June when he did a three-week residency at the intimate One-2-One Bar on South Lamar. The big surprise at those shows was his occasional turn at the keyboard, something he explores on a handful of “EJ” originals along with an interpretation of the Simon & Garfunkel classic “Scarborough Fair.”
He also tackles Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” and Jimi Hendrix’s “One Rainy Wish,” and sprinkles several instrumentals alongside new songs featuring acoustic guitar and vocals, some recorded basically live in the studio. Johnson will features the new album in a Nov. 9 performance at the Paramount Theatre.
Here’s an early look at the track “Wrapped in a Cloud”: