Eric Johnson’s ‘Ah Via Musicom’ celebration tour continues

Tahoe Onstage
Eric Johnson’s 1990 album “Ah Via Musicom” alerted the world to his guitar mastery. He performed this summer at the Crystal Bay Casino at Lake Tahoe.
Tahoe Onstage photos by Larry Sabo

Eric Johnson will return to the road for a second leg of dates performing his celebrated album “Ah Via Musicom” in its entirety across America.

Prior to the first run, which enjoyed capacity crowds earlier this year Johnson said, “I listen to the fan feedback and comments as I plan my projects and tours. That’s how I got into the recording and subsequent tour with Mike Stern. Same thing with the acoustic recording and tour because I kept hearing ‘Hey when are you gonna do that acoustic record you’ve been talking about for years’. But by far, the most feedback I’ve been getting from fas is to play the entire “Ah Via Musicom” record live so I figured I’ve put this off for too long.  The time is now, and the timing worked out for Tommy Taylor and Kyle Brock to be involved too so here we go.”

In front of the plans for a second tour leg, Johnson said, “”We had a great first tour and wanted to share the experience with the fans in the cities we couldn’t include in the initial run.”

The tour will begin on Oct 5 at New Orleans’s The Civic Theatre and continue through Nov. 4 in Tulsa.

The guitar has been very good to Eric Johnson, earning him international renown as a player, composer, recording artist and live entertainer as well as an ever-growing audience of admirers. And Eric Johnson has been very good to the guitar, spotlighting its myriad melodic, sonic and lyrical splendors, paying homage to its heroes and innovators, collaborating and playing with many of its finest contemporary talents, and fostering its continuing vibrancy as a primarily instrumental genre in popular music.

The pivotal event in Johnson’s rise to becoming, as Guitar Player writes, “one of the most respected guitarists on the planet,” was his million-selling, now-classic 1990 album “Ah Via Musicom” (which loosely translates as “communicating through music”). It was his second release, following “Tones,” his 1986 major label debut.

“Ah Via Musicom” yielded three Top 10 singles – “Cliffs of Dover,” which has become Johnson’s signature song and won a Best Rock Instrumental Grammy — and “Trademark” and “Righteous.” It made him the first artist to ever score three Top 10 instrumentals. Now, 28 years later, he revisits that landmark recording with a 2018 tour on which he will play the album – hailed as a “masterwork” in’s review – in its entirety.

The years prior to “Ah Via Musicom” and since are rich with accomplishments. Johnson went on to release studio albums that include “Venus Isle” (1996), Tones (1986), “Bloom” (2005), 2010’s “Up Close” (and its revised European version “Up Close – Another Look,” now being issued in the US), and “EJ” (2016), alongside multiple live releases, previously unreleased compilations, and collections wherein he celebrated the repertoire of others, Johnson has broadened and enriched his rock guitar palette and further delved into his love for blues, jazz and country. He’s earned six Grammy nominations, has topped or been listed high in countless greatest guitarist lists in music publications, and been featured on the cover of most every guitar magazine, many more than once.

The Austin, Texas-based Johnson closed out 2017 with a new album, “Collage,” that combines five new original songs with five covers that reflect both his inspirations and range: An acoustic version of Jimi Hendrix’s “One Rainy Wish,” The Beatles classic “We Can Work It Out” in a Caribbean groove, B.B. King’s “Rock Me Baby,” the surf rock classic “Pipeline” and Stevie Wonder’s 1966 No. 3 pop hit “Uptight (Everything’s Alright).” He is currently in the studio working on a new release for 2019.

Once “Ah Via Musicom” hit, the Los Angeles Times noted how he had already “been compared with rock’s immortals.” But Eric himself modestly demurs. “I don’t think I’m a rock god. I just keep playing. It’s fun, and I’m glad people enjoy it.”

Larry Sabo / Tahoe Onstage

  • Eric Johnson on tour
    Oct. 5   New Orleans                                                The Civic Theatre
    Oct. 6   Pensacola, FL                                                 Vinyl Music Hall
    Oct. 7   Memphis, TN                                                  New Daisy Theatre
    Oct. 9   Birmingham, AL                                             Workplay Soundstage
    Oct. 10   Knoxville, TN                                                 Bijou Theatre
    Oct. 11   Chattanooga, TN                                             Robert Kirk Walker Theatre
    Oct. 12   Louisville, KY                                                Mercury Ballroom
    Oct. 13   Lancaster, PA                                                 Chameleon Club
    Oct. 14   Buffalo, NY                                                    Tralf
    Oct. 16   Ridgefield, CT                                                Ridgefield Playhouse
    Oct. 18   Greensburg, PA                                              The Palace Theatre
    Oct. 20   Newark, NJ                                                     New Jersey Performing Arts Center
    Oct. 21   New York, NY                                               Sony Hall
    Oct. 22   Philadelphia, PA                                             World Café Live
    Oct. 24   Indianapolis, IN                                              The Vogue
    Oct. 25   Minneapolis, MN                                            Cedar Cultural Center
    Oct. 27   Fort Wayne, IN                                               Clyde Theatre
    Oct. 28   Columbus, OH                                                The Athenaeum Theatre
    Oct. 29   Lexington, KY                                                Manchester Music Hall
    Oct. 30   Grand Rapids, MI                                           Intersection
    Oct. 31   St. Charles, IL                                                 Arcada Theatre
    Nov. 1   Madison, WI                                                   Barrymore Theatre
    Nov. 3   Wichita, KS                                                    Wave – Indoor

    Larry Sabo / Tahoe OnstageLarry Sabo / Tahoe Onstage

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Tahoe Onstage is an online entertainment and sports magazine covering Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Reno, the Carson Valley and June Lake.


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