GUITAR FREAK HEAVEN! Eric Johnson & Mike Stern: Eclectic

My buddy Kevin has a theory that all modern jazz and rock guitarists are all climbing up to the same mountain peak; they’re just taking a different trail to get there. This summit meeting by the leaning towards rocker Eric Johnson along with the more jazzier Mike Stern gives much credence to the clearwater of ideas, and it’s guaranteed to satisfy the souls of both sides of the fence.

The two six stringers are backed by a core team of Anton Fig/dr and Chris Maresh/b and they bar no holds on a rollicking rocker with vocalist Malford Milligan on “Roll With It,” but also show their ability to boogie like Les Paul on the toe tapping “Benny Man’s Blues.” Yee Haw! The rock hard with some Thin Lizzy licks as Fig cracks the whip on “Dry Ice.” A hip “Remember” sizzles with extra percussion that make the twin guitar lines weave like Maseratis.  The guys show some swinging diversity in a very Wes Montgomerian mood on the snappy “Tidal” while the two gents grind their axes in a “So What” modal mood on the slick “Remember.”Len Stern brings in some exoticism  in her intros to ”Big Foot” and “Wherever You Go” and Some rich African sounds caress the ears with the glowing “Wishing Well.” Bluesy rock and rocking blues are in all kinds of hues and moods here, and Stern even makes his singing debut, and he’s not bad at all, having a whale of a time.  If they come within 100 miles of your town, pull out the gps!

These guys are on tour, and will be in LA at the Canyon Club Jan 25. Info at Don’t miss it!

Heads Up Record

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