Guitar legend Eric Johnson was made for live albums. The proof is all over the re-release of “Live From Austin, TX,” the latest in the partnership between the PBS show Austin City Limits and New West Records. This re-release, originally out in 2005, is finally on vinyl and also available in a CD/DVD combo.
An Austin native, Johnson is clearly loving playing at this iconic studio in front of a local crowd. The set was recorded in 1988, at a time when Johnson only had one album out as was about to release “Ah Via Musicom,” arguably his best record. So, a bulk of the show includes cuts from those first two albums, as well as two Jimi Hendrix covers, “Love Or Confusion,” and a stellar take on “Are You Experienced?,” the show closer. It’s a pretty ballsy move for anyone to cover two Hendrix songs in one set, but Johnson, a guitar phenom since his pre-teens, pulls it off masterfully.
Backed by only a bassist and drummer, Johnson comes off as cool and confident, despite this set occurring so early in his career.
One of a handful of these classic Austin City Limits shows getting a proper re-release, the vinyl set is spread across two 180g LPs and comes with a beautiful gatefold cover.
Eric Johnson – Live From Austin, TX [CD/DVD & Vinyl/13 tracks/New West Records/2017 / http://www.newwestrecords.com/ /