“an electric whiz with a sweet slide game.” – Guitar Player
While creating his new album, 2023’s The Deep and the Dirty, Eric Johanson’s previous album cracked the Top 10 on the Billboard Blues chart. It was his fourth time reaching the Top 10. And for a Louisiana native who’d grown up idolizing bluesmen like Freddie King and Robert Johnson, it felt pretty good. Even so, genre success didn’t discourage Johanson from reaching beyond the blues for The Deep and the Dirty’s eclectic, electrifying songs.
“I’ve never tried to stay within one box,” he says. “Blues is at the root of the different styles of music I play — hard rock, Americana, New Orleans funk, country — but I don’t see the lines between genres, and I’m not following a standard form. What I find important about the blues is the rawness of it. The expression of it. The humanness of it. That’s what makes The Deep and the Dirty a blues album: the raw self-expression.”
Born in Alexandria, Louisiana, he received his first guitar at five and became a self-taught prodigy. By his teens, he was a staple at regional blues gigs, often joining much older musicians on stage from New Orleans to Memphis’ Beale Street. Meanwhile, his tastes expanded to include rock acts like Tool, Soundgarden, and Nine Inch Nails.
Johanson began making his songs, experimenting with everything from rock & roll to beat-driven electronic music. Living in New Zealand for four years broadened his horizons even further. By the time Johanson resettled in New Orleans during the 2010s, he’d developed a style of music that unapologetically encompassed all his influences. Solo albums like 2017’s Burn It Down introduced that sound to a larger audience, while sideman work for acts like Cyril Neville (The Neville Brothers) kept his guitar chops sharp.
Recommended for Fans of Tab Benoit, Samantha Fish, Walter Trout and Eric Gales.
Learn More: https://www.ericjohanson.com/