In 14 lengthy tracks, Eric Johnson demands listeners to appreciate authentic musicianship. On his album Europe Live, Johnson compiled the best performances from his tour across Europe, engaging every area of his career spectrum from early fan favorites to new material. The album opens up with tantalizing instrumentals of jam-band-esque tunes that demand listeners’ full attention. With seductive guitar solos supported by full drum kits, listeners can’t help but surrender their souls to the powerfully complex songs laid out on stage.
Let’s make one thing clear; this isn’t an ordinary, run-of-the-mill live EP. Europe Live is a full length album, comprised of outstanding performances hand chosen by Johnson, from a roster of an entire tour’s worth of material. It is from this ingenious selection that Johnson has set up a “best of” career masterpiece. These tracks showcase the artistry in musicianship, which offers up an entirely new found appreciation for talent, creativity, and ability to play a musical instrument. Such a simple concept in creating and adoring music, yet it is something that is almost completely extinct in music of modern decades. Johnson has brought that creativity and admiration for great music, back to the forefront with this album.
Because Europe Live is a showcase of talent that goes into hosting awe-inspiring performances, there isn’t a common theme or storyline that is followed through the track list. However, the beginning of the album sets up a beautiful introduction as to what will be expected, which is then followed up by a heavy, climactic moment. The centerpiece of the album is Johnson’s unique rendition of John Coltrane’s “Mr. PC,” which sets the mood for the following tracks to close out the album in overdrive. Due to the uplifting, groovy swing of each song, this album brings out the most incredible adoration for, and demands respect for musical and artistic abilities. Tastefully chosen songs by Johnson himself allows this album to be nothing short of a melodic exhibition of career-long masterpieces.
The Review: 8/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Mr. PC
– Evinrude Fever
The Big Hit
Review by Jackie Howell