Eric Johanson is a Louisiana-born guitarist with a track record of four Top 10 hits on the Billboard blues chart. With his music blending his passion for blues legends like Freddie King and Robert Johnson with elements of hard rock, soul and country, Eric is currently a rising star in the world of blues rock. He is now back with The Deep And The Dirty, his latest studio album.
Produced by Jesse Dayton, known for pushing the boundaries of roots rock, the album was recorded live in the studio during the pandemic and is a vehicle for Eric to showcase his eclectic yet ultimately cohesive array of influences. Backed by bassist Eric Vogel and Grammy-winning drummer Terence Higgins, the Louisiana native delivers a 12-song set packed with rawness and drive.
“Don’t Hold Back” kicks off the proceedings. A mid-speed beast whose riffs brim with fuzz, the song borders on stoner rock/metal and sets the tone for the remainder of the record. With a killer bass tone, the title track plays outs in a similar heavy rock, fuzzed-out fashion.
From the start, it’s clear that the live recording approach adds to the overall organic, gritty appeal of the album. The instruments have room to breathe, and the resulting soundscape feels fresh and alive.
“Just Like New”, “Elysian Fields” and “Familiar Sound”, contrastingly, are all Americana-infused and more laidback, complete with resonator guitars and a Deep South feel and mood.
We are then treated to more of Eric’s bluesy heavy rockers with “Galaxy Girl”, the funky “Get Me High” and “Stepping Stone”, which boasts a monstrous, swaggering chorus.
Serving as an emotional haven amid the whirlwind of high-octane tracks, “She Is The Song” finishes things off. Delicate and contemplative, the number features the best vocal performance on the album and some tasteful, emotion-filled string bending.
While The Deep And The Dirty is undoubtedly song-focused, it is really Eric’s guitar that takes center stage. Whether it’s the colossal intensity of his hard rock riffage throughout the record or the soulful warmth of his tone on “She Is The Song”, his guitar work shines through and elevates the album to a whole new level.
Overall, The Deep And The Dirty is a remarkable blues rock album whose main strength lies in inspired six-string pyrotechnics, even within a mostly song-driven framework. Combining modern heavy blues rock with more roots-oriented moments, the record should appeal to blues rock fans and guitar enthusiasts of all backgrounds.
The Review: 8.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Don’t Hold Back
– Elysian Fields
– Get Me High
– Stepping Stone
– She Is The Song
The Big Hit
– Don’t Hold Back
Buy the album: Amazon