Eric Johanson

Eric Johanson is a triple-threat artist. The multiple-Top 10 Billboard-charting guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter’s original music reaches beyond traditional genre lines of blues, rock, and progressive Americana, all while feeding off the groove and history of his home in New Orleans. His four most recent solo releases: Live at DBA, New Orleans Bootleg, Covered Tracks, Vol. 1, Covered Tracks, Vol. 2 and Below Sea Level all reached Top 10 on the Billboard blues charts and the January 23, 2023 issue of Guitar Player magazine listed him as one of 25 Top New Blues Guitarists.

A self-taught prodigy, Johanson grew up in Louisiana, where he received his first guitar at five. By his pre-teens, his love of the blues records played in his home, featuring artists like Freddie King, Robert Johnson and Buddy Guy, merged with his love for the hard rock sounds of Metallica, White Zombie, Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails. Throughout his teens, he performed with older blues musicians, building a reputation as a budding regional star. In college in New Orleans, he began a lifelong exploration of his musical interests, delving into progressive rock and beat-making while developing his blues voice. Johanson spent several years in New Zealand before returning home to the improvisational and extemporaneous nature of roots music in his hometown.

Eric Johanson has established himself as an in-demand guitarist and guest performer for some of the most prolific names in New Orleans’ diverse musical scene. He and his band have appeared in more than 100 cities across the U.S. and he has been a special guest to artists such as Cyril Neville, JJ Grey, Anders Osborne, and a host of other torch bearers of modern roots music. In 2017, blues rock icon Tab Benoit signed him to his Whiskey Bayou Records label and that same year, he released his Benoit-produced debut solo album, Burn it Down, which led to two years of touring with Benoit.

In 2019, following an appearance at an all-star jam during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the artist caught the ear of North Mississippi Allstars’ Luther Dickinson. The album Below Sea Level was recorded at Dickinson’s Zebra Ranch and features 12 original songs by Johanson.

Johanson’s fan base grew during the pandemic as the result of his successful acoustic livestreams, during which he mixed original songs with covers of artists representing a variety of genres. Popular demand led to the release of Covered Tracks, Vol. 1 and Covered Tracks, Vol. 2 in 2021. In 2022, he released Live at DBA: New Orleans Bootleg, his first live album, and a double-disk raw and unfiltered snapshot of his band in action.

In the last year, Johanson has been touring in support of Samantha Fish and 2023 will also see the release of his third studio record.

Rock and Blues Muse, writing about Live at DBA, summed up the reaction to Eric Johanson, “EJ is one of the most vital roots musicians working together and every note of Live at DBA New Orleans Bootleg proves why.”

Come see and hear it for yourself.