Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 64° Partly Cloudy

Review: Eric Johnson’s signature guitar sound defines ‘Classics: Present and Past’ night at Bing

Guitarist Eric Johnson performs at the Bing Crosby Theater on Wednesday night. (Johnathan Curley / SR)
Guitarist Eric Johnson performs at the Bing Crosby Theater on Wednesday night. (Johnathan Curley / SR)

Eric Johnson came armed with a new band, a new album and the same genre-defying virtuosity when his “Classics: Present and Past” tour stopped at the Bing Crosby Theater on Wednesday evening.

Touring in support of his upcoming album, “E.J. Vol. II,” the night marked the guitarist’s latest show in Spokane since 2018.

The evening began with the band slinking their way onstage followed by Johnson and the first stirrings of his signature guitar sound that would define the night.

The Austin, Texas -born Johnson and company then launched into a driving Latin jazz beat and only picked up the pace from there.

Across a blistering 2 ½ hours, the band cycled through a catalog of original blues, jazz and folk material while firing off covers that ranged from Jimi Hendrix’s “Drifting” to John Coltrane’s “Impressions.”

Later, Johnson took to the piano for new numbers “Waterwheel” and “Over the Moon,” which are set to appear on “E.J. Vol. II.”

Following an intermission, the second half of the show proved that Johnson is as much a folk aficionado as blues champion.

The folk musings of “Black Waterside” served as an acoustic counterweight to the electric articulation of “Desert Rose” and the Grammy Award-winning “Cliffs of Dover.”

The night finished with an encore blues jam that let the band’s musicianship shine, with Johnson, drummer Tom Brechtlein (Kenny Loggins), bassist Roscoe Beck (Leonard Cohen) and standout guitarist/pianist/percussionist Dave Scher all taking solos as the night came to a close.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Spokane7 email newsletter

Get the day’s top entertainment headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.