Guitar God Eric Johnson combined with Alien Love Child (Chris Maresh, Bill Maddox and Malford Milligan) give you Live And Beyond, consisting of all new material, most of which was recorded live during a three night stand a... more »t Antone's in Austin, Texas. Standard jewel case. 2000 release.« less
Guitar God Eric Johnson combined with Alien Love Child (Chris Maresh, Bill Maddox and Malford Milligan) give you Live And Beyond, consisting of all new material, most of which was recorded live during a three night stand at Antone's in Austin, Texas. Standard jewel case. 2000 release.
James | Mission Viejo, California United States | 10/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is clearly Eric Johnson's most accessible album. Although guitar fanatics such as myself will find plenty of inspiration, this record should have broader appeal than his prior studio recordings. This CD comes on the heels of Eric's Venus Isle album (released in '96, I think) which was justifiably criticized for being too polished and somewhat sterile as a result of his reported obsession with achieving perfection in the studio. (I think that he DID achieve perfection with "Ah Via Musicom" however.) Recording a live record was the perfect way to avoid excessive tinkering and re-recording of the songs in the studio. Although every song but one was recorded live in Austin, TX last January, it is all new material and it is excellent. This CD captures Eric's live sound very well and gives him the opportunity to show off what a great blues feel he has. In a couple of spots, he plays some extended solos that seem to be largely improvised. The singer from Storyville performs on two of the songs which added some vocal depth to the album.Eric is absolutely one of the best guitar players out there -- he has incredible chops, the best guitar tone I have ever heard (on record and live), and a truly original style. All of these strengths are well represented in Alien Love Child: Live and Beyond. If you like guitar-oriented music, you can't go wrong with this album."
Could be the best of his career
Steve Marshall | St. Louis, MO USA | 02/24/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first time I saw Eric Johnson perform live was back in 1991 on the Ah Via Musicom tour. Johnson and his band put on one of the loudest shows I'd ever attended. People always compare him to the other guitar `gods,' Joe Satriani, Steve Morse, etc. To these ears, Johnson always had more passion in his playing. Sure, he could slip into `look what I can do' mode from time to time, but overall, his guitarwork was nothing short of breathtaking. It didn't matter if he was playing a Wes Montgomery-inspired jazz tune, dabbling in acoustic country/bluegrass, or just shredding in hard rock/metal mode. With EJ, it's all about the tone. It's amazing to hear just how many sounds he pulls out of a single guitar. In October of 2000, Johnson released a live album with his latest band, Alien Love Child. Recorded live at Antone's in Austin, TX (a.k.a. the house that Stevie Ray Vaughan built), Eric is joined by Chris Maresh on bass and Bill Maddox on the drum kit. Live and Beyond features 10 new tracks--9 performed live and one in the studio. This album's a bit different though. Johnson's playing is noticeably more refined than before, and the overall style is more in a blues vein. Starting with the instrumental "Zenland," Johnson and his band are in fine form. Maresh lays down a cool groove and turns in some great bass licks on the song. Up next is one of the best songs EJ has ever recorded--the smoldering 11-minute blues workout, "Last House on the Block." This is one of those songs that sticks in your head the first time you hear it, and Johnson's playing on the track is outstanding. His solo starts out quietly, then builds to a fiery crescendo before going back into the song's main theme. Up next are two instrumentals, "Rain" and "Enzo Shuffle." "Rain" is an introspective tune written by Maresh, while "Enzo Shuffle" finds the band in Johnson's classic rocking style. Storyville vocalist, Malford Milligan joins the band for the slow burning blues number, "Once A Part Of Me," another of the many highlights on the disc. He sticks around for a cover of Jimmie Vaughan's shuffling "Don't Cha Know." You can almost hear everyone grinning onstage while they're playing this tune. Johnson cuts loose on his tribute to John Lee Hooker, "The Boogie King." The live tracks end with EJ's solo interlude, "Elevator Sky Movie" and another rocker "Shape I'm In." "World of Trouble" is the new studio track, a tasteful slow blues tune and another highlight.Longtime Eric Johnson followers will undoubtedly love this album. The material is of a high enough caliber that it will most likely win him some new fans as well. Johnson's guitar playing is currently at an all-time high. He can still burn up the fretboard when he wants to, but at this point it's as though he knows he doesn't have to. The result is quite possibly the best album of his career."
Eric Johnson Returns With All His Amazing Tones!
J. Rich | 06/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Eric Johnson is one of the few, out of a handful, guitarists who is associated with a guitar's tone. The way he gets his sound is not only baffling, because his lead tone is so saturated and overdriven, but an avocation that you can get a good tone if you have enough dedication and patience. It's so clear and articulate, and he even pulls these tones off live, which is unbelievable. This album unlike all the albums prior capture the magic of an Eric Johnson concert.
Alien Love Child which are Eric Johnson on guitar, Bill Maddox on drums, and Chris Maresh on bass was born somewhere between and after the "Venus Isle" album. Alien Love Child, which is really just another name to throw out there is primarily just Eric much like the Electromagnets, which was actually Steve Barber's and Kyle Brock's band, and EJ happened to be playing in it, but the same can't be said about ALC. This album features all new songs most of which are composed by Eric....hmmm....what a suprise right? Anyway, all kidding aside, I was very impressed with this album, especially the opening song "Zenland." What an incredible song. It's kind of a typical EJ blues-rock fusion instrumental tune that you'd expect him to play. If I had to pick a favorite Eric Johnson song it would be "Zenland," although I do enjoy alot his other instrumental songs ("Cliffs of Dover," "Pavilion," "Righteous," "Manhattan") and his vocal tunes as well like "Desert Rose" and "When the Sun Meets the Sky."
Alien Love Child are by far one of the best blues rock trios to ever form, but I still am going to treat this album like an Eric Johnson solo album for the simple reason that he has his trademark all over the place on this album.
I recommend this album not only for EJ fans, but also anyone who enjoys music that is technially demanding and at the same time incredibly pure and beautiful."
Master of Tone
Russell Diederich | Littleton, CO United States | 03/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When it comes down to it, there are very few people that have such an incredible guitar sound. Eric Johnson is definitely one of those people. Voltage sag or no, his sound is almost always perfect, and on "Live and Beyond" he is a lot more raw than his studio albums. Yet, he still has that perfect tone. This is a fun album. One, because it came out a little quicker than the last one, and because of it's rawness. Johnson should be heard and seen live to really appreciate it, and this does a good job of it. He has an amazing bassist in Chris Maresh and Bill Maddox pounds on the skins. This album is a little different than classic Johnson due to the rawness of being live, but his sound is still exceptional and his speed is still blinding. Solos on "Zenland", "Once a Part of Me", "Last House On the Block" and "Enzo Shuffle" will leave your jaw bouncing off your lap. Malford Milligan steps in to sing a couple of songs including Jimmie Vaughan's own "Don't Cha Know". His voice is a little more fitting for the blues than Johnson's own. He gets a little airy on "Elevator Sky Movie" with long delays and repeats before kicking it into a countrish overdriven speed workout. He segues into "Shape I'm In" which is very classic Johnson sound. When it comes down to it, Johnson is an incredible axe player. A joy to listen to, and watch (although guitar players find him quite frustrating). His speed and sound are amazing, and he uses both with an elegant ease. After listening to "Trademark" I had to play guitar, and even to this day I still am energized to play after hearing him (I also feel like breaking all my fingers and putting my guitars through the wood chipper as well)."