Blues Rock Guitarist Eric Johanson Announces 'Don't Hold Back Tour'

Article Contributed by Devious Planet | Published on Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Acclaimed Blues-rock guitarist Eric Johanson is pleased to announce his 'Don’t Hold Back Tour', which kicks off on January 27th, 2024 in Decatur, Alabama and will see Eric winding his way from the U.S. to Europe.

This will be Eric’s first headlining tour in support of his chart-topping album, The Deep and the Dirty, released in July 2023 on Ruf Records. For much of the last year, Eric and his band have been enchanting audiences across the country on Samantha Fish and Jesse Dayton's captivating Death Wish Blues tour, recently culiminating in ten explosive 'Shake ‘em on Down' concert events which added an explosive set by underground rock legend Jon Spencer to the already over-the-top show.

Eric's The Deep and the Dirty album was released in July 2024 via Ruf Records, shooting immediately to #1 on the Billboard Blues charts, which it has just re-entered at #6. Johanson's previous release also cracked the Top 10. For a Louisiana native who'd grown up idolizing bluesmen like Freddie King and Robert Johnson, it feels pretty good.
Produced by Jesse Dayton (Supersuckers, Rob Zombie) — another roots-rock innovator who, like Johanson, uses the blues as a springboard for a bigger, broader sound — The Deep and the Dirty (a reference to the American South) fires twin barrels of sharp songwriting and fiery fretwork. There has been no shortage of praise.

Guitar Player called Eric “An electric whiz with a sweet slide game… A gang of fantastic acoustic and electric leads…His slide work on resonator is particularly noteworthy.” American Songwriter effused “Johanson pens solid material that, like Hendrix, displays his guitar prowess but within the borders of melodies and lyrics that push the boundaries of blues/rock. Based on his eclectic style, searing guitar work, and persuasive songwriting he delivers a driving collection well worth choosing.” Relix stated “Johanson’s vocal shines throughout. Johanson’s penchant for creating inventive, bluesy riffs really make the album pop.” And Bob Lefsetz of The Lefsetz Letter declared, “One thing is for sure, Eric Johanson isn’t making music for the Top Forty. And I wouldn’t exactly call it Adult Alternative either. It’s definitely rooted in the blues. It’s like he digested all the music of the sixties just like those musicians listened to the progenitors and kept the flame a-burnin’… This guy has a place in the firmament.”

Johanson has been capturing moments for years. Born in Louisiana, he received his first guitar at five and became a self-taught prodigy. By his teens, he was a staple at regional blues gigs, often joining much older musicians on stage from New Orleans to Memphis' Beale Street. Meanwhile, his tastes expanded to include rock acts like Tool, Soundgarden, and Nine Inch Nails, influences which surfaced when Johanson began writing his own songs and experimenting with everything from rock & roll to beat-driven electronic music.  Living in New Zealand for four years broadened his horizons even further. And by the time Johanson resettled in New Orleans during the 2010s, he'd developed a style of music that unapologetically encompassed all his influences. Solo albums like 2017's Burn It Down introduced that sound to a larger audience, while sideman work for acts like Cyril Neville (The Meters, The Neville Brothers, Royal Southern Brotherhood) kept his guitar chops sharp.
"Music is a way for me to try and make sense of my world and myself," he says. The Deep and the Dirty is an evolution of what I've done before — a little more in your face, up-tempo, and rocking. I came out of the slow years with much energy, wanting to blast off."

Jan 27----Decatur, AL--------------Princess Theatre
Feb 3-----Cleveland, OH----------Treelawn Social Club
Feb 4 -----Rochester, MI ----------Roxy Rochester
Feb 5 -----Ann Arbor, MI ----------The Ark
Feb 6 -----Evanston, IL ------------Space
Feb 7 -----Minneapolis, MN------- Dakota
Feb 8 -----St Louis, MO------------ Blues Strawberry
Feb 9 -----Kansas City, MO -------Knucklehead's

   w/Alastair Greene & Katarina Pejak
Apr 11---- Kassel, Germany ---- -Theaterstübchen
Apr 12 ----Offenburg, Germany---Reithalle
Apr 13 ----Luxemburg ---------------Sang & Klang
Apr 14 ----Lindewarra, Germany--Gemeindesaal
Apr 16 ----Höxter, Germany -------Tonnenburg
Apr 17---- Karlsruhe, Germany-----Ubez
Apr 18 ----Menen, Belgium--------- CC de Stijger
Apr 19-----Koblenz, Germany------Cafe Hahn
Apr 20-----Isernhagen----------------Blues Garage
Apr 21-----Stuttgart, Germany------Merlin
Apr 23-----Wien, Austria--------------Reigen
Apr 24-----Lichtentanne, Germany--St. Barbara
Apr 25-----Berlin, Germany----------Roadrunners Paradise
Apr 26-----Worpswede, Germany---Musichall Opt.
Apr 27-----Joldelund, Germany-------Gerds Juke Joint
Apr 28-----Dortmund, Germany------Piano
Apr 30-----Rimsting, Germany--------Bluescludb Chiemgau
May 2------Eppstein, Germany--------Wunderbar Weite Welt
May 3----- Torgau, Germany-----------Kulturbastion
May 4----- Rheine, Germany----------Hypthalamus
May 5------Bonn, Germany-------------Harmonie

July 5-------Cazzorla, Spain-------------Cazorla Blues Festival
July 6-------Madrid, Espagne------------Sala Villanos
July, 8-------Knislinge, SE----------------Time to Rock