Guitarist Eric Johanson Releases New Single, Video & More Samantha Fish Tour Dates

Article Contributed by Devious Planet | Published on Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Acclaimed Blues-rock guitarist Eric Johanson is pleased to announce the release of his new single and video for "The Deep and the Dirty", the title track off of his forthcoming album, available via Ruf Records, on July 28th.

Filmed at Snake & Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge, in New Orleans, LA., the video for "The Deep and the Dirty" was directed by Kaylie McCarthy & Lizzie Smith with videography by Kaylie McCarthy and edited by Eric Johanson. About the video Johanson declared, "On one level "The Deep And The Dirty" is two references to the American South. The Deep South, the Dirty South. I also relate it to the profound and the profane. The dichotomy of higher ideals and lower impulses.  The song deals with these concepts through the story of a southern traveller, in and out of town, living for the pleasures of the moment. Those fleeting connections of a person in a dark place, trying to find light in a new face."

Since the beginning of June, Eric and his band have been delighting audiences across the country on Samantha Fish and Jesse Dayton's captivating Death Wish Blues tour. Through the end of 2023, Johanson will continue crisscrossing the country with Samantha and Jesse, filling in the gaps with headlining performances along the way.  

While creating the album The Deep and the Dirty, Eric Johanson's previous album cracked the Top 10 on the Billboard Blues chart. It was his fourth time reaching the Top 10. And for a Louisiana native who'd grown up idolizing bluesmen like Freddie King and Robert Johnson, it felt pretty good. Even so, genre success didn't discourage Johanson from reaching beyond the blues for The Deep and the Dirty's eclectic, electrifying songs.

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 (whose title refers to the American South) fires twin barrels of sharp songwriting and fiery fretwork. Johanson wrote these songs during an era that found him at home, live-streaming acoustic performances and releasing two volumes of his Covered Tracks series to a quarantined world. At the earliest opportunity, Eric returned to the road, gaining a fresh appreciation for the musical chemistry generated by a well-oiled touring band. The Deep and the Dirty captures these contradictions and subtleties with songs infused with messages about embracing the current moment recorded in the studio as a band playing together live.

Bassist Eric Vogel (Big Sam's Funky Nation / Fred Wesley) and Grammy-winning drummer Terence Higgins (Ani DiFranco / Warren Haynes / Tab Benoit) joined him in the studio, recording 12 songs in two days. "When you're playing this kind of music together, you create moments that can't be replicated if you're recording each part separately," Johanson explains. "I don't write my guitar solos beforehand or record them separately, either. I need to interact with the band to take the solo somewhere special, so we need to record live. Even if there's a mistake or two, it feels like an honest representation of the moment."

Johanson has been capturing moments for years. Born in Alexandria, 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 Neville Brothers) 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."

Jun 28             Kalamazoo, MI *                         Bell’s Brewery
Jun 30             Madison, WI*                              Barrymore Theatre
Jul 1                Aurora, IL                                    The Venue
Jul 8                Bossier City, LA                          Hurricane Alley Live
Jul 15              Austin, TX*                                  Mohawk
Jul 16              Houston, TX*                              The Heights Theatre
Jul 18              Richardson, TX                           Six Springs Tavern
Jul 19              Oklahoma City, OK*                    Tower Theatre
Jul 20              Wichita, KS*                                TempleLive at Wichita Scottish Rite Center
Jul 21              Fort Smith, AR*                           TempleLive
Jul 22              LIttle Rock, AR                            Stickyz Rock 'n Roll Chicken Shack
Jul 27              Decatur, AL                                  Princess Theatre
Jul 28              Nashville, TN                               Leilani Kilgore
Jul 29              Evansville, IN                              Mojo's BoneYard Sports Bar & Grille -
Jul 30              Fort Wayne, IN*                          Performance Pavilion at Sweetwater
Aug 13            Ann Arbor, MI*                             The Ark*
Aug 16            Warrendale, PA*                         Jergel's Rhythm Grille*
Aug 17            Harrisburg, PA*                           XL Live*
Aug 18            Jim Thorpe, PA*                          Penn's Peak*
Sep 12            Solana Beach, CA**                    Belly Up**
Sep 20            Sacramento, CA                          Crest Theatre
Oct 4               Minneapolis, MN**                       Fine Line**
Oct 8               Chicago, IL**                               Park West**

 *Samantha Fish & Jesse Dayton's 'Death Wish Blues' Tour
**Samantha Fish's 'Love Letters' Tour