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Eric Johnson Gear Consciousness Shift?

Turner Hall, Milwaukee - 2/27/13

Just spotted this clip posted at EJ's Facebook, and I'm having some interesting observations in spite of the gazillion Cliffs of Dover performance vids out there. Y'know this tune was released 23 years ago! And if Eric didn't play it every show, fans would suffer a loss. So this is his trademark tune, not to be confused with his "Trademark" tune.

Obviously, the solo intro's to Cliff are never the same; usually an opportunity for EJ to improvise from his current state of being. Also notice he's dropped the loop he used to solo to. But even more fresh is a very noticeable decrease in delay. In some sections there are no repeats at all. Audio quality does diminish when the band starts, as the sound levels are slammin' the mic in this recording device. But it still seems like Eric is using a lot less delay overall.

In recent years, I've heard him reference his use of delay as "cheating", so maybe EJ really is shifting to a drier climate and tighter level of playing.

Just imagine 40 years from now, Eric playing one night/week in some sort of Austin based "IridiumXSW", where he only shows up to play Cliffs after meditating and doing Tai Chi all week long.  Then he quickly beams back to Casa del Johnson Ranch Resort Temple & Tone Spa.

How 'bout 300 years from now in a new musical dimension where the children will begin each school day playing Cliffs of Dover in unison on little crystal Stratocasters, like The Pledge, y'know. And there would be no pencils, books, teacher's dirty looks or even calculators or computers. Just the little crystal Strats. What a wonderful world this would be, what a glorious time to be free! 

Yes, it's Friday!


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