D’Addario has welcomed Texas guitar legend Eric Johnson to its fretted artist family.
Johnson was raised in a musical household in Austin. Starting on piano as a child and taking up guitar in his early adolescence, his first influences were the Beatles, Cream and Jimi Hendrix, soon to be followed by Eric Clapton, Django Reinhardt, Jerry Reed and Chet Atkins.
He joined his first professional band, Mariani, at age 15.
“I use D’Addario strings on acoustic and electric to get the exact tone I want,” Johnson says. “Recently, I started using the Pure Nickel XLs, and they have a great response. Playing a string that’s built well and feels good is just more fun. That’s why I play D’Addario strings.”
Over the years, Johnson’s unending pursuit of perfection in his artistry has become as legendary as his talents themselves—his meticulous approach evident in his songs, his chops on guitar and piano, and even his interviews. Throughout the Seventies and Eighties, Johnson perfected his tone and technique while working as a session guitarist and constantly touring and building his fan base.
It was in 1986 that his patience and practice paid off, having been signed with Warner Brothers and released Tones. One of the album’s instrumental songs, “Zap,” was nominated for a Grammy. Johnson’s next major release, 1990’s Ah Via Musicom, became a crossover hit and reached Platinum status, while the track “Cliffs of Dover” earned him the 1991 Grammy for “Best Rock Instrumental Performance.”
To this day, mastering this song is a rite-of-passage for budding guitarists.
“Eric is a legendary guitarist, who is not only known for his incendiary playing, but for his discerning ears and distinct tone, as well,” says Jim D’Addario, CEO of D’Addario & Company. “We’re proud that he has chosen to join our artist family.”