'Eclectic': Guitarists Eric Johnson & Mike Stern announce new album, tour

What do you get when you cross blues-rock guitar great Eric Johnson with jazz guitar master Mike Stern? Two bona fide guitar heroes who find common ground for their first-ever collaboration. Recorded at Johnson’s studio in Austin, Texas, Eclectic - the new album from Eric Johnson and Mike Stern, is scheduled for release on October 27.

In addition to Johnson and Stern trading guitar licks, the album features an infectious rhythm section consisting of drummer Anton Fig (a longstanding member in Paul Shaffer’s house band on "Late Night With David Letterman") and Johnson’s regular bassist, Chris Maresh.

Other guests on Eclectic include Malford Milligan, Grammy award winner Christopher Cross, Guy Forsyth and a horn section consisting of saxophonist John Mills, trombonist Mike Mordecai and trumpeter Andrew Johnson. Stern’s wife, Leni also provides vocals and plays n’goni (an African stringed instrument) on one of the tracks as well.

The origins of this extraordinary six-string meeting go back to 2009 when Johnson was invited by Stern to play on his album Big Neighborhood. Shortly afterwards, the duo was invited to perform together at The Blue Note Club in New York City. The vibe of this new found collaboration felt so good that both guitarists knew they had to record it.

Coinciding with the album’s official release, Johnson and Stern will bring Eclectic (plus a plethora of hits from their own respective catalogs) to the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, November 8.

In a career spanning more than four decades, Mike Stern has distinguished himself as one of the most esteemed electric guitarists of his generation. With a body of work that includes partnerships with such artists as Blood, Sweat & Tears, Billy Cobham, Miles Davis and Jaco Pastorius among many others.

Eric Johnson’s own guitar prowess cannot be understated. In addition to being praised by artists like Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) and Steve Morse (Deep Purple/Dixie Dregs), Johnson has often been compared to guitar heroes like Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix. Johnson’s six-string wizardry earned him a Grammy award in 1992 for his instrumental hit, “Cliffs Of Dover” - a song that was voted #17 on Guitar World magazine’s list of 100 Greatest Guitar solos. Although shaped in simplicity, “Cliffs Of Dover” is one of the more challenging guitar pieces to perform properly.

The Keswick Theatre is a privately owned facility in the Keswick Village section of Glenside, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia.

For fans of jazz, blues and guitar music in general, this is one show that should not to be missed.