Master Guitarist Joe Satriani to Perform April 10

By David Wedekindt

Release Date: February 15, 2006 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Center for the Arts at the University at Buffalo will present Joe Satriani with very special guest Eric Johnson at 8 p.m. on April 10 in the Mainstage Theatre in the Center for the Arts on the UB North (Amherst) Campus.

Master guitarist Satriani has had a dream career that has ranged from building a reputation as the teacher that the greatest guitarists sought out for lessons (including Steve Vai, Charlie Hunter and Metallica's Kirk Hammett, among many others) to exploding all over the map with more than 10 million sales of 11 solo albums (two platinum, four gold), 13 Grammy nominations, three platinum DVDs, the historic G3 guitar summits and tours/sessions with everyone from Mick Jagger to Deep Purple to Spinal Tap. This tour is in support of his latest release, "Super Colossal."

"People who picked up on my records early on knew that I couldn't be easily pigeonholed," Satriani says. "I was never a metal player or a fusion player or a straight-ahead rock player, though these are all elements of my personality. I think I just go further into each of those places now, especially on 'Super Colossal.' To me, there's more variety here than on any other album I've done."

The title reflects the ambition that Satriani brought to this project from its first conceptual glimmer. In the spring of 2005 he was winding down the tour behind his previous album, "Is There Love in Space?," a marathon that had him playing 115 shows in 25 countries over 14 months. His plan was to head home to San Francisco, after the last show in India, to wrap up a few projects – the G3 Live in Tokyo DVD, and music for a NASCAR video game. Satriani then decided to return to the recording studio.

Very few musical artists achieve a true signature style -- one which makes comparisons to other musicians impossible. But Texas guitarist Eric Johnson arguably comes as close to this echelon as any musician from the past quarter century. Johnson blends the rock style of Jimi Hendrix and the blues power of Albert King. Yet Johnson's wide array of additional influences (from The Beatles and Jeff Beck, to jazz and Chet Atkins) make for a guitar sound as unique as his fingerprints. The Austin prodigy appeared on the cover of Guitar Player magazine while working with Texas jazz/fusion band the Electromagnets and as a session player (Cat Stevens, Carole King, Christopher Cross) and a 1984 performance on the TV show Austin City Limits set his recording career in motion.

Johnson's 1986 debut album, "Tones," certainly proved that the hype was warranted. Johnson followed with 1990's, "Ah Via Musicom" and a trio of the album's tunes made him the first artist to have three instrumentals from the same album to chart in the Top 10 in any format (with "Cliffs of Dover" earning Johnson a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental).

The success of this recording proved difficult to follow, and Johnson took time off from recording in the early- to mid-'90s. A stint on the 1997 G3 Tour with fellow headlining guitarists Joe Satriani and Steve Vai and its resulting live release, breathed new life into Johnson and sparked the idea of a live album. Overhauling his band for the 2000 CD "Live and Beyond," Johnson concentrated on more of a blues feel. The recording re-established the versatile virtuoso's status for the 21st century.

Tickets for Joe Satriani with very special guest Eric Johnson are $45 and $35 general admission, $30 for students, and go on sale at 10 a.m. on Feb. 17. Tickets are available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Center for the Arts Box Office and all Ticketmaster locations, including Kaufmann's. To charge tickets, call 852-5000; in Canada, call 1-416-870-8000. For group sales, call 645-6771. For more information, call 645-ARTS. The Center for the Arts is a Ticketfast location.