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Guitarist Eric Johnson to play acoustic show at Lensic

SANTA FE, N.M. — Eric Johnson is playing his guitar in the background while on the phone conducting an interview.

It’s just something he does.

“I’m always playing,” he says during a recent phone interview. “I thought there was a string broken, and that drives me crazy. I needed to make sure I fix it before I go on tour.”

Johnson is best-known for his electric guitar skills, though he is also a highly proficient acoustic, resonator, bass and lap steel guitarist.

He is also known to not stay in one genre, often blazing through acoustic blues, jazz, fusion, folk, classical and country.

On his current tour, he’s promoting his latest release, “EJ,” a stripped-down acoustic-guitar and piano album.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years,” he says of the acoustic album. “I created time in my schedule to get it done. I’ve recorded so much music, I’m planning on making a Volume 2.”

“EJ” has nine original songs and four covers, which is why Johnson calls it his most intimate album.

“I began playing piano and acoustic guitar since I was young,” he says. “This type of music has always been a part of me, but I never really put it on the stage or in recordings. This was refreshing for me to do, because I had the opportunity to be honest with myself and show my fans a personal side.”

When in the studio, Johnson says, he wanted to give a live feel to the album.

“Some of the songs were performed live in the studio,” he says. “Recording it this way gave it an honest and organic feel.”

Though he’s slowed down the sound on this album, Johnson is ready to plug back in and make his next album.

“I’ve written a few songs on electric guitar,” he says. “Then I have this whole Volume 2 thing with the acoustic music. I never stop working on music, and that’s what I enjoy most about what I do. I’m always trying to move forward.”