Local country trio 10 City Run has been a ubiquitous presence on the local airwaves lately, and with good reason. The band, which formed a year ago with the concept of combining elements of surf- and garage-rock with mainstream country, is a semifinalist in the Texas Country Reporter's "Texas Country Star" competition. The group's performance of "Memories" aired on the program August 13 and 14, and on the weekend of September 10-11 the show will re-air the live clip and solicit online votes to determine which performers will compete in the finals in Waxahachie on September 17. At stake is a contract with Universal South Records. You can catch 10 City Run on Saturday, August 27, at Alternatives, from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Unsung guitar hero
As one ponders guitar virtuosity with Texas roots, one name inevitably comes to mind: Stevie Ray Vaughan. Herein lies the problem. Out of Austin comes Eric Johnson, one of the most talented yet commercially deprived musicians ever, a musician with almost no name recognition outside the pages of Guitar Player magazine. Even more than for his guitar playing, Johnson is ignored for singing and songwriting abilities that many guitar gods fail to hone as they're racing through 64th notes.
Johnson began his career in the late 1960s with Mariani and the the Electromagnets, a jazz-rock fusion band similar in style to John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra. In the late '70s and early '80s, Johnson was best known for his session work with artists such as Cat Stevens and Carole King. In 1984, he caught his first big break after Prince saw his performance on Austin City Limits and prodded Warner Brothers into adding him to their label. Johnson subsequently released several albums, including Ah Via Musicom, probably his best-known work. Most recently, he gained attention for joining Steve Vai and Joe Satriani on the G3 tour, ably holding his own with those six-string heavy hitters. On Friday, August 26, Johnson will headline a guitar-players' blowout (including Adrian Belew) at Sunset Station. Showtime is 9 p.m.
Compiled by: Gilbert Garcia and Brandon Ysteboe