So you like the guys who play the same style of material over and over for years? Maybe as an artist different styles appeal to him. I don't think it would be wise for him to truncate his interests just so you can be happier or at least, less bothered.
He's a BOSS, and he can do whatever he wants whether I totally love every song or not. I tend to think of the songs that I don't care for as my failure rather than his.
Same goes for Michael Hedges and many others.
Eric Johnson has been in my top 5 guitarists for more years than I can remember. Very few guitarists can master most all electric and acoustic guitar styles as well as being a great pianist on the side. I read an interview he did a number of years back on how he comes up with some of his signature chord shapes and string skipping patterns. He comes up with many of his ideas on the piano and then works to transfer them to the guitar. Piano music is not guitar friendly, yet, he pulls it off. He's a freakin' musical genius. I own every recording he's ever made and, while I'm not really into certain styles, I'll listen to Eric play them just as a counterpoint to everything else he does. Speed equal to Paul Gilbert, Joe Satriani or Steve Vai. Technique equal to Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jerry Reed, Chet Atkins, Guthrie Govan, Kenny Burrell, Bill Frisell. Tone equal to or better than Gary Moore, David Gilmour or Carlos Santana. Also ..... My wife and I have met Eric on a couple of occasions and he's one of the most polite down to earth folk we've ever met. When all the instruments are put away he's just a plain old super friendly guy you'd love to have as a neighbor.
I first saw Eric in 1974, at the Armadillo World Headquarters.
I met him at my music store job (Picker’s Paradise) in 1975, and took a summer’s worth of lessons from him.
I was 18, Eric was 21.
For me, it was a life changing experience.
Eric has always been incredibly versatile.
He plays all kinds of styles.
He taught me his great country instrumental Dusty, and a lot of extremely useful chord theory.
He was, unsurprisingly, a fantastic teacher.
Eric is a singular musician, and is still my favorite.
If you're unaware, Johnson played on Christopher Cross' debut rekkid from 1979, on the tune below. Larry Carlton played on another one, and Jay Graydon (who played the solo on Steely Dan's tune Peg) contributed on two of the tunes. Cross hisself sprayed blistering guitar all over the album too; he's a formidable player. If you didn't know, Stevie Vaughan's #1 Strat belonged to Cross before Stevie got his hands on it.
What you're describing is a big part of why I like and respect him.I've been listening to some of his stuff, and enjoy quite a bit of it, but I find he spans across a wide range (too wide?) of styles, even on a single record. It swings from blues to pop to folk to new-age. I find it a bit disconcerting. He's obviously a great player, but I kind of wish he'd settle down a bit in terms of styles. Any comments or suggestions?
I feel somewhat ambiguous about EJ. On the one hand, technically, he's a monster ( I mean that in it's best and most complimentary way). On the other, I also find it difficult to listen to the rapid fire 16th notes in just about every solo.
No doubt, he's evolved and adopted styles of guitar other than just the rock/blues rock thang -- it's totally credible, the real deal. Where I like him best, is in tunes like EastWes, Manhattan or Trademark or the country acoustic type tunes. Sure most of Zap and Cliffs of Dover are brilliant examples of flashy lead playing, but I can only listen to it in limited batches at a time.
I've only managed to catch a couple live performances, but the G3 show in the late 90s (with Vai and Satch!) in the middle they broke from the usual all-out-shred stuff and EJ played Manhattan (on the 335). It was absolutely the best sounding live guitar playing I've heard anywhere, anytime.