Ez Jon Erikson, a traditional singer-songwriter who believes in being innovative, not immitative, represents the independent artist in the digital age. His music does not fit into any typical stereotype, but is very eclectic. Ez has no particular political theory or ideology, but goes back to a basic sense of songwriting from observations of the human condition. His songs are influenced by life's many experiences, its highs and lows, its joy and challenges. They are songs of situations, analysis, questions, opinions, friendship, hope, unity, fear, successes and failures, love found and lost. They are songs that everyone can relate to. Ez believes that the spirit of rock music is democratic, its pain redeemable, and its joy communal. In true British tradition his songs are full of poetry, social commentary, and a sense of humour. He has a talent for melodies, harmonies and rich instrumentation, celebrating love and friendship. These are thought provoking and entertaining songs. There is definitely a sense that as an artist, Ez is somehow different and unique. On the one hand he sounds authentic and creative, and on the other hand he is accessible, catchy and energising.

Ez, real name Eric Johnson, was born in the district of Saddleworth, near Manchester, UK, where he is still based. He has been described by his fans and critics as something of a cross between Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie and Elvis Presley. As a very charismatic and flamboyant singer, songwriter and performer, Ez has been heavily influenced by the aforementioned and by a diverse range of musical styles and artists such as Billy Joel, Big Country, Kiss, The Beatles, Buddy Holly, Bon Jovi, David Lee Roth, Hall and Oates, George Michael, Duran Duran and Bee Gees to name only a few. He began writing and recording his own songs at school, and formed the duo 'Vis-a-Vis' with his friend Julian Flindle, which later became 'Erikson Flindle'. The pair have remained close friends since, writing and recording many great songs together, and in 2001 they joined forces with Ez's brother Sam Johnson to form the acoustic rock pop trio DETOURS, writing, recording and performing their own material, drawing on all of their rock, pop, folk, country, soul, gospel and even brass band influences.



Ez handles all of the booking, management, recordings, video editing and website construction of Detours and his own solo work under Detours Music, an independent record label which he set up out of frustration with the in-house politics that he and his fellow Detours members experienced with some major record labels. Ez now feels they have their artistic freedom rather than the artistic restrictions that would otherwise be placed on them. All of their releases are available to purchase digitally on leading digital music providers including iTunes, and by CDR On Demand from their website DetoursMusic.co.uk through Paypal, for which a Paypal account is not required. They have achieved recording sales and support worldwide.

The name Detours represents their approach to their music, taking musical detours, covering a lot of ground and not staying in one place but moving on. Since they founded, Detours have performed at small theatres, cafés and bars around the Manchester area. Highlights include performances at the prestigious Saddleworth Festival Of Arts 2003, Manchester's Night and Day Café, Ashton's Witchwood, the Something To Believe In, Rock For Tsunami, Rock For Malawi & Saddleworth Unplugged festivals, and many legendary concerts at Millgate Arts Centre (The Players' Theatre) and Playhouse2 Theatre to name only a few. They have collaborated with the very talented, young singer songwriter Kristyna Myles (Decca Records) and rock singer Morgan on 'The Bells Of St Mary EP', and supported UK Top 40 band Mesh-29. Their music has been played on several radio stations including BBC Radio Manchester, All FM Radio, Tameside Radio and Manchester Radio Online.

Detours perform as an acoustic act in concert, which captures an urgency and immediacy, comprising of harmonised vocals, acoustic guitars, trumpet, harmonica, and minimal percussion. Their studio recordings bring in fuller arrangements, with the inclusion of drums, bass, electric guitars, keyboards, hammond organ, yet they always remain true to their acoustic roots with the inclusion of piano, accordion, mandolin, dobro, steel guitar, ukelele, banjulele, balalaika, cello, violin, saxophone, didgeridoo and other ethnic instruments that feel appropriate. To date, with the assistance of their multi-talented producer/session musician/sound engineer Paul Adshead, Detours have recorded four albums together, Debut, No Evil, A Dark Storm, and Sense Of Purpose. They have also recorded two EPs, Snowballed The Christmas EP, and The Bells Of St Mary EP (with Kristyna Myles and Morgan) have a 19 track compilation Collection available, and now a 5CD boxset of 74 previously unreleased tracks, Memory Lane The Boxset Treasury which includes live concert, soundcheck and rehearsal recordings, alternate studio mixes, demos and home recordings. With solo work from Ez to add to this catalogue, the albums Summers Of My Life, Ramshackle World and Ezposure (The Acoustic Performancez), this is quite an extensive body of work! Ez is also currently working on an extensive DVD project.

In 2006 Julian Flindle retired from live performances due to work and personal commitments, although is still involved in the creative process with Detours in the studio. However, for live performances, Sam and Ez now perform as a duo with occasional special guests to celebrate the music of Ez Jon Erikson and Detours, including their sound engineer/session musician Paul Adshead.
On 10th January 2007 disaster struck Detours when a speeding, out of control van crashed into Sam Johnson's own stationary van as he was loading it. Sam was lucky to survive the accident, but the impact severely damaged the ligaments in his knees, for which he has been receiving ongoing major surgery, and left him with facial and head injuries and badly damaged vocal chords. He was unable to sing at all from January until Summer 2007, when he was given the all clear to slowly build his voice back up. Even now in 2012 he is still receiving professional vocal therapy to strengthen the top part of his vocal range. Due to the recovery process of his accident Detours’ live performance plans have suffered, so their concerts have become infrequent. However, on a positive note, Detours digital releases continue on iTunes and other digital music providers, their music has been receiving radio airplay on several independent stations, and they are working on an extensive DVD project. They continue to epitomise the true independent act with their hands on DIY approach to all aspects of their music career, and retain their musical freedom.

Prior to forming Detours, Ez recorded two solo albums 'Summers Of My Life' and 'Ramshackle World' under the label Ezstatic Music, which he originally issued himself to sell at local shops, gigs and around family and friends. He followed this up with an album entitled 'Ezposure (The Acoustic Performancez)' which included acoustic mixes and performances of songs from the two previous albums, and two new, "ezclusive" acoustic songs. 'Ramshackle World' and 'Ezposure' were digitally released during 2008, and 'Summers Of My Life' in 2009, along with a single remix of the opening track 'Fun In The Sun' exclusively on iTunes.

To appreciate the true depth and versatility in Ez's songwriting it is essential to study his own solo work along with the songs he has written for Detours. His lyrics contain a clever mixture of humour, observation, analysis, fear, isolation, rejection, hope, unity, anti-racism, romance and love. There is almost a schizophrenic quality to Ez's music, as he is able to balance humour and energy (Fun In The Sun, Mama's Goin' To The Ball Tonight, His Bark Is Worse Than His Bite, That's The Way The Cookie Crumbles, Snowballed, Fun In The Snow) with intensity (Half The World, Live To Die, Fear Of The World, Ramshackle World, To Feel Young Again, Escape (In The Night), One More Time, Reality, Been Here Too Long, A Dark Storm, Room To Breathe) and easy listening (Otiose). Above all, his songs make sense and the average person can easily relate to them, which is one of the reasons why they are so good. There is also a strong sense of melody and a variety of musical style in Ez's music.

A new EJE solo album is planned, entitled 'What Will I Become?' Recording started during Summer 2011, and the title track was released as a digital single on 5th November 2011. A 32 track compilation entitled 'The Ezsential Ez Jon Erikson' was released on 23 July 2012, focusing on both EJE's solo work and his song writing in Detours. A new Detours album is also planned entitled 'Believe Upon Each Day' for which recording began during Summer 2013.


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