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vocals, guitar & harmonica
vocals, trumpet & cornet

photos copyright Sharon Graham, used by kind permission

 
DETOURS are an acoustic rock pop act from Saddleworth, Manchester, UK. Ez Jon Erikson formed the band as an acoustic trio in 2001 with his brother Sam Johnson and their friend Julian Flindle, writing, recording and performing their own material, drawing on all of their rock, pop, folk, country, soul, gospel and even brass band influences. Their music does not fit into any typical stereotype, but is very eclectic.
 
Detours represent the independent artist in the digital age, handling all of their booking, management and recordings under Detours Music, an independent record label which Ez set up out of frustration with the in-house politics that they experienced with major record labels. They now feel they have their artistic freedom rather than the restrictions that would otherwise be placed on them. All of their releases are available to purchase digitally on many digital music providers including iTunes, and by "On Demand" CDR online from Detours Music Store through Paypal, for which a Paypal account is not required. They have achieved recording sales and support worldwide.
 
Detours have no particular political theory or ideology, but go back to a basic sense of songwriting from observations of the human condition. Their 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. Songs that everyone can relate to. They believe that the spirit of rock music is democratic, its pain redeemable, and its joy communal. In true British tradition their songs are full of poetry, social commentary, and a sense of humour. They have a talent for melodies, harmonies and rich instrumentation, celebrating love and friendship. Their songs are thought provoking, and entertaining. There is definitely a sense that these artists are somehow different and unique. On the one hand they sound authentic and creative, and on the other hand they are accessible, catchy and energising. Their 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, cafes and bars around the Manchester area. Highlights include performances at the prestigious Saddleworth Festival Of Arts 2003, Manchester's Night and Day Cafe, Ashton's Witchwood, the Rock For Tsunami, Rock For Malawi, Something To Believe In & 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 independent 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!

guitar, vocals & piano
(studio only from 2006)

Paul Adshead
sound engineer & session musician
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 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 2013 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.
 
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