Johnny Hiland is a guitarist originally from Woodland, Maine, and was born with a medical condition that left him legally blind. He joined his family's band, the Three Js and toured New England under the auspices of the Down East Country Music Association. At ten, Johnny won the Talent America contest, entitling him to a performance in New York City. He expanded his musical interests beyond bluegrass to the guitar rock of players like Joe Satriani and Eddie Van Halen. After high school, he attended the University of Southern Maine as a history major, but ultimately dropped out to become a professional musician.
Johnny eventually moved to Nashville where he worked as a guitarist for artists such as Toby Keith, Ricky Skaggs, Janie Fricke, and Hank Williams III. He has with Steve Vai’s Favored Nations label as a solo artist and to date has released two studio albums, the self-titled Johnny Hiland and Loud and Proud.
The Johnny Hiland Band has headlined concerts and clubs in the US and internationally in Italy, Japan, Canada, England, Italy and Germany. In addition to all of that, he also teaches Master Classes at vschools ranging from Berkley School of Music in Boston to Musicians Institute in California and the Academy of Contemporary Music in England.
Johnny has also released instructional DVDs which highlight his bluegrass and “chickin’ pickin’ style. If you play guitar, you probably know what that is.
Johnny career has really taken off the last few years, as evident by the fact that he has a signature guitar on the market. He played Fender Telecasters for years, then “shocked” the guitar world by switching to Paul Reed Smith guitars, eventually having a signature model named for him. (A few guitar forums went nuts about this!) He just joined the Ernie Ball/Music Man company as an endorsee, using a Music Man Silhouette guitar.
"I think Johnny Hiland is the most versatile guitar player I've ever heard. From Bill Monroe to Eddie Van Halen, he can play it all."
"I've jammed with the best the world has produced -- Johnny stands spirit to spirit with them all."
A few videos to enjoy.