Randy Travis

Submitted by on Sep 23, 2015

Johnny Hiland grew up in the small town of Baileyville, Maine. He was born legally blind with an eye disease known as nystagmus, which did not allow him to grow up like most children. He started playing guitar at age 2, and went on to perform his first tv show at age 7. His career took off when Johnny won the "Talent America Contest," at age 10, in New York City. His father had taken him to see Ricky Skaggs perform, and Johnny immediately went from pickin’ bluegrass to wanting a telecaster. As a teen, Johnny spent countless hours learning and developing his own blend of chicken pickin,’ rock, blues, and swing; while pickin’ in a number of different bands around the state of Maine. After finishing high school, and 3 years of college, he moved to Nashville in 1996. Since then, he performed with The Don Kelley Band down at Robert’s Western World, which led him to perform on TNN’s "Prime Time Country," and then as a headline artist at the legendary Grand Ole Opry. Johnny has played on a number of records for artists like Toby Keith, Trick Pony, Randy Travis, Ricky Skaggs, Janie Fricke, Lynn Anderson, and Hank 3. He later signed a record deal with Steve Vai and his guitar based record company, Favored Nations. He released his first debut, self titled, album in 2004.

Since then he has been touring the globe with his band, "The Johnny Hiland Band," and has released a 2nd guitar album, independently, called, "Loud and Proud." He has also performed on stage with super artists like Sammy Hagar, Ted Nugent, George Clinton and P-Funk, Les Paul, Steve Vai, Joe Bonamassa, G3, and many others. He loves to teach, and has his own line of guitar instructional material as well; 2 Hot Licks videos, and a number of books/cds with Mel Bay. He has had his own signature model PRS, and now has found his proper guitar home with Ernie Ball Music Man.

Now, in 2010, he has teamed up with his long time friend, Ron Lutrick, and they have just released a new record called, "The Blues Connection." You will find The Blues Connection touring hard in 2011. Johnny will always reach out to show the young people of today that live music is really cool, and that guitar is awesome. He has written a children’s book called, "Tuff and Friends," to inspire handicapped children to follow their dreams. He feels, and shows every single day, that he has been very blessed, by God, for the gift of music/guitar, and to be able to continue to earn a living doing what he loves to do. For tour dates, and other information on Johnny, please check out johnnyhiland.net .

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