Johnny Hiland moved to Nashville in 1996 and started his guitar artist career in 2002. By 2004, he signed his first record deal with Steve Vai’s Favored Nations label and released his first self-titled debut album later that year. Legally blind, Johnny has become world renown as a guitar artist, session musician, master class clinician, guitar teacher, and songwriter.
Johnny Hiland has been named in “Best of” lists in the guitar world including being named one of the “Top 5 Best Chicken Pickers” by Gibson.com, one of the “50 Fastest Guitarists of All Time” by Guitar World Magazine and, most recently, named one of the “Top 3 Country Guitarists” in the 2017 Vintage Guitar Magazine Readers Poll.
In addition, Johnny has played on records for artists such as Ricky Skaggs, Toby Keith, Hank III, Trick Pony, Randy Travis, Janie Fricke, Lynn Anderson, Thom Bresh, Rodney Dillard, Rebecca Lynn Howard, The Ventures’ Nokie Edwards, and many others. He has performed on stage with artists such as Steve Vai, G3, Les Paul, Joe Bonamassa, George Clinton and P-Funk, Hank Williams III, Ricky Skaggs, Sammy Hagar, Ted Nugent, Joe Satriani, John Jorgenson, Nokie Edwards, Thom Bresh, Jack Pearson, the Kentucky Headhunters, Phil Keaggy, Brent Mason, and many others. Plus, he has appeared several times on the legendary Grand Ole Opry.
Ricky Skaggs once said of Johnny- “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!”
Johnny has released instructional material for many respected companies such as Truefire, Mel Bay, Hot Licks, and Jam Track Central. He has an enthusiastic fan base from all over the world, and he has a number of signature products on the market from his several amazing endorsers to include his brand new signature Johnny Hiland JH6 model by Kiesel Guitars.
Ted Nugent once said of Johnny- “I’ve jammed with the best the world has produced. Johnny stands spirit-to-spirit with them all!”
In 2008, Johnny independently released his second album, “Loud and Proud,” with a standout track called, “Chicken Pickin’ Heroes,” that features Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill, and Steve Wariner. In 2010, Johnny signed on with Mike Varney and Shrapnel Records. They released Johnny’s third album, “All Fired Up,” in the summer of 2011 that met rave reviews!
Sammy Hagar said of Johnny- “We jammed for days...We’re not tryin’ to hype nothin...he does’t need no hype.”
Since the release of his Shrapnel album, Johnny has toured as much as possible with his band and found the music business changing in big ways. Touring slowed down, and Johnny knew he had to change with the times. He re-released “Loud and Proud” in 2016 and then released “Standing Strong” in 2018. He, along with his wife, Kimmie, and their two dogs, Buddy and Ella, left Nashville and moved to Chatham Virginia in December of 2018. Since the move, Johnny has released his gospel album, “Pickin’ For The Lord,” in April 2019, and is currently working on a duo Christmas record with his dear friend and monster keyboard player, Blake Padilla, that will be released before the holidays!
Johnny Hiland is a happy man these days who realizes just how blessed he is! In 2019, he has teamed up with the US Army and has been honored to play music with the many amazing bands in it. He teaches guitar on a regular basis and has now put a new studio in his home called, “Camp Hiland Studio.” He continues to tour with his band when possible, and still performs doing master classes all over the world. He is proud of his new relationship with Kiesel Guitars and now enjoys peace of mind writing and recording new music in Chatham. You can catch Johnny live doing a Q&A every Sunday at 1 PM CST on his Johnnyhilandofficial page on Facebook!