Johnny Hiland is an American musician. He began as a bluegrass player, and then went on to play jazz, blues and country.
Hiland grew up in Woodland, Maine. He was born with nystagmus, a condition of involuntary eye movement.
In 1996, Hiland moved to Nashville and worked as a session musician for country artists including Toby Keith, Ricky Skaggs, Janie Fricke, and Hank Williams III. Hiland signed with Steve Vai's Favored Nations label as a solo artist. The Johnny Hiland Band has released two studio albums on the Favored Nations label.
Besides guitar, Hiland also plays banjo, fiddle and mandolin.
Hiland also works as a motivational speaker as well as a children's author. Hiland's first children's book. Tuff the Special Bear, which he wrote and illustrated, was published in 2006. In December 2010, Hiland became partners with Jason Macedo (guitarist) as magazine partner in The Sound Guitar Magazine.. In, 2011 Johnny signed with Mike Varney's Shrapnel Records.
Since January 2010, Johnny Hiland has been endorsed by Ernie Ball and plays the Music Man Silhouette, a 24-fret guitar with a vibrato unit. For Tele®-style guitars, Hiland plays a Lloyd Prins Twangcaster™ and a John Scott custom.
Hiland has also collaborated with David Allen of D.Allen Pickups to develop his signature "Johnny Blade" pickups. These are passive pickups and employ a noiseless split-blade design. His Music Man Silhouette™, Lloyd Prins Twangcaster™, and John Scott custom are equipped with DAllen Johnny Blades.
Johnny Hiland is endorsed by Elixir Strings.
As of September 2012, he endorses CEC Amplification, and a signature guitar amp is under development.
Originally a dedicated Fender Telecaster player, in 1998 Hiland became the first unsigned artist to ever be awarded an endorsement deal from Fender. In 2007 Paul Reed Smith and Hiland collaborated to design a Johnny Hiland Signature model guitar based on some of the technical specifications of many of Hiland's favorite session instruments. He recently endorsed the "Nashville Special Elite" guitar built by Abraham Wechter of Wechter Guitars. More recently, Hiland has used Ernie Ball guitars equipped with D. Allen pickups. In 2011, Hiland worked with David Allen to create a signature line of pickups. These included a set of three single-coil-sized blade pickups, and a set of full sized humbucking pickups.
Guitar Rig & Signal Flow
A detailed gear diagram of Johnny Hiland's 2011 guitar rig is well-documented.