Johnny Hiland, Johnny Hiland
Ferocious six-string wizardry from the "blind boy."
Born with nystagmus, a condition of involuntary eye movement, Hiland grew up in Woodland, Maine, where he was known as the "blind boy." Nevertheless, he demonstrated a ferocious devotion to the guitar, honing a remarkable technique on the instrument by the time he was a teenager. On his Favored Nations debut, Hiland reveals his biggest guitar influence on the Danny Gatton tribute piece "Gatton to It" as well as on two other Gattonesque numbers, "Swinging the Strings" and "In Your Face." He flashes lightning-speed picking on "G-Wiz" then soars melodically on ballads like "Song for Helen" and "Truth Hurts." And he expertly combines two genres on the seamless hybrid piece "Celtic Country." Yet another remarkable six-string wizard championed by Steve Vai's Favored Nations imprint.