The Blues Connection featuring Johnny Hiland & Ron Lutrick
Gig Seeker Pro

The Blues Connection featuring Johnny Hiland & Ron Lutrick

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE
Band Blues Country

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Nov
04
The Blues Connection featuring Johnny Hiland & Ron Lutrick @ 3rd & Lindsley Bar & Grill

Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Music

Press


http://www.guitarplayer.com/article/johnny-hiland-all-fired-up/5864
- Guitar Player Magazine November 2011



Johnny Hiland
Mr. Versatility
By Ann Wickstrom | Published: March 8, 2010


Photo: Rusty Russell.
Nashville monster picker Johnny Hiland has been a wonder to guitar nuts ever since a ’96 Nor’easter blew him into the Music City from his home state of Maine. Hiland has more endorsement deals than he can keep track of, and more importantly, the admiration of a number of bona fide guitar icons, and a slew of pickers of varying abilities who count themselves as fans. Most of these go one of two ways after seeing him perform – back to the woodshed with an unprecedented vengeance, or off into a corner muttering about burning their own guitars.

A performance by Hiland is something every true axe devotee deserves to see at least once, but his second CD, Loud and Proud, gives a well-rounded display of what he can do, which is to say everything. It’s got driving rock instrumentals, an acoustic fingerstyle tune, country chops to die for, and chicken pickin’ that’s downright hazardous to your health.

What guitars did you use on the record?
The only electric I used is my new signature model PRS, which is the most unbelievable guitar I’ve ever played. It’s essentially a PRS Tele with a 24-fret maple neck, and you can bend behind the nut on it, which is kind of neat. It has custom humbuckers and you can split them; the bridge pickup sounds exactly like on old, overwound Tele pickup – it’ll just bite your head off. And the neck pick-up is nice and warm and smooth. It has a flame maple top and mahogany back and sides, and a stock PRS vibrato.




I wanted to have something with a Tele sound, but a really cool vibrato. So many people have asked me why I’m not playing a Telecaster anymore, and really, I just needed a guitar that could do it all. You can play any genre of music with this guitar or jump on any stage in any environment and feel totally comfortable. I’m wicked proud of it and I feel really blessed to be with PRS.

The only other guitar I used on the record is the ’68 Martin D-35 I played on the acoustic tune I wrote for my wife, “My Sweet Kimmie Girl,” and a resonator on part of “Chicken Pickin’ Heroes.”

How about amps and effects?
I mainly used two Peavey ValveKing half-stacks with Celestion G12 Centuries. Speaking of that, I’m working with Peavey to design a Johnny Hiland amp. There may even be something visible at Summer NAMM. I’m totally stoked about it! But the ValveKing is really like a Twin and a heavy metal monster with reverb and a bass dampening section all rolled into one, with a knob in the back where you can split between class A and class A/B. It gave me the best of all worlds in matching my PRS and for playing multiple genres of music.

For effects, I’m still using the Visual Sound pedals: the Route 66, the Jeckyl and Hyde, and the H20. And I’ve recently added a couple of pedals – the Hendrix Wah from Dunlop, and the gig-FX. I’m also using the Digitech Whammy II. It’s so fun and cool… it just makes me giggle! You can get different harmony tones and octaves.

You close out this record by bringing in some very special guests on “Chicken Pickin’ Heroes.” How did that come together?
I really wanted to pay tribute to some of my heroes. So I wrote that song with the intention of Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner, and Vince Gill playing on it with me. But then I thought, “Okay, now what am I going to do?” I needed to find out if they’d actually do it (laughs)! I played on Ricky Skaggs’ Brand New Strings album, so I thought I’d give it a shot by starting with him. I was bowled over when he said yes. Then I was able to get in touch with Steve, and he said, “Count me in!” Then I called Vince, and he just said, “Sure!” I lost my breath for about 30 seconds. Ricky asked if he could play either acoustic guitar or mandolin for his solo. I told him he could stand on his head and spit the “Star Spangled Banner” if he wanted to, as long as he was on the record! So he played acoustic. Anyway, to have that kind of time with those guys was just unbelievable. I had been hoping for it forever. That’s why the last line of the song is, “Yeah folks, dreams do come true.”

- Vintage Guitar Magazine



Johnny Hiland
Mr. Versatility
By Ann Wickstrom | Published: March 8, 2010


Photo: Rusty Russell.
Nashville monster picker Johnny Hiland has been a wonder to guitar nuts ever since a ’96 Nor’easter blew him into the Music City from his home state of Maine. Hiland has more endorsement deals than he can keep track of, and more importantly, the admiration of a number of bona fide guitar icons, and a slew of pickers of varying abilities who count themselves as fans. Most of these go one of two ways after seeing him perform – back to the woodshed with an unprecedented vengeance, or off into a corner muttering about burning their own guitars.

A performance by Hiland is something every true axe devotee deserves to see at least once, but his second CD, Loud and Proud, gives a well-rounded display of what he can do, which is to say everything. It’s got driving rock instrumentals, an acoustic fingerstyle tune, country chops to die for, and chicken pickin’ that’s downright hazardous to your health.

What guitars did you use on the record?
The only electric I used is my new signature model PRS, which is the most unbelievable guitar I’ve ever played. It’s essentially a PRS Tele with a 24-fret maple neck, and you can bend behind the nut on it, which is kind of neat. It has custom humbuckers and you can split them; the bridge pickup sounds exactly like on old, overwound Tele pickup – it’ll just bite your head off. And the neck pick-up is nice and warm and smooth. It has a flame maple top and mahogany back and sides, and a stock PRS vibrato.




I wanted to have something with a Tele sound, but a really cool vibrato. So many people have asked me why I’m not playing a Telecaster anymore, and really, I just needed a guitar that could do it all. You can play any genre of music with this guitar or jump on any stage in any environment and feel totally comfortable. I’m wicked proud of it and I feel really blessed to be with PRS.

The only other guitar I used on the record is the ’68 Martin D-35 I played on the acoustic tune I wrote for my wife, “My Sweet Kimmie Girl,” and a resonator on part of “Chicken Pickin’ Heroes.”

How about amps and effects?
I mainly used two Peavey ValveKing half-stacks with Celestion G12 Centuries. Speaking of that, I’m working with Peavey to design a Johnny Hiland amp. There may even be something visible at Summer NAMM. I’m totally stoked about it! But the ValveKing is really like a Twin and a heavy metal monster with reverb and a bass dampening section all rolled into one, with a knob in the back where you can split between class A and class A/B. It gave me the best of all worlds in matching my PRS and for playing multiple genres of music.

For effects, I’m still using the Visual Sound pedals: the Route 66, the Jeckyl and Hyde, and the H20. And I’ve recently added a couple of pedals – the Hendrix Wah from Dunlop, and the gig-FX. I’m also using the Digitech Whammy II. It’s so fun and cool… it just makes me giggle! You can get different harmony tones and octaves.

You close out this record by bringing in some very special guests on “Chicken Pickin’ Heroes.” How did that come together?
I really wanted to pay tribute to some of my heroes. So I wrote that song with the intention of Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner, and Vince Gill playing on it with me. But then I thought, “Okay, now what am I going to do?” I needed to find out if they’d actually do it (laughs)! I played on Ricky Skaggs’ Brand New Strings album, so I thought I’d give it a shot by starting with him. I was bowled over when he said yes. Then I was able to get in touch with Steve, and he said, “Count me in!” Then I called Vince, and he just said, “Sure!” I lost my breath for about 30 seconds. Ricky asked if he could play either acoustic guitar or mandolin for his solo. I told him he could stand on his head and spit the “Star Spangled Banner” if he wanted to, as long as he was on the record! So he played acoustic. Anyway, to have that kind of time with those guys was just unbelievable. I had been hoping for it forever. That’s why the last line of the song is, “Yeah folks, dreams do come true.”

- Vintage Guitar Magazine


Matt Blackett: In the Studio with Johnny Hiland


I was psyched to get an email from legendary talent scout, producer, and shred historian Mike Varney informing me that Johnny Hiland is making a record for Shrapnel. Not only that, but he’s cutting tracks in the Bay Area and I was cordially invited to swing by Prairie Sun studios, chat with Mike and Johnny, and listen to some tracks. So that’s what I did yesterday, one of those days that reminds me that I have a cool job. I drove up to Prairie Sun, pulled into the driveway that is bordered by a big lawn full of chickens scampering about, and walked into the studio to hear some chicken pickin’.
Varney said that they were mixing one of the album’s heavier tunes, but that the record contained a wide variety of countrified playing. I settled in and they rolled the track, which started with a spooky, Sonny Landreth-style quivering slide chord. Just as I was getting used to that, a monstrous low-string gliss heralded the arrival of the full band, with Hiland, bassist Stu Hamm, and drummer Jeremy Colson absolutely crushing the dropped-D main riff. Over the course of the next few minutes I was treated to Hiland’s slippery slide work, spot-on bends, clangy open strings, and insane chops. The tune itself was full of memorable and hummable hooks and the two solos—one with slide one without—were super tasty, even with the mind-blowing technique. At one point Varney, the guy who discovered Yngwie Freaking Malmsteen, said, “Can this guy play, or what?”
A real treat was when they called up another mix, muted the lead guitar, and had Johnny play over the tracks. I don’t want to shock anyone, but it was really, really good. They not only allowed but encouraged me to shoot video of it all, so stay tuned for that. After, Hiland was cool enough to demonstrate some of his picking, double-stops, and what might have been the most impressive playing of the day: his multi-string bends. Once again, I got it on video but I don’t know if I have the wherewithal to transcribe these licks and get them into the print mag so no promises there. When I post the video I’ll invite any fearless guitar teacher to take a stab at them.
Varney says the record should hit in August, with a tour to follow. My prediction is this album will turn your head around. This blog is just a tease. Look for video and a full interview as we get closer to release time. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with the question I asked Johnny Hiland: “Damn. Why don’t you try playing something good?”



- Guitar Player Magazine


Matt Blackett: In the Studio with Johnny Hiland


I was psyched to get an email from legendary talent scout, producer, and shred historian Mike Varney informing me that Johnny Hiland is making a record for Shrapnel. Not only that, but he’s cutting tracks in the Bay Area and I was cordially invited to swing by Prairie Sun studios, chat with Mike and Johnny, and listen to some tracks. So that’s what I did yesterday, one of those days that reminds me that I have a cool job. I drove up to Prairie Sun, pulled into the driveway that is bordered by a big lawn full of chickens scampering about, and walked into the studio to hear some chicken pickin’.
Varney said that they were mixing one of the album’s heavier tunes, but that the record contained a wide variety of countrified playing. I settled in and they rolled the track, which started with a spooky, Sonny Landreth-style quivering slide chord. Just as I was getting used to that, a monstrous low-string gliss heralded the arrival of the full band, with Hiland, bassist Stu Hamm, and drummer Jeremy Colson absolutely crushing the dropped-D main riff. Over the course of the next few minutes I was treated to Hiland’s slippery slide work, spot-on bends, clangy open strings, and insane chops. The tune itself was full of memorable and hummable hooks and the two solos—one with slide one without—were super tasty, even with the mind-blowing technique. At one point Varney, the guy who discovered Yngwie Freaking Malmsteen, said, “Can this guy play, or what?”
A real treat was when they called up another mix, muted the lead guitar, and had Johnny play over the tracks. I don’t want to shock anyone, but it was really, really good. They not only allowed but encouraged me to shoot video of it all, so stay tuned for that. After, Hiland was cool enough to demonstrate some of his picking, double-stops, and what might have been the most impressive playing of the day: his multi-string bends. Once again, I got it on video but I don’t know if I have the wherewithal to transcribe these licks and get them into the print mag so no promises there. When I post the video I’ll invite any fearless guitar teacher to take a stab at them.
Varney says the record should hit in August, with a tour to follow. My prediction is this album will turn your head around. This blog is just a tease. Look for video and a full interview as we get closer to release time. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with the question I asked Johnny Hiland: “Damn. Why don’t you try playing something good?”



- Guitar Player Magazine




JOHNNY HILAND “ALL FIRED UP” by Scott Thomas

Hi music loverz... I'm at it once again sitting here listening to some mind blowin' geetar pickin' from the one and only and very talented Johnny Hiland.

If you are into alt-country music and virtuoso guitar playing, then this New Album "All Fired Up" will have you looking for those ol' cowboy boots for a nite out at your nearest dancehall. So get those puppies polished up and ready because after a listen to this "jaw dropping" CD which is rooted firmly in country music with a rock and roll edge, will have you chompin' at the bit to get out of the house and on that sawdust-ridden wooden dance floor. Hiland's mastery of the electric guitar puts him in exceptional company that includes only a handful of brilliant players who combine taste, touch and tone in such a way that they both define and break open the boundaries of his genre. Ricky Skaggs commented on 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."

This New outing from Johnny is chocked full of great songwriting in the styles of traditional country, western swing, rock and blues, with tasty guitfiddle playing by means of inviting vocals, country style licks, steel guitar-type accompaniments, and smoking chops!

I highly recommend this uncompromising and well-rounded music for you and your urban cowboy friendz.

- Scott Thomas




JOHNNY HILAND “ALL FIRED UP” by Scott Thomas

Hi music loverz... I'm at it once again sitting here listening to some mind blowin' geetar pickin' from the one and only and very talented Johnny Hiland.

If you are into alt-country music and virtuoso guitar playing, then this New Album "All Fired Up" will have you looking for those ol' cowboy boots for a nite out at your nearest dancehall. So get those puppies polished up and ready because after a listen to this "jaw dropping" CD which is rooted firmly in country music with a rock and roll edge, will have you chompin' at the bit to get out of the house and on that sawdust-ridden wooden dance floor. Hiland's mastery of the electric guitar puts him in exceptional company that includes only a handful of brilliant players who combine taste, touch and tone in such a way that they both define and break open the boundaries of his genre. Ricky Skaggs commented on 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."

This New outing from Johnny is chocked full of great songwriting in the styles of traditional country, western swing, rock and blues, with tasty guitfiddle playing by means of inviting vocals, country style licks, steel guitar-type accompaniments, and smoking chops!

I highly recommend this uncompromising and well-rounded music for you and your urban cowboy friendz.

- Scott Thomas


Discography

The Blues Connection Releases
Self titled debut album "The Blues Connection"" released in 2008. Can be purchased via www.cdbaby.com

Johnny Hiland Releases
Self titled debut album "Johnny Hiland" released in 2004 on the Favored Nation's Label. Can be purchased via iTunes, Amazon, and other locations.

"Loud and Proud" released in 2007. Can be purchased via itunes, Amazon, Rhapsody.

"All Fired Up" released in 2011 on Shrapnel Records. Can be purchased on iTunes, Amazon, BestBuy, and a variety of other locations

Photos

Bio

The Blues Connection Featuring Johnny Hiland & Ron Lutrick

Johnny Hiland and Ron Lutrick are back together again as The Blues Connection. It was a venture that started many years ago when Ron and Johnny met in the early 90’s as members of the The Don Kelley Band. An immediate bond as brothers was formed and thru the years they have both gone their separate ways as artists, but remained the closest of friends with the hopes of one day forming a musical venture of their own.

When Johnny moved to town from rural Maine, Ron had already been on the Nashville scene as a bassist/singer/songwriter for many years. Ron has played for a number of Opry stars like Del Reeves and Billy Walker. He has also done a number of vocal sessions. Through his work and talent he has gained the respect of the Nashville community as one of the best entertainers around. In 2010, Ron was nominated as Male Vocalist of the Year in the independent market. Ron hails from Louisiana and brings a unique vocal style to The Blues Connection. Ron can deliver a song like no other. Soulful ballads, rockin’ blues, and power driven R&B; the man can do it all.

Johnny came to Nashville in the early 90’s and was quickly noticed as one of the best guitar players around. In a matter of a few short years, he has reached critical acclaim as one of the best in the world. He has headlined the Grand Ole Opry as a solo artist twice, and performed on TNN’s Prime Time Country as a special guest of Gary Chapman, and on CMT’s Most Wanted Live. Johnny also has gained recognition in the studio playing on projects for artists like Toby Keith, Trick Pony, Rick Skaggs, Janie Fricke, Lynn Anderson, Randy Travis, and Hank III. He also has performed on stage with artist such as Sammy Hagar, George Clinton and P Funk, Steve Vai, Les Paul, and a host of other greats. Today Johnny is known as one of the top 10 guitar players in the world.

Together Ron and Johnny have formed The Blues Connection; a project that started 2 years ago and has come full circle to be a force to be reckoned with. They are proud to start performing for the winter at 3rd and Lindsley, one of the premier hotspots in Nashville. Their first self titled album is available via www.cdbaby.com. The cd features songs that have been spinning on internet and local radio stations worldwide. All but two songs are originals written by the songwriting team of Hiland and Lutrick and their song “Waitin’ On The Man,” was nominated for Song of the Year in the independent market. The Blues Connection brings a blend of country/blues with smokin’ guitar and dynamic vocals. They are backed by some of the best Nashville has to offer, and they look forward to seeing you at a show real soon.

(Continued Individual Bio's for Johnny and Ron)

Johnny Hiland

"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." - RICKY SKAGGS

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.