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Only the finest musicians have the ability to capture the nuances of life in sound, which puts Johnny in a very exclusive group of six-stringers that includes Les Paul, Wes Montgomery, Jeff Beck, Chet Atkins, and Jimi Hendrix. The secret is a blend of melody, sonic definition, technique and that indefinable-yet-tangible quality called "soul." And he’s eloquently shared that secret on the CDs Sometime Tuesday Morning (2001), Get Inside (2004), and the instructional DVD Taste, Tone, Space (2006), which are approaching combined sales of 150,000 copies. All the virtues of his playing are in abundant display on One November Night, a brand new DVD/CD set recorded live at Scullers in Johnny’s hometown of Boston, MA.
Although an instrumentalist, Johnny thinks like a singer as he plays, composes and improvises on guitar. "I’m always interested in dynamics and tone far more than the amount of notes played," Johnny explains. "What’s most important is that every song has a strong, clear melody; not how fast or flashy the solo is going to be. That’s a lesson I learned when I fell in love with The Beatles and other bands of the British Invasion, which is still my favorite era in music."
Another factor in Johnny’s distinctive sound is his choice of guitars. "I’ve played all the classic makes and models over the years, but when I embarked on my solo career and was making Sometime Tuesday Morning I was looking for a guitar that had a rich, pure distinctive tone and a subtle vibrato arm that would allow me to end phrases like a singer, and that led me back to Gibsons," he recounts. Johnny’s use of the Gibson Les Paul, ES-335, Firebird, and ES-295 models caught the attention of the Nashville-based company. In fact, Johnny’s unmatched sound so won over the Gibson staff that they were moved to produce a Johnny A. Signature Model.