Johnny A. to perform at Thrasher
As he makes a rare tour through the
For Johnny A., the guitar has been a lifelong fascination. Those six strings exert a powerful hold over the man, inspiring moments of ecstatic improvisation, imparting deep contemplation and, occasionally, moments of aching frustration. Johnny A. is as much a master as he is the eternal student - with a formidable talent, but a desire to learn that is just as strong. On Johnny A.'s latest cd, Get Inside, he once again lets the guitar lead the way on a dozen instrumentals that span a gulf of style from cool a go-go to finger-lickin' guitar pickin' to laying pure rock n' roll rubber. This is music for an open mind aching for the open road.
As a largely self-taught guitar player who initially played drums, Johnny A. has started several of his own bands like Hearts on Fire and Johnny A’s Hidden Secret, where he played lead guitar, sang, and wrote his own songs. He went on to support more established, big-name, touring musicians, as when he played for former J. Geils Band frontman Peter Wolf’s Houseparty 5 in the mid-1990s.
After his work with Wolf ended, Johnny A. decided to spend the majority of his time developing his own guitar voice and writing songs. His latest release, “Get Inside,” (2004, Favored Nations), showcase Johnny A.’s unique instrumental guitar voice and reflect his ability to consistently deliver well-crafted, inspiring songs. He’s admitted his guitar stylings reflect a variety of musical tastes, from Latin and jazz to blues, country and rock.
As a player, his love for the instrument reached a self-satisfying culmination in 2003 when Gibson's Custom Shop announced the production of Johnny A. Signature Model Guitar. For a guitarist, being measured in the same company as modern honorees like Duane Allman and Peter Frampton has to be gratifying, but Johnny was even more humbled to be joining a circle that included legendary Gibson awardees like Les Paul, Wes Montgomery, Chet Atkins. Those names and the styles they represent - rock n' roll, jazz, country, blues - reads as Johnny A.'s own musical palette - a broad swirl of colors that inspire and conspire to trigger new explorations with his guitar.
Chris Arnold of Guitar Digest writes after experiencing a recent live performance, “Johnny A. reeks of diversity in his musical styling and his ability to switch genre gears is unequalled. From his tune Tex Critter, a tribute to guitarist Chet Atkins, to covering Chuck Berry's
Tickets for this rare Midwest performance by Johnny A, which is sponsored in part by the Heidel House, are $17 and available at Thrasher office, Knowledge Emporium, Green Lake State Bank (Green Lake), Pick ‘n Save & Ripon Drug (Ripon) Twister (Princeton), Berlin Chamber or by calling 294-4279. Online tickets at www.thrasheroperahouse.com.