He formed a band in the Boston Massachusetts area and became well known. He improved and evolved into playing guitar for 7 years with The J. Geils front man, Peter Wolf. It was during this time he got into record production.
Johnny developed a style that is said to blend Pat Martino and Joe Satriani together. He makes great use of the Bigsby much like Chet Atkins. Using it to put a little vibrato at the end of a phrase. Unlike a lot of shredders, Johnny's style is restrained and lyrical.
Prior to the Gibson Custom Shop building Johnny A's guitar, he had been playing a Gibson ES-295. The body on the 295 is similar to a Gibson ES-175, but is painted gold. It came with twin P-90 pickups and generally had a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece.
|Gibson Johnny A Model|
Gibson debuted The Johnny A model in 2003. The impetus for this instrument was born in a 2002 conversation he had with Gibson representatives at the Nashville NAMM show.
The headstock is top of the line with a triple crown inlay. The bodies top, bottom and the neck are bound in white trim. The most stunning aspect of the guitar is the double Florentine cutaways and cats eye sound holes on either side of the guitars beautiful flame maple top.
Check out the string break from the bridge to the Bigsby
The bridge pickup is placed closer to the neck than on a Les Paul. This helps the guitar to get a sweet Jazz sound, but fattened up with the bite of the treble pickup.
The pickup selector is placed by the bridge for quick changes. The guitar comes with a sweeping pickguard that sets it off. In short it is a work of art.
I can't help but recall seeing this guitar before in years gone by. After scanning a lot of resources I finally came across a Kay model from the mid 1960's.
LIke the Johnny A model, the Kay K592 had two Florentine cutaways.
It's like they say, "Everything old is new again."