Featured KRK User Johnny A.

Johnny A

The 1960s and 1970s produced guitar greats such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck Stevie Ray Vaughan and Johnny A., who carried on the great tradition of electric blues while simultaneously creating something new and fresh.

Johnny A., who is based in Boston, has been honing his blues guitar skills for decades, as a sideman, producer and leader of his own band. Though he started his music career as a drummer, he switched to guitar when he was 12.

His earliest bands include The Streets in the 1970s and Hearts On Fire in the 1980s. Although he is primarily a blues artist, he is influenced by guitarists from many genres. Along with the aforementioned blues-based guitarists, he draws inspiration by jazz greats Wes Montgomery and Pat Martino, and the greatest country picker of all time, Chet Atkins.

Johnny A. has played with such artists as Doug Clifford of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jim McCarty of the Yardbirds, and Bobby Whitlock of Derek & the Dominoes. For seven years he toured with Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band, whose 1996 solo album, Long Line, he co-produced. He also appeared on Jimmy Webb's most recent album, Just Across the River. Additionally, he has appeared at Eric Clapton's guitar-hero summits, the Crossroads Guitar Festival. Through the years he has shared the stage with guitar legends Jeff Beck, B.B. King and Les Paul. Most recently, he appeared in the documentary tribute to Les Paul, Thank You Les.

Johnny A. has released a number of solo CDs, including Sometime Tuesday Morning, released on Steve Vai's Favored Nations Entertainment label. There is also Get Inside, along with the instructional DVD Taste, Tone and Space. His breakthrough 2010 CD/DVD, One November Night, was recorded at Scullers in Boston. It captures the excitement and blistering blues guitar style that has made Johnny A. one of the hottest live acts on the music scene today.

For an artist who is as concerned with sound, tone and dynamics as Johnny A., great monitors are essential. That is why he uses KRK VXT8 monitors, VXT6 monitors and Expose E8B monitors.

When he first came across KRK's VXT8s, he immediately went out and bought them. "I was doing a Christmas single at a small local studio in Massachusetts and the guy had a pair of KRK VXT8s," says Johnny A. "It was a pretty long session in a small environment, and I thought they sounded very nice. I noticed that they sounded really true, especially the bass. Also, the high end was there, but it wasn't abrasive."

Sound is extremely important to Johnny A. KRK's monitors allow him to hear all the nuances that are integral to his unique guitar style. "It's a good balance between having decent SPL and having a pretty true low end," he says. "Low end is tough and you can be fooled by bass. You think there's a lot of bass in something when it's just a lot of sub-low; fluff that means nothing. I find that the KRK monitors do not give me a false low end and the high end is smooth. The VXT6 monitors sound very close to the Expose E8B monitors. Considering the size of the VXT6s, they have a really great output."

Along with KRK monitors, Johnny A. also uses KRK KNS 8400 headphones. "The headphones are amazing," says Johnny A. "They are remarkable because they don't sound like headphones. They sound very close to when you're listening to your monitors, which is really nice. They're very comfortable and true. I like the fact that they have a volume control right on the cable."

KRK has helped Johnny A. continue down his road of success. He is the recipient of the Boston Music Awards blues artist of the year for 2010. Gibson's Custom Shop designed a Johnny A. Signature Edition guitar per his specifications.

For more information on Johnny A. see: www.johnnya.com

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