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John Willis (musician)

John David Willis is an American guitarist and songwriter. He is best known for work as a session musician and as a songwriter for television and the video game industry.

John Willis
Birth nameJohn David Willis
BornSt. Martinville, Louisiana
GenresRock music
InstrumentsGuitar, banjo[1]
Years active1983–present


John Willis was raised in St. Martinville, Louisiana. At age 15, he learned to play banjo and then guitar. At age 22, Willis moved to Los Angeles, where he studied guitar at the Guitar Institute of Technology. Upon graduation, Willis moved to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where he began playing guitar in sessions for Shenandoah, Brian McKnight, The Impressions, and others.[2]

Upon the suggestion of David Briggs, Willis moved to Nashville. Willis has been a supporting musician on albums by Shania Twain,[3] Taylor Swift,[4] Willie Nelson,[5] and many others.

Willis" songs have been featured on television networks and video games. He produces projects and jingles in his Willisoundz recording studio.[6]

In 2002, Willis won the Guitarist of The Year award from the Academy of Country Music.[7]

Willis is married to animal rescue activist Stephanie Willis.[8]


This section contains a partial list of albums Willis has contributed to.

1983 - 1989Edit

1990 - 1994Edit

1995 - 1999Edit

2000 - 2004Edit

2005 - 2009Edit

2010 - 2014Edit

2015 - presentEdit


  1. ^ Jamie Deering (September 20, 2016). "Q & A With 6 String Banjoist John D. Willis". Deering Banjo. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  2. ^ "Notable FAME Musicians". FAME Recording Studios. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  3. ^ Dan Daley (August 1, 2004). "Recording Shania Twain's Up!". Sound on Sound. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  4. ^ Perone, James E. (July 31, 2017). The Words and Music of Taylor Swift. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  5. ^ Rich Kienzle (February 1, 2017). "Willie Nelson: For The Good Times: A Tribute To Ray Price". Vintage Guitar. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  6. ^ "Studio Design: Willisoundz II". Carl Tatz Design. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  7. ^ Franks, Don (October 28, 2004). Entertainment Awards: A Music, Cinema, Theatre and Broadcasting Guide, 1928 through 2003, 3d ed. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  8. ^ "Stephanie Willis". Agape Animal Rescue. Retrieved October 20, 2017.

External linksEdit