Johnny A. is widely regarded as one of America's finest contemporary guitarists. Gibson thinks so - their Custom Shop designed a Signature Edition guitar per his specific requests which, when it was marketed in 2003, placed him in an exclusive club that included legends like BB King, Wes Montgomery, Chet Atkins, Joe Perry, Pat Martino and Les Paul himself. The public thinks so too - Johnny A.'s latest works have sold many thousands of copies as well as being his personal best. The Blues Music Awards (formerly W.C.Handy Awards) have named Duke Robillard "Best Blues Guitarist" four years out of five (2000,2001,2003,2004) making him the second most honored guitarist for that award! He was also nominated in that category in 2005, 2007 and again this year of 2008. In 2007 Duke received a Grammy nomination for his "Guitar Groove-a-rama" CD and was also honored with the prestigious Rhode Island Pell Award for "excellence in the arts" along with actress Olympia Dukakis, actor Bob Colonna, and R.I. Choreographer/Festival Ballet director Mihailo "Misha" Djuric.The Pell award is named for Senator Claiborne Pell who help establish the the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities in 1965.