Duane Betts assembled his dream team of musicians — including guitarist Johnny Stachela, bassist Berry Duane Oakley, keyboardist John Ginty, and drummer Tyler Greenwell — and took up his old friends Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks on an offer to record at their own Swamp Raga Studio in Jacksonville. Wild & Precious Life was recorded to two-inch analog tape during a series of live-in-the-recording-studio performances in 2022.
“We set up as a band, tracked everything live, and kept whichever takes had the magic,” says Duane, who co-produced the album with Stachela and Ginty. The band welcomed a number of guests into the fold too, finding room for Marcus King (who swaps guitar solos with Duane on “Cold Dark World”), Nicki Bluhm (whose haunting harmonies run throughout the country-flavored “Colors Fade”), and Derek Trucks (who contributes searing guitar leads to the album highlight “Stare at the Sun”). Bobby Tis handled the album’s engineering duties, while seven-time Grammy winner Jim Scott mixed.
Wild & Precious Life offers up a timeless version of American music — a mix of blues, rock, folk, and country that could’ve blanketed the FM radio airwaves during any number of decades. It’s a modern album inspired by some of the best parts of the past, full of sharply crafted songs written in a state of deep reflection and Duane’s journey toward sobriety.
Stay tuned for the record release announcement coming soon!
In session at Swamp Raga Studio – Jacksonville, FL / Photo by Bradley Strickland
A show that started out as an intimate guitar duet between talented blues rockers ended up as delightful friends and family affair in Venice, California. Duane Betts and Johnny Stachela have been playing together for some time and their gig on July 21, 2022 at The Venice West solidified their successful collaboration. Fans in the small venue were treated to surprise guests, extraordinary acoustic guitar forays, and songs that spanned the blues rock catalog. >> Read full review at Glidemagazine.com
In 2018, Johnny Stachela and Duane Betts partnered with the Devon Allman Project as guests, supporting and sitting-in on a nine-month Allman/Betts World Tour, with stops at such iconic venues the Beacon Theater in New York City and Colorado’s Red Rocks amphitheater. The European leg saw Stachela in Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, UK and Germany. Additionally, he performed on the second single, “Downtown Runaround,” and subsequent video from Bett’s debut EP, Sketches of American Music.
Stachela then accepted the invitation to join The Allman Betts Band as a charter member in 2018, recording at the famed Muscle Shoals Sound studio- for their 2019 debut LP, Down to the River, and their 2020 follow-up, Bless Your Heart, and touring internationally with the group, including dates in Europe and multiple summer festival stops.
He guested with North Mississippi Allstars in Los Angeles and during a 2019 holiday run sat-in with Gov’t Mule in Philadelphia. With the Allman Betts Band, he supported Lynyrd Skynyrd on New Year’s Eve at the group’s American Airlines Arena appearance in Dallas. As a solo artist, Stachela was invited to perform with Wet Willie on the band’s 2020 Rock Legends cruise.
In 2021, Stachela completed several tours with both The Allman Betts Band and the Allman Family Revival. After The Allman Betts Band announced its hiatus in early 2022, Stachela turned to writing, performing, and production work with Duane Betts for Betts’ debut solo album. Recording sessions for the new project commenced in Spring 2022 at Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi’s Swamp Raga Studio in Jacksonville, Florida.
The forthcoming Betts album, issued by the Royal Potato Family label, is set for release in the summer of 2023. In support of the new record, Stachela joins Betts as a member of his new band, Duane Betts & Palmetto Motel, embarking on an extensive U.S. tour including festival dates and headlining appearances. As well, in the spring of 2023 Stachela released the single, “County Farm Blues”, a cover of the 1930s Son House folk blues, across all digital platforms.
After decades of perseverance, and with his well-crafted style of bottleneck slide evoking favorable comparisons to his heroes- influenced and inspired, never imitating- Johnny Stachela has become one of the more highly respected guitarists in modern blues and rock.
Handle It – EP
by Johnny Stachela Band
Digital Album Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high quality download in MP3, FLAC, & more. Buy Now $5 USD
1. Handle It
3. Weight Of Your World
4. Automatic Pistol
released June 17, 2016
Johnny Stachela – Vocals, Guitar, Slide Guitar
Sebastian Ciceri – Bass, Vocals
Vincent Fossett. Jr. – Drums
Produced and Mixed by Jorgen Carlsson
Engineered and Mastered by Steve Holroyd
Recorded at Rogers Boat Studio
All songs written by Johnny Stachela
“Handle It” and “Weight Of Your World” co-written by Stoll Vaughan