Guitarist Johnny Stachela grew up in suburban Los Angeles prizing heavy metal progenitors Led Zeppelin and AC/DC, then discovered in the Ry Cooder soundtrack for Crossroads a mostprofoundly affecting brand of music. In short, Stachela found the blues.
Turned on to the three Kings- B.B., Albert, and Freddie- and their post-war electric blues brethren, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Elmore James- an inspired Stachela became a staple of L.A.’s music scene. He also unearthed a wellspring of motivation in the genre’s descendant shapers from the American South such as The Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
He recorded and toured with Leroy Powell (Shooter Jennings, Sturgill Simpson), and cultivated a working relationship with Gov’t Mule bassist Jorgen Carlsson- recording at Carlsson’s studio a 2015 solo EP debut, Walk Through Fire, then enlisting him as a producer on the next year’s follow-up, Handle It, from the Johnny Stachela Band. His group held a year-long residency at the venerable Santa Monica blues club, Harvelles, sharing sets with longtime friend, guitarist and singer Duane Betts. By 2017, Duane Betts and the Pistoleers materialized out of an oft-discussed desire to form a band.
In 2018, Stachela and Betts partnered with the Devon Allman Project as guests, supporting and sitting-in on a year-long Allman/Betts world tour before joining The Allman Betts Band. Brandishing his Gibson SG, Stachela’s slide work, in particular, has evoked critical acclaim and favorable comparisons to celebrated legacy of Duane Allman, Warren Haynes, and Derek Trucks.