Photos by Rich Schaffer
Charleston, W.Va. — Johnny Staats and Robert Shafer have announced the self-published release of their new CD, Music From the Mountains.
Long-time mandolin favorite Staats vaulted to national fame in 2000 when his status as a world class musician that happened to drive a UPS truck for a living became known to the larger public through newspapers and television, including a prominent article in the New York Times entitled "Bluegrass in a Big Brown Truck; A Mandolin Picker Is Hailed as a Master, but He's Keeping the Day Job, Thanks."
Subsequent appearances in People Magazine, The Today Show, CNN and numerous media outlets throughout the country sealed his fame as an acoustic musician. That and the fact he refused to give up his day job.
Robert Shafer, Staats' long-time guitar playing friend and musical partner on this recording and several others is a two-time winner of the National Flatpicking Championship.
"This is some of the best picking I've ever heard. Everybody that loves pickers should have a copy of this. Most of the picking is so great you almost can't believe anything can be played on this level.
As my son Alonzo Pennington said, "That is the best acoustic album I've ever heard".
And I have to agree, it's supersonic picking, and as I said before these guys are Monsters, simply Monsters. You won't get tired of this cd, Music From The Mountains", I can assure you.