Johnny Staats exploded onto the Nashville and national scene in 2000, when his first CD, “Wires and Wood” by The Johnny Staats Project, was the talk of Music City and quickly received international attention and acclaim. Johnny’s vocals and astonishing guitar and mandolin speed and creativity have since won him a large and varied following worldwide.
Johnny has appeared on NBC’s “The Today Show,” CNN shows including “Larry King Live,” the CBS Evening News, CMT Country Music Television, as well as on numerous iconic national programs and stages (including the Grand Ole Opry five times).
He has been featured in People Magazine, Country Music Magazine, the New York Times, the Austin Chronicle, Bluegrass Today, and various other national and regional publications.
Johnny first established his musical dominance in his home state of West Virginia winning Charleston’s prestigious Vandalia Gathering Mandolin championships in 1996, 1997 and 1999. 1997 was particularly notable for Johnny at the Vandalia Gathering when he won first place in both the mandolin and guitar competitions while also placing third in the fiddling competition. Early appearances on West Virginia’s “Mountain Stage” NPR Radio Program caught the attention of the music industry and led to the launch of his recording career.
And now, Johnny has reformed The Johnny Staats Project to explore, create and perform multiple genres of music beyond the bluegrass he regularly performs with Johnny Staats and The Delivery Boys (his five-piece bluegrass group), and to further expand live performance opportunities and experiences. JSP music selections and programs are specifically tailored to each booking, making The Johnny Staats Project a musically agile and versatile group suitable for essentially any venue, event or occasion.
The Johnny Staats Project also features West Virginia natives Rick Poling and Roger Bush, who began playing music together in their pre-teen and teenage years, and Davey Vaughn, who is also a member of Johnny Staats and The Delivery Boys. Davey is a stand-out vocalist and instrumentalist, equally at home in JSP on upright or electric bass, or on acoustic or electric guitar. Roger is well-known in the mid-Ohio Valley area for his stellar vocals and also brings his distinctive drumming and percussion skills to JSP. Rick, known to many West Virginians as a former WVU “Mountaineer” as well as an accomplished pianist and vocalist, adds vocals, piano/organ/synth and secondary keyboard bass to complete JSP’s precise yet rich and full array of instrumental and vocal sounds.