By Kate Stow
A chance meeting during an all-star jam at Grover’s Bar and Grill has resulted in a collaboration that will, no doubt, be considered legendary one day. It was there that Rachel Stacy’s rich bluesy voice caught the ear of Texas guitar legend Jimmy Wallace.
While Rachel has performed in many genres, she has most recently used her classical violin training to give her new country music a bluegrass flavor.
“Rachel has been concentrating on her country sound, but there are many ingredients in Rachel,” said Jimmy. “She has a remarkable natural blues sound that goes along with what I’m doing.”
Along with Jimmy’s Stratoblaster bandmate Mike Gage, the two have been busy in the studio recording a much-anticipated album that will be released this Spring.
“People use the word ‘album’ loosely these days, but we have recorded a full-blown album in a professional studio with professional musicians and engineers,” said Jimmy, who first entered a studio as a high school student, with the band “A New Hi” that included fellow Oak-Cliff resident Stevie Ray Vaughan.
When Rachel and Jimmy discovered how well their sounds meshed, the collaboration was a no-brainer. “We literally flipped a coin to decide whose name comes first,” Jimmy explained.
While Rachel has been busy promoting her “Trouble” CD, Wallace stays busier than a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Besides the Jimmy Wallace Guitars store in Garland and gigging with The Stratoblasters, he is the producer and promotor of the Dallas International Guitar Fest (DIGF).
This will be the 45th year for DIGF – scheduled for May 5-7 at the Dallas Market. While there are many other guitar festivals and markets in the world, none are as big or as well-attended as this one. The three-day affair offers several stellar performances by big-name talent, and a contest for young pickers and strummers, called the “10 Under 20 Contest.” Many of Texas’ best performers – such as this month’s cover girl, Miranda Lambert – have won that first-place title. Other winners include Maren Morris and Ally Venable.
Rachel has recently performed with Texas legends Ray Wylie Hubbard and Guthrie Kennard. The trio met up at the Zone Recording Studio in Dripping Springs and collaborated on four tracks of her 2021 album “Trouble”: “The Ghost of Lishe Jackson,” “Take a Little Time,” “Trouble,” and “The Night.”
The video for “Trouble” was produced at Lizzy Gator Studios. The wardrobe team of Elizabeth Duncan and Torrie Wallace designed a denim dress for Rachel just for the shoot. Set in New Orleans, the video includes snakes, gators and a voodoo witch.
“That song and shoot was awesome,” Rachel exclaimed. “We had a great team that came together, and it magically worked – it was good energy.”
That wasn’t Rachel’s first trip to the recording studio, though – her previous records were released in 2005, 2008, and the 2015 album, Full Circle. In 2017 she released “Boomerang,” which reached No. 30 on the Music Row Chart — the only independent single to do so.
There’s a good reason why Hubbard, Kennard and Jimmy Wallace are putting their money on her.
Calling her career “a curse and a blessing,” Rachel insists she is not trying to be a star. “I’m trying to spread the love through music: stay strong, stay fast, do it sober.”
Add “relevant” to the list of things Rachel is not trying to be. “I’m just trying to do what I do. I’m a survivor; I’m a worker and I love what I do.”
Considering the talent that Jimmy has performed with, it speaks volumes about Rachel when he says he is “excited” about their partnership. The veteran guitarist counts among those he has collaborated with: Bugs Henderson, Rocky Athas, Todd Rundgren, Johnny Winter, Willie Nelson, Albert King, Eddie Van Halen, Ted Nugent, Keith Richards, and George Lynch.
With the Wallace-Stacy album almost ready for its’ debut, you can catch them onstage at DIGF in May.