cut a live album there, so everyone wanted to play there. I got a job at the big guitar store on Queen Street, so I got to meet all the musicians in town.
I was in the house blues band at Grossman's Tavern in Chinatown. Stevie Ray Vaughan would come into town and play the El Mocambo and would hang out at Grossman's on his off-time. He discovered a lot of good young blues guitar players like Colin James and Jeff Healey. But I really cut my teeth playing Honky Tonk at a club called the Matador that didn't open until last call. Last call in Toronto is 12:50. So no booze, but you played all night.
I started a band with a singer named Lori Yates. We made a little bit of a splash with cow punk. We got picked up by a CBS records and we were called Rang Tango. They wanted us to be a cow punk version of Cyndi Lauper. The deal changed and they wanted to move us to the CBS Nashville division. When they said they wanted us to be more country, I knew that they weren't behind us and the band was gonna implode. We recorded in Nashville, but things fizzled out. It was a good introduction to how things work in Nashville, though.
I really wanted to go to Austin because a lot of friends like in the Wagoneers and Ted Roddy told me so much about it. Lori Yates told me: 'All the guys look like you there.' (laughs)
I went straight to Austin in 1989 and it felt just like home. I met everybody. I heard there was a band with a girl singer that was looking for a bass player. I thought: 'Oh no! Not another girl singer?' But it was Austin and that girl was Kelly Willis. Five months later, she had a record deal with MCA. So I wound up in Nashville again recording. We started touring, but between tours, I started playing around Austin.
I remember I was able to ring in the new year of 1990 at a club called the Hole in the Wall. Kelly opened the show. The Wagoneers were next. I was hanging out with the guitarist Brent Wilson and this girl walked in with a pair of drum sticks in her back pocket. I said to Brent, "Who is that?" That's the first time I saw Lisa. She didn't play that night.
Lisa: I was coming from some other gig. But I was trying to get over there as fast as I could because all my favorite bands were playing.
Brad: Chris, what year did you get to Austin?
Chris: I think in 1991. I can't remember specifically, but my first few gigs were with Ted Roddy. Brad, you were on bass.
Brad: Yes. Ted Roddy was THE guy in Austin - the one with the record collection. I don't know who coined the phrase, but Austin is all just one big band and we all play in it.
Lisa: It was me. But I'm not the only one to say it.
Chris: The first place I lived, I met Lisa rehearsing with the Derailers in my living room. I pretty much met you guys the minute I got there.
Lisa: Brad and I met that day at The Hole In The Wall, but pretty much didn't play together in 10 years.
Brad: Maybe just a few pick-up gigs with Ted Roddy. I do remember one at the Electric Lounge that was thrown together at the last minute.
Lisa: Yes, that's right. We were both touring in different bands. And we weren't together yet. We've been married now for 14 years.
Brad: I was on the road a lot with Kelly Willis. When she wanted to slow down touring, Jimmie Dale Gilmore recruited me. When I was off tour, I would always be playing at the Broken Spoke or the Continental or The Black Cat especially. I shared a town house with Ted Roddy, and there was always some kind of band rehearsal going on in the living room. That's where I first met Chris Gaffney.
Lisa: I did a short tour with Ted Roddy and Chris Gaffney. We had Rob Douglas on bass and Caspar Rawles on guitar. I didn't know Chris personally, but I knew of him. I was a DJ at Rice University, when I was going there, and that's the first time that I saw a Chris Gaffney record. College music was mostly new wave and alternative, so I was the only one looking for roots music. Some great records came through the station that I liked. When I met Gaffney, I remembered that he had this great record that I heard in college.
Brad: I met Gaffney when you were putting together that tour. He was playing the kind of country that we loved - Texas shuffles.