The Paladins helped pave the way for the Rockabilly craze of the early 1980s. Their tagline at the time was “Western & Bop”, as they played a combination of rockabilly and vintage country together with a blues groove. Their first LP, The Paladins, was released in 1987 and was produced by Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds. They followed that up with Years Since Yesterday, released on Alligator Records in 1989 and produced by Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin and Mark Linnet. When Let’s Buzz came out in 1990 the band was firmly planted as a headliners in showcase music clubs across the country and in Europe. The band also established themselves at numerous festivals, sharing bills with the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Blasters, and Los Lobos. Let’s Buzz, “an invigorating blend of rockabilly, blues, rhythm-and-blues, and country,” was recorded in the Los Angeles studio of 1970s soul star Leon Haywood, and is their largest selling record to date. Since that time six more critically acclaimed albums have come out. Most notably, their 1996 live album Million Mile Club, which fittingly marked the band’s millionth mile traveled on the roads of the USA
To their many fans worldwide, the Paladins appeared to have come to an end in 2004. That’s when Gonzalez wanted to focus on other musical interests and he formed the western-soul band the Hacienda Brothers. During this time Dave Gonzalez liked to refer to the Paladins status as being “on hiatus.” Sadly, the untimely death of Hacienda Brothers band mate and longtime friend, Chris Gaffney in 2008, ended the Hacienda Brothers, which had released four Albums. Then in 2010 the Paladins Reunited for a festival in Europe, which led to even more dates there in 2011. Also that year the band performed their first US date in seven years at the Ink and Iron Festival in Long Beach California. The next year they appeared at the 2012 Doheny Blues Festival and now every year since, they have been headlining select European shows and special reunion appearances here in the US.
Dave Gonzalez has been living in Austin Texas for the past seven years where he stays busy, not only performing, but also recording bands and producing records. Thomas Yearsley has done the same by running Thunderbird Analog Recording Studio and LUX Records in California. In between all of that Dave, Tom and drummer Brian Fahey have also gotten together to record the latest Paladins record titled New World, their first album in over 14 years. It’s a diverse collection of smoldering blues and roots rock, with a little honkytonk thrown in. It’s like the Paladins shows, non-stop intensity and fine musicianship wrapped up neatly in a three-piece band.
MIKE HEBERT MOVED TO TUCSON IN THE EARY 1990’S AFTER PLAYING AND HELPING ESTABLISH THE “TEXMEX-BLUES-ABILLY” BAND BILLY BACON AND THE FORBIDDEN PIGS. A VETERAN WEST COAST GUITARIST, HEBERT HAS ALSO PERFORMED WITH ROCKABILLY, BLUES AND SWING BANDS, SUCH AS DAVE ALVIN, CANDYE KANE, JUKE LOGAN, AND CHRIS GAFFNEY.
IN 1995 HE PRODUCED THE ARIZONA BLUES HALL OF FAME, AND PHOENIX BASED BAND, THE HOODOO KING’S FIRST CD RELEASE. HE THEN FORMED HIS RETRO SWING BAND, THE KINGS OF PLEASURE, WHO GAINED INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION WITH THREE WIDELY DISTRIBUTED ALBUMS ON THE PLEZ RECORD LABEL. IN 2012, MIKE HEBERT WAS ALSO SELECTED INTO THE ARIZONA BLUES HALL OF FAME.
HIS LATEST PROJECT, MIKE HEBERT PRISON BAND HAS A NEW RELEASE OF 10 ORIGINAL SONGS SHOWCASING MIKE’S TEXAS BLUES AND AMERICANA INFLUENCES. HIS LIVE BAND FEATURES SOME NEWCOMERS TO THE BLUES SCENE BRINGING A REFRESHING RAW ENERGY WITH THE LIKES OF GORAN MILETIC ON DRUMS, GENE TORRES ON BASS AND MALCOLM COOPER ON GUITAR.