Blues in the Lone Star State
Our story starts deep in the heart of Texas, in a small town called Buckle. A young drummer Named Isaiah Greene (nicknamed ‘Steady’ for the reliable beats her produced) went in search of a career playing the blues. Coming from a musical family that had struggled against the oppressive forces of racism, Greene knew it wouldn’t be easy. But he had the strength to keep fighting against the odds and against the wishes of some of townspeople.
When Greene and his friend, guitarist Ace Rangel formed a blues band they met with immediate success. But the race of these friends played a key role in an incident that divided the band mates for decades.
After a gig at a popular watering hole in the wrong side of town, Greene was roughed up by rednecks. Rangel – hoping not to anger the mob – did nothing. The two separated and Greene didn’t speak to his old friend for years.
West Coast Blues
Greene tried his luck a little longer in Buckle, but he soon saw that working in the local factory was an easier way to make a living. And as he toiled away, Rangel left for California. He suffered an even rougher path than Greene. He had run-ins with the law as well as a drug habit that threatened to destroy his life. “I had hit rock bottom at that point,” Rangel would later say. “I wasn’t never too much into religion, but for the first time, I was looking for an angel to save me.”
An angel did save him – and she came in an unlikely package. He met heiress and reality TV show star Kari Hillborne during a stint in a drug rehab clinic. The two hit it off and fell in love. In the process, Rangel introduced his new girlfriend to the blues. And both vowed to form a blues band. The only question was, where would they find band mates? The answer wound up being obvious.
Back to the Basics in Buckle
Rangel took Hillborne back to Buckle, Texas. And the band mates they hooked up with were none other than Isaiah ‘Steady’ Greene and his younger brother Desmond. “I had to dig deep in order to forgive him. But the truth was that I had missed him – both as a friend and a band mate.”
With Desmond on bass and Hillborne contributing vocals, the band was now complete. But if their search for nation-wide success dictated a move to New York City.
How did the little rich girl wind up on the street and where's she going from here?
East Coast Blues
Once the stage had been set, the foursome was ready. Desmond, who had spent much of his young life admiring his big brother’s playing was delighted to be playing with him now. “This is really a dream come true for me. And it still is. When we hear that crowd come alive, I have to remind myself that this is actually happening.”
But the trip to New York created a new dilemma for Desmond. He had been accepted into the famed Juilliard academy for music. And it wasn’t clear how he would find the time to fulfill both obligations. In end, Desmond pulled it off, choosing not to abandon his big brother and fellow band members in their time of need. “That kid Desmond is one-of-a-kind. He has chops like I’ve never seen,” Ace Rangel says. “And on top of everything else, he’s a real good kid. He’s got a heart like his big brother.”
Lead singer Kari Hillborne puts it best when she says, “This is the first band I’ve ever been in. And I hope it’s my last. I couldn’t imagine finding another group of people I’d rather play with.”