Veterans from dozens of jam sessions and all-star backing bands, the members of Storyville gelled at just such a jam, in 1994 at the Austin club known as Antone's. Bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton had played in Stevie Ray Vaughan's Double Trouble for ten years before the bluesman's death in 1990, and both moved on to the Arc Angels before meeting the other members of Storyville. Lead guitarist David Holt played on the Mavericks' debut album, and appeared with another lead guitarist David Grissom in Joe Ely's backing band. Grissom would also gain experience touring with John Mellencamp and the Allman Brothers. The only member of the band with less than ten sideman credits, vocalist Malford Milligan, sang with the Austin band Stick People before the formation of Storyville -- named, of course, in honor of New Orleans' historic red-light district.
After several sessions to work out their bluesy soul/R&B, Storyville hopped into the recording studio and produced an album for November Records. Released the same year of the band's foundation, The Bluest Eyes won the band six awards at the 1995 Austin Music Awards, including Best Band and Best Single. The LP was rated highly in mainstream publications, and earned Storyville a major-label contract, with the Atlantic subsidiary Code Blue. Though the band released no new material during 1995, three more trophies at that year's Austin Music Awards were forthcoming. Second album A Piece of Your Soul was released in 1996, followed in 1998 by Dog Years. ~ John Bush