Chris Layton grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas, and studied virtually every style of music on the drums, from jazz to blues to funk and fusion. After a move to Austin and a stint with the locally well-known Greezy Wheels, Chris began a tight-knit relationship with Stevie Ray Vaughan in 1978. Tommy Shannon was born in Tucson, Arizona, and moved to Dumas, Texas in his early teens. At fourteen, he studied rhythm guitar before moving over to the electric bass. Tommy performed in a variety of ensembles till, in 1968, he moved to Dallas and hooked up with blues guitar legend Johnny Winter, with whom he toured the world and recorded three of blues/ rock's greatest albums (Johnny Winter, The Progressive Blues Experiment and Second Winter). In the mid 70s, Tommy played with SRV in the bands Blackbird and Krackerjack, and, in 1981, joined forces with Stevie and Chris to form Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble.
Perennial favorites in the Austin Music Awards, Chris and Tommy recently received the prestigious awards for Drummer of the Decade and Bassist of the Decade, respectively, and also scored Album of the Decade honors for In Step, and Song of the Decade and Single of the Decade honors for In Step's #1 hit, "Crossfire," which was written by Chris and Tommy along with Reese Wynans, Bill Carter and Ruth Ellsworth. Additionally, Chris and Tommy earned Band of the Decade and Best New Band of the Decade honors for Storyville, and Chris won 1999's W.C. Handy Award for Instrumentalist of the Year: Drums.
As one would expect, BEEN ALONG TIME brings together some of the greatest blues and r&b players and singers today. Included are appearances by the Austin, Texas guitar greats Jimmie Vaughan, Doyle Bramhall II, Eric Johnson, Charlie Sexton (who co-produced the album) and Derek O'Brien, plus such well-respected newbloods as Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jonny Lang. Other guests are the vocalists Malford Milligan and Lou Ann Barton, pianist extraordinaire Dr. John, and the one-and-only Willie Nelson. Aside from their groove-ulating prowess, BEEN A LONG TIME also showcases the duo's formidable talent as songwriters.
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