Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Don Leady, the leader of Tail Gators, is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, accordionist, and producer with a vision. He put together an audio gumbo of Gulf Coast styles blended with rock seasonings. A native of Cool Valley, Missouri, Don Leady is an experimentalist with the guitar, constantly finding new techniques and sounds. It certainly doesn't stop with the guitar; he's gone into fiddle, steel guitar, and most recently the accordion. His education came from masters of the art, Chet Atkins, Les Paul, and later B.B. King, because their music was readily available. He heard the Ventures and Duane Eddy a bit further down the line and loved their style. He also caught Joe Maphis and the Collins Kids on the TV show Ranch Party, and Maphis made a huge impression on him. Joe Maphis became one of Don Leady's idols. Hearing Joe Maphis play the boogie woogie guitar and thinking to himself that the guy was picking the guitar ten times faster than Duane Eddy, Don Leady was star-struck. Tail Gators began in 1984 and continued into the 21st century, with a charismatic style of music that is very contagious. Don Leady, Jean-Jacques (JJ) Barrera, and Chico Oropeza, are the Tail Gators who are cookin' up the tunes on their 1996 release, It's a Hog Groove! Billy Gibbons, of ZZ Top, calls the trio from Austin, Texas his favorite American band. The trio is one that should not be missed at a live venue -- if there are any tickets left, they generally sell out fast. Some of the other names Tail Gators have been rumored to use in and around the Austin scene are Zydeco Loco and Gators del Norte.