The Tailgators

A 3-piece band from Austin, Billy Gibbons of ZZ-Top once called them his favorite band. Don Leady, singer and guitar player, was an original member of the Leroi Brothers (another legendary Austin band, still playing and making records). He later started the Tailgators with Keith Ferguson (original bass player of the Fabulous Thunderbirds) and Gary "Mudcat" Smith (who played a big drumset and wore gloves when he played). I've seen them a few times at clubs in Norman and OKC, they used to come up here alot. They are a band to catch live, hopefully in a club with a dance floor. They have put out a bunch of records, which are all cool. I think the 2 on Restless are out of print. Leady also plays accordian and fiddle. Ferguson passed away a few years ago. There have been a couple of different drummers since Smith left. They may be working on a new record. In the past few years Leady has been experimenting with various types of music, for which he has formed several different bands. One of his new bands is Alamo Suite, in which he explores western swing jazz guitar. I saw the Alamo Suite band at VZD's in OKC in February 1999. Not too many people bothered to show up, even though the Gazette gave them a special write-up, but it was an awesome show. The Tailgators are an American treasure, sadly overlooked. If you want to see them you will probably have to go to Austin.

NOTE - If you are searching for info on the web or looking for CDs at Amazon or someplace, you will need to search on both Tailgators and Tail Gators or you won't find everything. I don't know what the correct name is but both spellings have appeared on record covers.

Some Links:

iMusic Showcase      Wrestler Records & Upstart Records (Rounder)      Profile on Rounder site

The Records:

Swamp Rock - 1985 Wrestler Records
Mumbo Jumbo - 1986 Wrestler Records
Tore Up - 1987 Wrestler Records - compilation of B-sides
OK Let's Go - 1989 Restless Records
Hide Your Eyes - 1990 Restless Records
Swamp's Up - 1994 Upstart Records
It's a Hog Grove - 1996 Upstart Records

Big Guitars From Texas - Leady and Ferguson both play on this.

Alamo Suite - 1998 Leray Music (email

Leroy Brothers - Check This Action - 1983 - The first Leroi Brothers record (with Leady and Ferguson).

Back to Music Page      Back to Home Page      Revised 09/13/00.