Made up of several Memphis blues veterans that had been leaning towards early American music, the Bluff City Backsliders formed in 1999. Learning several classic jazz, jug band, country, and bluegrass tunes from the beginning of the 20th Century, the band eventually started playing live in 2001. Gaining a reputation for performing material that had virtually disappeared through the years, the band grew a large audience in a short amount of time. By the end of the year, several high profile concerts and accolades convinced them to record their debut CD. The self-titled release appeared in June of 2002 on Yellow Dog Records, followed by a tour of the Southern United States.