Chris Gaffney grew up in Arizona, where he learned to play the accordion as a young child. The instrument would later influence the performer's mix of norteño with country and rock & roll. Gaffney eventually mastered guitar as well, and spent his teen years gigging in cover and house bands. In 1977, he formed a partnership with keyboardist Wyman Reese, who also produced Gaffney's initial solo efforts. Road to Indio appeared in 1986; it featured '50s rock, soul, and dusty Bakersfield honky tonk. Chris Gaffney & the Cold Hard Facts followed in 1990, and delved into Gaffney's Hispanic heritage. His third solo effort, Mi Vida Loca, was issued in 1992. Loser's Paradise appeared in 1995, with production from blue-collar stalwart Dave Alvin and contributions from Lucinda Williams and Jim Lauderdale. In 2002, he formed the Hacienda Brothers with Dave Gonzalez of the Paladins, and they recorded three albums before Gaffney contracted liver cancer; he died on April 17, 2008. One year later, the tribute album A Man of Somebody's Dreams: A Tribute to the Songs of Chris Gaffney appeared, featuring contributions from Alvin and Los Lobos, among others.