The roots rock trio, Horse Stories, is based in Los Angeles, California, USA, but its origins lay in other regions. Its leader, Toby Burke (vocals, guitar, harmonica), is originally from Melbourne, Australia, where he worked on demos with musicians on loan from other bands, including Mike Thomas (Weddings, Parties, Anything) and Dan Warner (Overnight Jones). Burke eventually settled in Los Angeles (after his brother offered him room and board there), and began performing locally as a solo artist. He was not comfortable with the singer-songwriter tag that was placed upon him, and sought to find other musicians to form a band. First up was Texas native Clinton Stapleton (drums), who appeared with Burke when the occasion demanded and also helped him record a debut album. Taking their name from a 1996 album release from the Dirty Three, Burke and Stapleton issued their debut recording, Travelling Mercies (For Troubled Paths), in 2002. Burke’s haunting lo-fi Americana shone through on stand-out tracks ‘Radio’ and ‘Chase’. The duo was then joined by their graphic artist, Jeff Holmes, who played guitar on Horse Stories second album One Hundred Waves. Burke continued to work with Stapleton and Holmes while also touring solo under the Horse Stories moniker. He released his solo debut, Winsome Lonesome, in August 2004.
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