After a meeting with Albert Collins in 1969, Neil Downs knew that he wanted to devote his lifetime to music. Nicknaming himself "Reverend" Neil Downs, he began to perform blues and rock guitar around the Seattle area. After collaborating with artists like Henry McCullough (Paul McCartney, Joe Cocker) and Jerry Scheff (Elvis Presley, Elvis Costello), as well as playing blues-based rock for almost 30 years, he finally sat down to record American Friend. Made up of material he had been working on for years, it was his first real album, and he saw its release in 1999. After touring in support of American Friend, he sat down to record with Lahna Deering, a 19-year-old guitarist from Alaska who searched out the Reverend for production help in 2001.