The dark blues duo Soledad Brothers began in early 1998 after guitarist/vocalist Johnny Wirick (a.k.a. Johnny Walker) asked drummer Ben Smith (a.k.a. Ben Swank) if he wanted to play a show. Since then, they have recorded for Detroit's Italy Records and Bellingham, Washington's Estrus label. Wirick and Smith's partnership can be traced back to their days in the Toledo, Ohio blues group Henry and June, which existed from 1994 until 1996. After that group broke up, Wirick continued playing with drummer Doug Walker in the two-piece blues outfit Johnny Walker. Before one of the band's shows in early 1998, Walker decided to leave the group. Looking for someone to fill in for the gig, Wirick turned to Smith, who agreed to play. Developing from what was supposed to be a one-off show, Wirick and Smith decided to continue as the Soledad Brothers.