It was in the late 1960s at a small Houston nightclub named the Act III that Andrew Chapman first met Tony Braunagel. Chapman was watching his friend Johnny Winter and his brother Edgar perform, with Tony’s friend and neighbor Willie Ornelas on drums. Braunagel had a band called Buttermilk Bottom, and Chapman came onboard to manage them and helped them release a single through Polydor Records in 1970.
Chapman and bassist Terry Wilson formed a band known as The Bloontz All Stars which Braunagel later joined. Ron Johnsen, engineer and executive director for Electric Lady Studios, auditioned and signed the group in 1972. After a stint as the male lead in the Houston run of a play by Broadway’s C.C. Courtney called “Ripped and Wrinkled,” Chapman recorded an album with Bloontz at Electric Lady in 1972-73. Eventually, he and other members of the group signed on to tour with Houston’s Johnny Nash (hot on the heels of Nash’s massive hit ”I Can See Clearly Now”), playing legendary venues such as the Bitter End in New York and the Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica.
Chapman ultimately tired of the industry — “I loved the music, but the business turned me off,” he says — and began a successful corporate life in hotels and investment banking. But he continued to hit the studio with his friends periodically. A couple of years ago, he decided he wasn’t finished with music, so he reached out to his former Bloontz All Stars bandmate Terry Wilson, who had become a respected producer and engineer. Recording in Los Angeles, London, Houston, Nashville, and Mobile, Alabama, Chapman and his fellow musicians sent tracks to their keyboardist friend John “Rabbit” Bundrick (The Who, 1979-2012) for his contributions, and had Braunagel jump into L.A.’s Ultratone Studios to add drums. “The trust level between us was amazing,” Chapman says. “This record greatly exceeded my expectations.”
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