The band is named after the San Gabriel river fork north of Austin, Texas. The group consists of the same players from Centro-matic with the inclusion of guests, but focuses on more introspective and subdued offerings from their repertoire. Lead singer Will Johnson, has alternated between the two projects, while also releasing solo albums. South San Gabriel released Welcome, Convalescense and The Carlton Chronicles in 2003 and 2005, respectively. The first South San Gabriel album, South San Gabriel Songs / Music, was released under the nom de plume Centro-Matic. The band later decided to keep the straightforward rock songs for Centro-Matic and release the quieter songs as South San Gabriel. However, there's already no reference to Centro-Matic on the Munich Records (The Netherlands) release of Songs/Music.