|Years active||1988–1990, 2011|
|Past members||Monte Warden
Craig Allan Pettigrew
Thomas A. Lewis, Jr.
The Wagoneers is an American country music band from Austin, Texas that was briefly active during the 1980s. The band consisted of Monte Warden on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Brent Wilson playing lead and contributing backing vocals, Craig Allan Pettigrew on bass, and drummer Thomas A. Lewis, Jr.
Formed in 1986, the band played the very first South By Southwest festival in 1987. In 1988, the Wagoneers released Stout & High and quickly followed with Good Fortune in 1989. They received rave reviews, played on Austin City Limits, at the Grand Ole Opry, and found themselves sharing the stage with both country and rock legends. Then, in late 1989, they suddenly called it quits, but not before establishing themselves as originators and innovators. They truly helped lay the foundation for the Americana and alt-country movement of the 1990s.
The Wagoneers' debut album, Stout and High, was released by Herb Alpert's A&M Records in 1988; a follow-up album, Good Fortune, was released in 1989. Although the band appeared on Austin City Limits and Nashville Now, their popularity never took off on a nationwide scale. The band broke up in 1990.
"There were a lot of reasons why the Wags didn't happen on a bigger scale," said Monte Warden in a 1995 interview, when he was pursuing a solo career. "Number one, we were on a pop label (A&M) that had never attempted to get in the country market before. Two, even though it was just four or five years ago, that was light years in regards to country's popularity and we were a different group, a bit unique at that time. That, and maybe country radio wasn't just ready for those songs. It doesn't matter what the success level was, for me; I was just pleased to get to make records."
In 2011, the Wagoneers were asked to get together and play a brief set at the Austin Music awards to coincide with their induction into the Austin Music Hall of Fame. The band found that playing together again felt so natural, they booked a few small gigs in Austin, New Braunfels, Dallas, Houston and other cities in Texas. These small shows turned into a full-fledged Wagoneer's revival. The original four members of the band are the ones making this happen, so it's not one of those reunions with just one or two original members. The most impressive thing is that you would never know that the band ever broke up. They release a collection including both first albums as "The Essential Wagoneers".
They don't sound like a band that took a twenty-plus year hiatus. The response at their shows makes it seem like they've been together with their audience the entire time.
|1988||Stout & High||47||A&M|
|2011||The Essential Wagoneers||-||-|
|US Country||CAN Country|
|1988||"I Wanna Know Her Again"||43||32||Stout & High|
|"Every Step of the Way"||52||*|
|1989||"Help Me Get Over You"||66||*|
|"Sit a Little Closer"||53||48||Good Fortune|