Fort Worth, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2019

Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Established on Jan, 2019
Band Rock Alternative




"Once And Future Toadies"

One day, someone is going to write a book about local rock icons the Toadies. The band’s storyline seems plucked out of a John Cusack movie: their rise to local prominence, being courted by major labels (back when that mattered), Rubberneck’s initially slow sales, then the blow-up to national celebrity after a Florida radio station championed “Possum Kingdom,” the dizzying highs, the band member turnover, the lawsuits, and their stunning new material. It’s all there, man. And it’s juicy!

For most fans, the story of the Toadies is the story of frontman Vaden Todd Lewis. He is, after all, the principal songwriter. But one of the lesser-known sidebars of the celebrated act is the part that guitarist-turned-banker Charles Mooney played in shaping the four-piece. He worked with Lewis at now-defunct record store Sound Warehouse and was in the Toadies from its inception in 1988 until he left in ’93.

“Vaden and I started the band the day after we went to see The Smithereens at the Hard Rock Cafe in Dallas,” he said in an email. “I had been doing sound for his cover band, Gunga Din, for a couple of years. After we had such a great time at The Smithereens show, Vaden asked me the next day at work if I wanted to start a band.

“I played lead guitar for the band, utilizing the tremolo that created the signature Toadies sound – the controlled feedback aspect,” he continued.

Mooney is one of three former Toadies who will perform Saturday at The Ridglea Room. Along with original bassist Lisa Umbarger and drummer Madison Winchell (their fourth!), Mooney will take the stage with Winchell’s current band, Urban Gypsy, to play three Toadies tunes. The event will mark the first time Mooney, Umbarger, and Winchell have shared a stage in almost 30 years.

Mooney, before leaving the band, arrived at a familiar crossroads: Do I keep playing music for an unlikely shot at making it big, or do I go to college, get a job, and abandon my rocker dreams? He chose the safer route but said he’s been rooting on the quartet since he left.

“I was stunned by the [Toadies’] success,” he said. “It’s still so crazy to hear the songs I helped create played on the radio, or in PetSmart, or during a Dallas Stars hockey game.”

Mooney said he helped shape eight of the 11 songs on Rubberneck, including “Possum Kingdom,” “Tyler,” and “I Come from the Water.” Though he never recorded the songs, he said Lewis and Umbarger told him that then-guitarist Darrel Herbert was instructed to learn Mooney’s style and parts.

“So, essentially, the album sounds very much like what I contributed to the band,” Mooney said.

The show at The Ridglea Room arose after Mooney heard Urban Gypsy perform a cover of “Tyler.” Mooney reached out to Winchell to compliment his new band’s version, and then the drummer invited Mooney to share the stage on Saturday.

“I was excited to accept,” Mooney said. “Then [Winchell] got with me a couple days later, asking if I would mind [Umbarger] performing with us. It was so exciting to see that [Umbarger] wanted to be a part of it.”

Lewis wasn’t invited to perform, which Mooney chalks up to acrimony between Lewis and Umbarger. Urban Gypsy frontwoman (and Winchell’s fiancé) Jennifer Elizabeth will stand in for Lewis on vocals.
“It’s a situation that I hope can one day be resolved, so we can all be together onstage again,” Mooney said. “I remember the days of us being such good friends.” - Fort Worth Weekly


Still working on that hot first release.



SolShifter truly began it's formation in 2018 when a group of music-minded friends decided to join forces, and have fun making music together.  What started as a cover band then called Urban Gypsy, has gradually morphed into who they are today.  Being that they were all children of the eighties, naturally the former band's focus was covering the music that they all grew up listening to.  Their diverse set list included tons of hits, and included some covers of local favorites!  One of these songs being Tyler by the Toadies.  Drummer, Madison Winchell III, once played drums for the Toadies with founding members, bassist Lisa Umbarger, and lead guitarist, Charles Mooney III, so it was natural for him to cover these songs.  As we all know social media plays a huge role in linking people from your past with your present.  As it turned out a video that was posted on the Urban Gypsy Facebook page caught the attention of Charles Mooney III, and he couldn't help but reach out to his old friend, Madison about it.  It was of course the cover of Tyler, and he was impressed by the band's take on the song, the incredible guitar shredding skills of "Dirty Steve" Dzwilewski, and powerful vocals of female front person, Jennifer Elizabeth.  This is the moment that set off a chain of events in which the band likes to call their destiny.  After some discussion, the band invited Charles to join them on stage for a reunion of sorts to play the songs that he had helped to create so long ago with Madison, and he was absolutely thrilled to do so.  However, there was one missing piece, and that was Lisa.  Madison reached out to her in a message to see if she would be interested in playing too, and as soon as she read the message she answered with a resounding, "Let's do this!!!" They all decided to get together for a jam session to just SEE what may happen, and if it even would work out.  Needless to say, it ended up being magic!  The former line up has now evolved to include Lisa and Charles as permanent fixtures within the band, and because of this their focus is taking on a whole new direction.  They are now writing and performing original music for everyone. 

Band Members