Due West is a trio comprised of Tim Gates, Brad Hull and Matt Lopez. Originally from Sheridan, Wyo., Lopez was living in Arizona when he and Hull (a Thatcher, Ariz., native) first met. Shortly after Hull moved to Nashville in 2001 to attend Belmont University, Lopez followed. The pair encountered Gates (a Richfield, Utah, native) at a house party, and were taken with his guitar playing, singing and especially his repertoire: Shenandoah, Mark Chesnutt, McBride & the Ride and Keith Whitley. As Lopez and Hull jumped in on harmonies, the trio made an instant connection that night. Following their grand debut at a local VFW event, the yet-unnamed band booked a regular gig at the Alabama Grill where Gates was working as a manager. Hull and Lopez eventually scored publishing deals with Jason Deere, whose encouragement and direction led to the official creation of Due West.Deere, who eventually became Due West's producer and honorary fourth bandmate, soon arranged a meeting with RCA. Due West was almost immediately signed to a development deal and dropped nearly as quickly when Sony and BMG merged in 2006. However they are expected to release their debut album on an independent label in 2009.