Nakia & His Southern Cousins was formed in 2007 by Nakia after he left The Small Stars, Miles Zuniga of Fastball’s side project. Featuring Mac McNabb (Soulhat, Patty Griffin) on guitar, Johnny Vogelsang (Suzanna Choffel, Uptown Drive) on bass, Derek Morris (Bob Schneider, Alpha Rev) on keyboard, and The Fresh Up Girls – Karla Manzur (Alejandro Escovdeo, Nightblooms) and Jessie England (Snafu Kitties, Amanda Palmer) – on backing vocals. The first band lineup originally featured recently departed legendary drummer Barry “Frosty” Smith, who appeared on many of the studio recordings as well. After “Frosty” left the band, Ed Jarusinky (Wrenfro, The Argyles) took the drummer seat. Since its fruition, the band played a multitude of shows around Austin with numerous critically acclaimed musicians. The band released their EP “Playing The Cards” in 2007 and played their first show on February 17, 2007 at Lambert’s followed by a weekly residency at Momo’s every Thursday at 10 p.m. for a whole year. Nakia & His Southern Cousins played once a month at Jovita’s for a whole year and were named “Emerging Artist” by ME Television.