Singer and songwriter Cherish Alexander and drummer Billy Baker started the rock band the Painkillers in Los Angeles, CA, near the end of 1995. The energetic duo quickly added guitarist Curtis Hooker and bassist Matt Boyd, to piece together a fuller sound. Each member brought his or her own contributions and experiences to the new group. Female lead Alexander had spent time under contract with RCA Records and worked with artists like Cyndi Lauper. Baker, Hooker, and Boyd had all three served as members with other bands, performing the normal club domain around Los Angeles.
In 1998, the Painkillers released their debut offering, a 16-track album titled Medicine for the Soul. The album is filled with alternative pop numbers like "Don't Leave Me This Way," "Hello to June," "Where You Are," and "Caffeine." The group also completed music videos for two of the tracks, "Broken" and "I'm Sorry." Other tracks were featured in films; "In Between" was used in Burt Reynolds' movie The Last Producer. "Good Enough" found a spot in Alligator Alley. Three other tunes from the debut were featured in the television series The Crow: Stairway to Heaven. Many in the music business took notice of this first album and rewarded the young group with mostly positive press reviews. ~ Charlotte Dillon