Born and raised in Houston, singer/songwriter David Rodriguez's early influences included Lightnin' Hopkins, Townes Van Zandt and Lydia Mendoza; he was later inspired by Jerry Jeff Walker. After an education in music, law and economics, he spent 20 years playing around Austin. In 1984, he chucked the music life to practice law and spend time with his family. He ran for a seat in the Texas State Legislature in 1990, but lost. Rodriguez returned to music later that year, releasing a live date on cassette titled Man Against Beast. The album, evoking shades of Blood on the Tracks-era Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, gained popularity in the Austin area. In 1992, DejaDisc digitally remastered the work, added a bonus track (a duet with Lucinda Williams) and released The True Cross.