Milton Mapes formed in 1999, naming the band after singer/guitarist Greg Vanderpool's grandfather. Vanderpool and bandmate Roberto Sánchez, both veterans of Dallas’ Deep Ellum music scene, subsequently spent a year in Nashville compiling songs that would make up the group's dusty debut release The State Line (2001). The 7-song CD was well-received by regional press and radio, drawing comparisons to Neil Young (Harvest) and Bruce Springsteen (Nebraska).
Milton Mapes eventually evolved into a complete band (with the addition of Britton Beisenherz and Jim Fredley), honing in closer on an atmospheric revival of Young's Crazy Horse or Bob Dylan's electric conversion. The group released the cinematic Westernaire (Aspyr Media) in 2003, reflecting this migration with a heavy dose of layered guitars and textures.
In 2005, the band emerged with a darker, more intense album, The Blacklight Trap, released by St. Louis indie label Undertow. Later that year, Shady Valleys, a small collection of b-side tracks, was made available as a downloadable EP.
Appearing both as a duo and with a full band, Milton Mapes has shared stages with an assortment of its respected Texas contemporaries and touring acts such as Chris Whitley, Willie Nelson, Magnolia Electric Co., and Cowboy Junkies. Following three albums and contributions for numerous compilation CDs and soundtracks, the group embarked on a new project under the name Monahans in 2007 while keeping an open door for future appearances or releases as Milton Mapes...