City Limits was founded by Scott Ardoin, Harold Daire and Kelly Simon in late
1986. Originally started as a three piece variety band, the group's drummer (Daire) realized he did not want to perform full time. Daire was replaced by Mike Dupuis, who was involved in starting a group with singer/guitarist Billy Tate. Tate was also invited to join the group, increasing its members to four pieces. The guys entered their first contest, Service Merchandising Battle Of The Bands, before realizing the bass guitar player (Simon) was not performing at the group's level. Simon was soon replaced by a school mate of Tate. With not much time before the contest, the band hired singer/bass guitarist Chalan Thibodeaux. Winning the local contest, held at the Purple Peacock in Eunice LA, the guys headed to St Louis MO for the finals. Everyone was defeated by the awesome sounds of the group Trux from Missouri. Some time in '90, the band went through a few changes. Dupius was replaced by Gerald Romero Jr, drums, Billy Malagarie, keyboards, was added. But, the biggest change was the shifting of Chalan from bass guitar to lead singer/acoustic guitar. And then came a few bass guitar players. Tim Fornet, Gerald Romero Sr, Oran Guidry, Chris Hebert, Robbie Buller, Tracy Menard. Romero was then replaced by drummer Tracy Broussard, who is current drummer for Blake Shelton. The band also entered a second contest, The Marlboro Country Music Showdown, which was held at Bear Creek Steakhouse located in Montpelier, LA. Winning locally, the band moved on to regionals at the Texas Club in Baton Rouge LA, competing against one of Sammy Kershaw's earlier bands, The Jaga Brothers. The Jaga Brothers members included local talents such as Steve Grasaffi (River Road), Kip Sonnier (Kip Sonnier & Hurricane), and Eddie Bonin (2 Blue). Both groups were defeated by the New Orleans LA based all female group, Evangeline. Stemming from the Bear Creek performance, City Limits became a favorite act of the club, and enjoyed a 10-year stint, opening shows for such artist as Merle Haggard, Lorrie Morgan, Steve Wariner, Hal Ketchum, Marty Stuart, Diamond Rio, T. Graham Brown, Shelly West, Mickey Gilley, Tracy Byrd, Billy Joe Royal, Confederate Railroad, Les Taylor, Bryan White, Exile, Mel McDaniels, McBride & The Ride, Tracy Lawrence, Joel Sonnier, Mark Chesnutt, Highway 101, Sammy Kershaw. The guys incorporated a whole batch of original songs written entirely from the pen of Chalan. This seemed to be a great move for the group. Then in '91, Chalan and Ardoin made a trip to Nashville TN. to perform written material with the house band of the Sweetwater Hotel. Here Chalan impressed the eyes and ears of then Jeff Huskins, former fiddler player for Clint Black. In January of '92, Chalan entered Reflections studio with Huskins, who produced his first recording titled It's About Time. Huskins arranged for some of the top Nashville session players to perform on the recording. Seven of Chalan's original songs were included. The roller coaster ride was on. Local airplay on radio station 97.3 The Dawg improved the bands popularity. Then with the strength of the original material, the band entered The Jimmy Dean/True Valve Country Music Showdown using two of Chalan's popular songs, Takes All I've Got To Say Goodbye and We're Not Going There.