The band began with a series of demo recordings made by Hidalgo on a home cassette tape 4-track machine. The demos were intended for Hidalgo's main group, Los Lobos, but producer/keyboardist Froom thought the demos were interesting enough on their own to justify a new band. With Los Lobos member Pérez, and Froom's frequent production partner Blake, Latin Playboys was formed.
The group released two albums, Latin Playboys, in 1994, and Dose, in 1999. The songs "Manifold de Amour" and "Forever Night Shade Mary," both from the 1994 self-titled debut album, are featured on the soundtrack album for the 1995 film Desperado.
Critic Richie Unterberger described their music as "a twisted and avant-garde take on roots music. Latin Playboys draw from blues, border music, experimental studio trickery, and cinematic sound textures."