Great Lakes began in Athens, Georgia in 1996, released an eponymous debut in 2000, and relocated to Brooklyn in 2002. The Distance Between appeared that year, and with 2006 came the release of Diamond Times. A new record, Ways of Escape, came out in October of 2010.
Over the years Great Lakes' sound has gradually moved away from the psychedelia of their debut, and toward more folk and country influences. With Ben Crum on guitar and vocals, the new record features Kevin Shea (drums), David Lerner (bass), Jay Israelson (piano), Phillip Sterk (pedal steel), Joe McGinty (electric piano and organ), Jon Natchez (bass clarinet and baritone sax), Heather McIntosh (cello), and Suzanne Nienaber (backing vocals).
When the band Frank Smith collectively pulled up their Boston stakes and landed in Austin back in 2007, the group fit right in. Their first local release, Heavy Handed Peace And Love, boasted a number of Texas sensibilities: loping rhythms, pedal steel guitar, and the twangy voice of lead singer Aaron Sinclair- in other words, not bad for Northeastern transplants. But since then, the group has looked to break out of that easy fit, and each subsequent record has remade the Frank Smith formula. They've hit a sweet spot with the upcoming release of their eighth album, Before You Were Born.