Cloud Car formed in the Detroit, Michigan suburbs in the summer of 1995. With John Nelson on vocals and lead guitar, the group made waves in the Detroit indie rock scene for five years. With Jim Edmunds on drums and Brian Ringwelski on bass, the trio began by performing at various Michigan venues. The band went through various bass players, including Dave Reinke, Christian Doble, and Mark Dawson, until Courtney Sheedy took over on bass from 1998 until the band's demise in 2000. The band's first recorded effort was a track on Black Sabbath, Volume D, a Detroit-based Black Sabbath tribute album, in 1996. A track on Gag Order: Detroit Stands Mute followed in 1997. 1997 also saw the release of the band's self-titled debut EP on Sonicstream Records. In 1999, Edmunds left the band to join Detroit's Waxwings. Nicholas Pallos took over the band's drumming duties until the band's demise in 2000. Also in 1999, the band's full-length debut, Pretty Sneaky Sis, was released, again by Sonicstream. Both albums were recorded at Detroit's Woodshed Studios with producer Tim Pak. The band toured the East Coast in the fall of 1999, and performed at the Halifax Music Festival. The band was a staple of the Detroit concert scene, sharing stages with Poster Children, Quasi, Joan of Arc, 57 Waltz, Pop Project, the War Effort, and various others. Still in 1999, the Forchan/Great Gulfs of Nothing EP was released on the band's own Plumline Records. Cloud Car played their final show in the spring of 2000 at Detroit's Magic Stick, with Edmunds returning to play drums on a few songs. Nelson went on to form New Grenada, while Sheedy went on to play bass in the Americans with Scott Michalski (ex-Godzuki).
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