Crown Jewels came together in New York City in 1995, but its two core musicians, brothers John (bass) and Steve Conte (vocals/guitar), started recording together at the ages of nine and ten in their family's living room. After the 1994 split of their nationally recognized, blues-rock driven group Company of Wolves, the duo moved forward in their musical pursuits with former Psychedelic Furs/Iggy Pop drummer, Paul Garisto. The Conte brothers, who were known for their session work with the likes of David Bowie and Peter Wolf, wanted a vehicle to express their own brand of pop-derived songwriting. This turned out to be Crown Jewels, who have released two albums since 1996. When the Conte brothers were a part of Company of Wolves in the early '90s, they had been signed to Mercury Records. When that band folded and Crown Jewels began, the Contes started their own label, Thunderdog Music, to promote their new group. They released their debut album, Spitshine, in 1996. The album displayed a mix of folk, pop, rock, and blues elements. The release of the group's second album, Linoleum, followed in 1999, repeating many of the same stylistic aspects that were showcased on Spitshine.
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