Drummer Michael Lorant and violin player Sheila Doyle had played together as part of the Indigo Girls' backup group, so in 1992 they joined vocalist/guitarist Paul Schwartz and bassist Leigh Finlayson to form Big Fish Ensemble. Because of the band's willingness to take on multiple genres (bluegrass, folk, pop) and their Atlanta locale, they've been compared to quirky Southern popsters such as Poi Dog Pondering. Debut album Field Trip was released by Long Play Records in 1992. Two albums soon followed: I Hate Parties in 1994 and Lucky one year later. Lorant, who produced the third album, also became involved in a project called Jesus Christ Superstar: A Resurrection. He produced the various-artists compilation, a benefit album with proceeds going to gun-control charities; in the spring of 2000, Big Fish Ensemble finally reconvened for The State Bird of Big Fish Ensemble.
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