Getting their start in Richmond, Virginia, J. Rawls began when guitarist John Majer and bassist Weber Grandish left their previous band and began to work on their new songs with drummer Bryan Stiglich. After recording a demo, the band released the Slav EP on Iron Compass Records and started on a Midwest tour. Upon their return, the band started writing new material and eventually stepped back into the studio to record Kid Get Hip, which was released in 2002. Due to his help on the record, keyboardist Ben Catania joined the band after the recording and came on tour with them.
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