Jason Harrod began his folk music career as the Southern half of the singer/songwriter duo Harrod & Funck. Harrod, who was raised in North Carolina, began playing with Chicagoan Brian Funck while both were students at Wheaton College in Illinois. The distinctive blend of their atmospheric acoustic guitar styles soon caught the attention of Christian folk legend Mark Heard, who produced their 1992 debut Dreams of the Color Blind for his Heated Brick label. A year later, the duo moved to Boston where they struggled to carve a niche for themselves in the competitive folk scene. They released two more albums together: the eponymous 1997 sophomore effort Harrod and Funck, and a 1998 Live set. But when Funck left for Los Angeles to pursue a career as a film editor, Harrod launched a solo career that allowed him to indulge his Southern and traditional folk influences more freely without abandoning the contemporary folk sound that characterized the Harrod & Funck albums. In April of 2000, Harrod won first place in the bluegrass category of the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. Widely respected folksinger Gillian Welch, a previous contest winner, was among the judges. Less than a month later, Harrod released his first solo album, Living in Skin.