Formed in Detroit in 1987 by guitarist Paul Cortez and his cousin, vocalist Crissy McCall, Jugglers & Thieves would rise to the top of the city's competitive music scene in a very short period of time. Cortez and McCall played music together at family affairs for years before they decided to take a serious shot at rock & roll. Forming a series of bands, the pair eventually picked up bassist Jill Zimba, recruited guitarist Matthew Sage from the Vanderbilts, and found drummer Colin O'Brien in the classified ads. On the strength of their original blend of acoustic folk and traditional Motor City hard rock, Jugglers & Thieves placed tracks on a number of local music compilations. They built a regional following throughout the Northeast and were subsequently voted Next Local Band Most Likely to Make It Big by the readers of the Detroit Metro Times in the publication's 1988 "Best of Detroit" issue. They released a self-titled debut album to critical acclaim in 1989, but broke up shortly after a national tour with the Rock City Angels. Zimba would move to Nashville and later return to college, while McCall would go on to become a member of Detroit's Thunderharp Choir.
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