Paul Kochanski (vocals, bass) and Jamie Walker (vocals, guitar) first played together in the early '80s for a Boston-based band named the Drive. Local acclaim and a first-place finish on MTV's The Basement Tapes didn't prevent the band from breaking up in 1989. The Swinging Steaks were formed soon after, when Kochanski and Walker recruited Tim Giovanniello (vocals, guitar) and Jim Gambino (vocals, piano, organ); they later picked up the Del Fuegos' drummer, Joe Donnelly, when that band folded. The group pursued a roots rock style, using soul, honky tonk, gospel, and pop in addition to straight-ahead rock & roll. After an album was released on the band's own Thrust label, 1992's Suicide at the Wishing Well, Capricorn signed the band and released Southside of the Sky (1993).
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