Virginia Dare were formed by singer/autoharpist Mary O'Neil and guitarist Brad Johnson, who had been in the Wannabe Texans, a San Francisco group that was well regarded on the local alternative circuit. Initially bassist Paula Fraser was part of the trio, but she left to devote her energies to another group, Tarnation. She was replaced by Greg Freeman, bassist in Pell Mell and an engineer/producer for countless local underground acts. One of the few drumless rock groups in the mainstream or the underground, Virginia Dare favor slow and sparse folk-rock tunes, sung and written by O'Neil, with arrangements that stand out from the norm for their use of autoharp, lack of drums, and stark, spacious air. After releasing a couple of EPs on Nuf Sed, their debut album, Baby Got Away, came out in 1998.