Jon Shain and Joe Newberry have been friends and mutual admirers for years. After playing a few songs together at a benefit concert they became excited by the combination of their musical styles. Blues and bluegrass, fingerpicking guitar and clawhammer banjo, bottleneck slide, and flatpicking vintage Gibsons all coming together under the loose heading of American Roots music.
Over the course of a year, between their busy tour schedules, they co-wrote seven songs and introduced seven more originals to each other, making for a diverse fourteen song album, Crow the Dawn.
Over the next few months, an A-list of North Carolina musicians came in to add guest spots: Ed Butler on percussion, Bill Newton on harmonica, Greg Bell on accordion, John Currie on dobro, Ecki Heins on mandolin, Mike Craver and Mark Wells on pianos, Paul Rogers on trumpet, and the Mighty Gospel Inspirations on backing vocals.