Formed from the ashes of two influential alternative country bands, Whiskeytown and Hominy, the duo of lead singer/guitarist Jesse Sykes and guitarist Phil Wandscher met in 1999 in Seattle's Hattie Hat bar. Sykes had just ended a relationship with Jim Sykes (her musical partner in the band Hominy) and had slowed her songwriting down, but a new seed sprouted when she met Wandscher. The pair began performing as a duo and received much praise, creating a slow buzz. The group eventually added drummer Kevin Warner, bassist Bill Herzog, and violinist Anne Marie Ruljancich. After entering the studio they recorded their debut release, Reckless Burning, which was released under the name Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter by Barsuk Records in April 2002. Over the next few years, the group shared the stage with Neko Case, Richard Buckner, and Mark Olson, among others. The group's second album, Oh, My Girl, came out two years later. Their third effort, 2007's Like, Love, Lust and the Open Halls of the Soul, introduced new drummer Eric Eagle, replacing Kevin Warner. Marble Son, co-produced by Sykes and Wandscher and recorded entirely in and around Seattle, appeared in 2011. It was also the group's first release for their own Parisian Records, after parting ways with Barsuk.