Maria May met Brian Tighe by chance while passing through Milwaukee in 1987. Within hours they were singing and strumming REM songs together and kept in touch ever since, trading original songs back and forth through the mail.
Allison LaBonne met Brian in Minneapolis a few years later, and the two bonded over the music of The Kinks and Nick Drake, as well as Brian’s band, the Hang Ups and the band Allison played in, the Legendary Jim Ruiz Group. Brian and Allison married in 2000.
Stephen Ittner was a longtime friend and Hang Ups collaborator who Brian met in art school; and sometime after Maria moved to Minneapolis, Allison, Brian, Maria and Stephen began playing together as the Owls.
The next Owls ingredient was John Jerry; brush-wielding drummer of The Ashtray Hearts. Jerry stepped in upon Ittner’s departure just before the release of the Owls’ debut cd Our Hopes and Dreams in 2004. In the following years the foursome performed occasionally and set about creating their first full-length release, Daughters and Suns, which hit the world in October 2007.
After releasing Daugthers and Suns, the band took a respite and members pursued some new courses. A scholarship took Maria to Budapest where she researched how artists influenced the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. John became a dad. Brian and Allison formed chamber pop group The Starfolk with cellist Jacqueline Ultan and drummer Stephen Ittner. Allison formed synth pop group Typsy Panthre with songwriter/guitarist/electronics wiz John Crozier. Brian collaborated on Jeremy Messersmith’s 2010 LP The Reluctant Graveyard and his latest, slated for release in 2014. Brian taught songwriting at McNally Smith College of Music. But they always intended to return to The Owls, and in fall of 2012 Maria, Allison and Brian went into the studio to begin recording their 3rd album with drummer Andy Thompson. Please stay tuned!