A singer and songwriter with a rough, powerful voice that fuels his full-bodied fusion of blues and vintage rock & roll, Reid Paley was born in Brooklyn, New York, and began making a name for himself as a musician when he moved to Pittsburgh to attend college. In Pittsburgh, Paley teamed up with guitarist Tom Moran, bassist Dave Doremus, and drummer Brian Gillespie to form a band called the Five. Playing a rough-and-tumble mix of blues and punk, the Five earned a cult following in Pittsburgh and after cutting a pair of 7" releases, they moved to Boston in 1984 in search of a larger audience. In Boston, the Five often found themselves sharing stages with another scrappy young band, the Pixies, and Paley struck up a friendship with Charles Thompson, aka lead singer Black Francis. In 1987, the Five split up shortly after recording their first and only album (simply called The Five), and Paley moved to New York, where he worked in construction and built sets for music videos (you can see his handiwork in clips by INXS and Salt-N-Pepa). When an old friend landed a job at a recording studio as an engineer, Paley began dropping by to record demos of songs he'd been tinkering with, and after a few years he had a large backlog of material.