When he was 16, singer/songwriter Johnathan Rice opened his mouth and let out a weathered, rustic sound that caught him by surprise. Like many teenagers obsessed with music, Rice just wanted to see what his voice sounded like when imitating his heroes, who included the likes of Joni Mitchell, the Band, Neil Young, and Bob Dylan. As consequence would have it, Rice decided to make his songwriting hobby a serious affair and returned to his native Virginia, having spent most of his life growing up in Glasgow. He graduated from high school in May 2001 and soon befriended Washington, D.C. resident Chris Keup of Grantham Dispatch. He also informed his parents that he wasn't going to college like the rest of his peers, and that he planned to go to New York City to land a recording contract. His parents had mixed feelings, but allowed their son one year to chase his vision.