A.A. Bondy is actually the birth name (the initials stand for Augeste Arthur) of Scott Bondy, the former lead singer of Birmingham, Alabama's Southern grunge darlings Verbena, frequently compared to Nirvana because of their gritty, aggressive sound and Bondy's searing vocals. The band, which also initially included drummer Les Nuby and bassist Daniel Johnston, was formed when all three were in high school in the early '90s. Later, singer and guitarist Anne Marie Griffin joined the trio, then called Shallow. Nuby eventually left the group and was replaced by original Remy Zero drummer Louis Schefano, and after a name change to Verbena, the band released the EP Pilot Park on Merge. Nuby rejoined the band a year later in time for Verbena's debut full-length, Souls for Sale, which caught the ears of Dave Grohl, who agreed to produce the band's major-label debut, Into the Pink. Johnston left the band, making Verbena a trio once again, and it was as a trio that Verbena recorded their third album, 2003's La Musica Negra, before calling it quits. Bondy retreated to his Catskills home in Palenville in upstate New York, and in time, began writing songs again, emerging with a stripped-down indie folk sound. He recorded and mixed his debut solo album, American Hearts, at a barn near his home, releasing the project in 2007 on the Superphonic imprint. The album was picked up by Fat Possum and re-released early in 2008. A second Fat Possum album, When the Devil's Loose, appeared in 2009, with a third, Believers, following two years later in 2011. ~ Steve Leggett
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