Formed in Atlanta in 1986, the hard-rocking, Southern roots music-steeped Drivin' n' Cryin' were never embraced on a national level, but have reigned supreme in the region during their tenure. Originally made up of singer/songwriter Kevn Kinney on guitar and vocals, Tim Nielsen on bass, and Paul Lenz on drums, the band's debut was the timeless hard rock/bluegrass fusion Scarred But Smarter (1986) on 688 Records, the label that grew out of the punk-era Atlanta club of the same name. The band followed with Whisper Tames the Lion in 1988 for Island, and replaced Lenz with Jeff Sullivan on drums. There were high hopes for Drivin' n' Cryin' at the time due to the success of R.E.M.; all things Southern were tipped to become the next big thing. But the band's uniquely Southern spin on rock was lost on the rest of the world.