The Court & Spark is a San Francisco-based indie rock band formed in the spring of 1998 around the nucleus of Scott Hirsch, Alex Stimmel, James Kim, and laconic lead vocalist M.C. Taylor. Between 1998 and 2001 the group established itself among the leaders of the alt-country Americana scene.
After Hirsch and Taylor's early and noisy participation in Ex-Ignota
, the two (along with bassist Joe Rogers and others) found themselves in San Francisco, and formed the country-oriented group, taking cues from the classic sounds of the early country-rock era as well as incorporating more sonically progressive and multi-faceted compositions.
They soon released their debut, 1999's Ventura Whites
, garnering substantial praise with the independent press. With pedal steel player Tom Heyman
and vocalist Wendy Allen, as well as former The Byrds
and The Flying Burrito Brothers
member Gene Parsons
, guesting on 2001's Bless You
, the group achieved cult acclaim.
The band returned in 2004 with their most acclaimed release to date, Witch Season
which fully emcompassed their reach and was accompanied by a powerful EP - Dead Diamond River
featuring contributions from Linda Thompson
and M. Ward
The Court & Spark officially disbanded in the summer of 2007.