Michael Grubbs performed in bar bands and musical theater productions before launching Wakey!Wakey!, a pop/rock group that put his piano background and vocal skills to good use. Grubbs' childhood had been filled with piano lessons -- his mother, a longtime piano teacher, made sure her children practiced the instrument daily -- and he built Wakey!Wakey!'s sound upon the influence of Billy Joel, Elton John, Gershwin, and other ivory-pounding songwriters. Signing with Family Records, his group released several buzz-worthy recordings before piquing the curiosity of Mark Schawhn, creator of the long-running TV series One Tree Hill. Schawhn picked one of the band's songs, "War Sweater," to appear during the season six finale, and Grubbs was also recruited to play a recurring role in the show's seventh season. Meanwhile, Wakey!Wakey! continued playing shows in their native New York City while putting the finishing touches on Almost Everything I Wish I'd Said the Last Time I Saw You, which marked the band's full-length debut in early 2010. The follow-up, 2014's Salvation, was a crowd-funded album thematically based around hope and new beginnings. ~ Andrew Leahey, Rovi