Warren Zanes was only 17 when he joined college roots rockers the Del Fuegos, the band led by his older brother, Dan. The group had a short, sharp run in the mid- to late '80s, but then vanished off the map. Zanes followed a similarly obscure path, pursuing his bachelor's degree, and then, bit by the bug of academia, continuing on to earn two master's degrees and a doctorate. (He earned a Ph.D. in visual and cultural studies in 2002 from the University of Rochester, and would eventually land a teaching spot at Manhattan's School of Visual Arts.)
Amid his academic endeavors, Zanes began four-tracking some songs with Morphine's Billy Conway. Those tracks eventually caught the ears of renowned producing duo the Dust Brothers (Beastie Boys, Beck), who signed Zanes to their label, Ideal Records. The album was recorded in Nashville, with guests like Emmylou Harris and Patty Griffin. Unfortunately, Memory Girls got caught up in a legal mess with Ideal's parent company, Disney, and languished for two years before it was freed and eventually picked up by Dualtone. The label released Zanes' debut, Memory Girls, a lush pop album with roots rock inflections, in 2003. After coming off a tour for his debut album, Zanes took a position as vice president of education at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, but that didn't stop him from releasing another fine collection of rootsy pop in 2006 with People That I'm Wrong For. ~ Erik Hage, Rovi