Although the two have been friends since junior high, keyboardist/organ player Marco Benevento and drummer Joe Russo officially began their musical partnership in 2001. The pair scored a weekly residency at the Knitting Factory in downtown Manhattan, playing every Thursday night for $100 a show. After a year of weekly gigs, the crowds expanded, the venues multiplied, and the pay improved.
By 2003, the band had self-released two albums: the simply-titled Debut Album (sometimes referred to as Benevento/Russo Duo) and Darts [Live]. Best Reason to Buy the Sun was released on Ropeadope Records in 2004, and Play Pause Stop followed in 2006.
The band tours frequently and has played such high-profile festivals as Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza. Phish members Mike Gordon and Trey Anastasio have joined the group on several occasions. And on a completely unrelated note, both Marco and Joe are outspoken fans of Markers Mark bourbon (thank you, Wikipedia).