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What started as two guys with strong voices and one guitar became San Francisco's Train by 1994. It was in late 1993 that Patrick Monahan left Erie, Pennsylvania and met up with the Los Angeles band, the Apostles. Lead singer/guitarist Rob Hotchkiss and fellow guitarist Jim Stafford had basically disbanded by this time, but the chance meeting with Patrick Monahan proved fortuitous as Hotchkiss extended an invitation to the crooning Monahan to become a two-man band. After making exhaustive appearances in low-key coffee houses, they decided to form a full band and enlisted former Apostles' members Stafford and bassist Charlie Colin. Colin brought along his good friend, drummer Scott Underwood and Train was on its way. Train settled in San Francisco to develop their sound in a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere. In an unlikely scenario, executives from Columbia Records expressed an interest and, in a somewhat cooperative strategy, farmed the fledling band out to the minors -- in this instance, Aware Records -- where they could grow naturally and unhurriedly. In 1997, they went on tour, opening for the likes of Blues Traveler, Barenaked Ladies and Counting Crows. Train knew they had arrived when they sold out a performance at San Francisco's prestigious venue, The Fillmore. Their completed debut album was released the following year. Drops of Jupiter followed three years later. Roxanne Blanford

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