Doug, Jen, and Justin backstage at Polaris Amphitheater August 2000

The friendships of Mother Ale go a long way back, starting with drummer Justin Fiutem and singer/guitar player Doug Liebler.  Doug and Justin met while attending college at Ohio University where they formed an all original band called Sativa.  They played their version of hard rock across northeast Ohio before taking their fortunes to Florida.  Doug and Jen also met at Ohio University and Jen she spent a lot of time helping the boys in Sativa with their vocal skills.  It was during their time in Orlando that they formed a cover band called Grosvenor St. with future Mother Ale singer Jen Liebler.  Yep, Doug and Jen are married.

Mike and Justin before a Victory Highway show – October 2012

Justin returned to Ohio and started playing with singer/bass player Mike Solarz in Victory Highway.  They played many shows together and built that bass player/drummer groove thing.  Mike is a Cleveland music scene veteran and still plays with Victory Highway.  They are a great band, you should definitely check them out!  Doug and Jen also returned to Ohio and started playing as an acoustic duo.  This is when they reconnected with Justin and met Mike Solarz.

Mother Ale started as an acoustic duo and morphed into the rocking electric band they are today when Justin asked Mike Solarz to join the band.  It was a great fit.  Justin and Mike were already a super tight rhythm section from their time together in Victory Highway, and Doug and Jen’s vocal harmonies really blended together from their time on stage and off.  Mike’s vocals brought a third voice to the act as well.

Mother Ale Pre Show Selfie – Always having fun!

You can tell that these band members enjoy hanging out with each other.  It comes out on stage.  It is one of those intangible things that you can’t get with expensive gear or hours of practice.  When a band is having fun playing together, the music will always sound better!