The Shiners came together when Wes Freed and Jyl Freed found their previous music group, the Virginia-based country outfit Dirtball, had fallen aside after two albums. The few made a decision to enlist upright bassist Greg Harrup, drummer Brian Larson, fiddler Erin Snyder, and another husband-and-wife group — guitarists Steve and Terry Douglas — to create the Shiners collectively. Steve Douglas got previously used GWAR as Balsac, Jaws of Loss of life, not only is it an associate of Wes Freed’s punk rock and roll act Dirt Helmutt in the first ’80s. After a string of displays, the lineup documented its debut recording in 2001. Bonnie Blue premiered on regional label Planetary Information and presented cover artwork by Freed himself. A well-received mixture of alt-country and bluegrass, it helped start a nationwide tour that brought the Shiners onto the same levels as the Waco Brothers and Hank Williams III. In the springtime of 2003, the group came back using the sophomore effort Ocean Rock City.