A goth-tinged, dream-pop-style band with medieval and ethnic touches à la Dead Can Dance, Blue Dahlia formed in Kalamazoo, MI, in 1995, when three members of a local goth/darkwave band -- Derek Menchinger (guitar), Karla Wescott, and Michelle Graf -- decided to embark on a new project.
They hooked up with drummer/percussionist Carolyn Koebel and began writing material; their eponymous debut CD was released in 1997 on the small California independent label Saint Thomas. Vocalist Leslie Boughton replaced Wescott in 1998, and the group contributed the Boughton-penned single "Bridge the River Seoul" to the DivaNation compilation Cicatrix: The Ritual Scarring. Bassist Becky Pingston became a member of the group in mid-1999, and additional vocalist Amy Kozak also joined in early 2000, by which time Graf was gone. The four-song EP Estival was released in summer 2000, featuring songs and recordings both old and new (every past and present member of the band appeared on at least one track). In 2001, the group was selected as a finalist in the Coke-sponsored New Music Awards contest for unsigned bands, and also released the new full-length album Live at the Vickers' Theatre. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi