MacClain & Cole are two very different people, from different backgrounds, who came together through their shared love of acoustic music with a leaning towards moody, yet beautiful female harmonies. Chief among their major loves and influences were the Indigo Girls.
Originally formed by “accident” as Utah Girl in 1999 in Oakland, California. Then roommates singer/songwriter Amy MacClain and drummer Jason Cole sat in their living room drinking coffee, their Saturday morning ritual. The two roomies met as band mates in the No Doubt style funk rock band Sugar Boogie, however, Jason had always wanted to learn the guitar in order to satisfy his songwriting urges. Jason was strumming (bashing!) the only two chords he knew on Amy’s old acoustic guitar when out of nowhere she began to sing, channeling full stream of conscious lyrics and melodies on the spot. Their very first song, “Noble” was born that morning and within weeks they had written a half a dozen more.
Amy and Jason soon added bass, drums, violin, and female backing vocals to their live show and quickly became a popular draw on the burgeoning San Francisco Bay Area acoustic scene (getting their name almost by default by playing The Hotel Utah club so often.) “Utah Girl”, their self-titled first album, was released in 2001. The six song EP contained a broken down set of poignant yet heart wrenching songs of pain, isolation, and yearning with MacClain's deeply personal lyrics, shining a light on the darkness of her childhood past.
In 2003, after constant gigging and promotion, MacClain and Cole went their separate musical ways, only to reemerge and reunite in 2009 with the prolific duo writing their strongest material to date. New songs focusing on hope, growth, love, and the desire to get the world to slow down, take a deep breath, and get back to what was real- family, community, healing, and truth. This new uplifting direction was captured on their 2011 EP, the warmly received, “Back to Love", released under the Utah Girl moniker. Tired of being asked what part of Utah they were from, the duo officially re-christened themselves as MacClain & Cole in March of 2012 and they never looked back.
MacClain & Cole spent most of 2011 and early 2012 writing and recording their new album, the Kickstarter funded, “Step Into Now.” The big budget eleven song set was recorded at the historic Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco and features MacClain & Cole’s full band as well as a guest appearance by Jim Pugh from Robert Cray’s band on B3 organ.
The duo continue to perform in support of Step Into Now which has won several songwriting awards and received many accolades from critics and fans alike.