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Eclectic indie rock ensemble Spouse is the brainchild of songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist Jose Ayerve, who is known to expand and contract the ensemble to fit the needs of a given performance, sometimes appearing in a solo or duo format and at other times featuring as many as seven accompanists. Ayerve was born in Bogota, Colombia, in 1974, and immigrated to Springfield, MA, with his family as a child. Ayerve formed the first version of Spouse in 1994, and the group's first recordings, a pair of 7" vinyl EPs entitled One Marvel to DC and Focus, were released in April 1999. In the fall of 2000, Spouse's first full-length album, Nozomi, was released through Pigeon Records, a label founded by Ayerve, with Love Can't Save This Love following in 2003. While Spouse's lineup remained flexible, Naomi Hamby (guitars, keyboards, backing vocals), J.J. O'Connell (drums, backing vocals), and Dan Pollard (bass, guitars, keyboards, backing vocals) established themselves as key members of Spouse and would be constants in the group's subsequent recording lineups. Are You Gonna Kiss or Wave Goodbye? was released in the fall of 2004, and Relocation Tactics followed in 2007. By this time, the group's pool of talent featured Ayerve, Hamby, O'Connell, and Pollard as well as Ken Maiuri on guitars, bass, keyboards, and backing vocals; Don McAulay on drums and percussion; Michael Merenda on drums and guitars; and Mark Schwaber on guitars, bass, and backing vocals. ~ Mark Deming

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