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Cavo's four members — frontman Casey Walker, guitarist Chris Hobbs, drummer Chad La Roy, and bassist Brian Smith — champion a mix of hard rock muscle and alt-pop melodies. The latter three members formed the group in March 2001, and a series of setbacks (including one bandmate's disintegrating marriage and another's alcohol problem) helped fuel The Painful Art of Letting Go. The album marked Cavo's independent debut upon its release in 2006; moreover, it led to shows alongside the likes of Staind, and the mounting buzz helped bring Cavo to the attention of Reprise Records. After signing a contract with the label in 2008, the band retreated to the studio to record Bright Nights Dark Days, which was released the following year.