Somehow, the thunderous, wailful vocals of Carrie Akre became lost in the deluge of Seattle's male-dominated grunge acts. In the early '90s, Akre was the lead singer of Hammerbox, a potent alternative rock outfit with guitar hooks as sharp as Nirvana's but without the record label push the group deserved. In August 1993, Hammerbox performed at Endfest in Washington State to an audience of more than 14,000 fans, sharing the stage with well-known college-radio favorites like X, Social Distortion, and They Might Be Giants. However, A&M Records wanted a hit from the band. When Hammerbox didn't deliver, the group was dropped. It was the beginning of Akre's difficulties with major labels, one that would motivate her to start her own label, Good-Ink Records. After Hammerbox split up, Akre formed Goodness in 1994. Goodness' self-titled first album was released on Lava, an imprint of Atlantic Records, but the label eventually folded. Goodness recorded their second LP, Anthem, for Epic Records in 1998; however, insufficient promotion killed its opportunity to succeed and Goodness disbanded. In 1999, Akre joined the Rockfords with guitarist Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, Rick Friel (vocals), and ex-Goodness members Danny Newcomb (bass) and Chris Friel (drums). Akre released her solo debut, Home, in 2000.