Great Lakes started out as a songwriting/recording project of Dan Donahue, Ben Crum, and Jamey Huggins. Dan and Ben met in high school and started writing songs together. Jamey joined in soon after. The band played their first live shows in 1996. They currently play as a three-piece band, with Ben on guitar, Kyle Forester on bass, and Kevin Shea on drums. But at times the band's size has swelled to include at least half a dozen other members.