Black Bear Saloon started following the break-up of Larne band Throat. Two members of Throat, Willy Mundell and Russell Crookes, formed Dutch Schultz with ex-Pulszar drummer Darren Gallagher. Concurrently Crookes was also involved in a project known as The John Ford which featured Throat's Mike Barr on drums and Jeremy Smyth of Los Cabras and Lowend. The John Ford broke up in late 2006 after repeated attempts to find a singer, including an audition with future Black Bear Saloon vocalist Aaron Abernethy.
In early 2007 Barr and Crookes starting writing material with Mundell again, re-uniting three quarters of the Throat line-up. Ex-From Where I Stand vocalist Abernethy was asked to come and try out again for the position of vocalist and was subsequently invited to join.
In November 2007 the band went into Manor Park Studios to record five tracks with producer/engineer Neal Calderwood and proceeded to disseminate them to radio stations and MySpace to much acclaim. The track 'Broken Fingers' was played for the Unsigned Band of the Week slot on Daniel P. Carter's Radio 1 Rock Show. 'Something To Strive For' also received much airplay on Introducing… with Rory McConnell, also on Radio 1.
Following the recording session the band started to play live shows. However, after playing only two shows and an impromptu set at Barr's wedding, Mundell decided to leave the band in Feburary 2008 to concentrate on Dutch Schultz who were about to release their debut album.
Deciding to carry on and find a new guitar player, the remaining members of Black Bear Saloon auditioned and quickly accepted former Element guitarist Peter McCavery into the band. Shortly following this Crookes departed from Dutch Schultz, ending the membership overlap between the two bands. The new line-up started writing songs right away, and made their live debut at the 2008 Curfew festival in Lavery's Bunker. Shortly after this they recorded a live session for Introducing… with Rory McConnell, and started writing the songs for their next visit to Manor Park.
After a string of well received shows in the Belfast area, the band went back to Manor Park to record four new tracks, which when combined with re-recorded version of the previous session form the foundation of what they intend to be their debut album.
Their debut single Face The Future was released February 2010.
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