In the spring of 2010, Charlie Van Stee and Josh Kaplan disbanded The CVS Trio after four years together. The purpose of the split was for Charlie to focus on a new path in his life. Setting aside his musical aspirations, Charlie instead began placing much needed attention on the health of his mother, a job at a local co-op, and a family that included a very animated 6 year old.
After a year away from music, he began taking these experiences and working them into a new set of songs, recorded as demos. Although Charlie hoped to professionally record the songs, he hadn't originally intended to release them. Songs about personal loss, anger, and confusion -as well as hopefulness- came together in what would form the basis of Van Stee's debut record. Charlie contacted longtime collaborator Josh Kaplan (drums), who reached out to Jacob Hanson (producer) about starting the process of arranging the home demos; although they didn't have a clear idea of what the project would become. At the suggestion of Jacob, Andy Mark (bass) and Joey Kantor (keyboards) were enlisted to contribute their own unique sounds. Lance W Conrad was brought on board for co-production work, and later became a full-time member of the group (guitar, backing vocals).
The current lineup of VAN STEE (Shawn Connelly on keyboards and Jimmy Stofer on bass) debuted in the fall of 2012, and the album that brought the band together is slated to be released in March of 2012. Their intimate live shows and relatable, yet catchy, material has generated an ever-increasing amount of grassroots buzz in their hometown of Minneapolis. Although VAN STEE has had a suprising amount of support for a band without an officially released album, they have been encouraged by heavy radio play of their three advance singles (We Are, Color in the Paper Planes and When the Hammer Comes) on Minnesota's 89.3 The Current as well as on Seattle's KEXP.