Ed Stengel had been playing in and out of different bands of various genres since he was 16. When he turned 18 he moved out into the Ozark forest area of Missouri in the US. There he fell in love with the rich meaningful sounds of contemporary folk music. He began to put his beliefs and philosophical views to music as a form of release from everyday life. After some hard times during the year he met up with his old band mate Ben Bigelow that summer and began to lay down acoustic demo tracks as a type of therapy. After four songs were recorded the local response to it was immense. They decided to name the project "Pawns or Kings" citing the Count of Monte Cristo as the influence. After the limited press EP "It must be out there" was distributed the reaction was incredibly positive. This encouraged the duo to continue writing and recording until "Letters to Lucy" their first album was conceived. It was a mix of original songs and re-written covers of songs that held a lot of meaning to them. Once the album was completed the singles "Sister of the Sun" and "House of Cards" began receiving a good amount of airplay on various radio stations across the world. With growing success and a string of local live concerts the duo became a trio as percussionist Justin Arndt joined the group. In the winter of 2011/2012 the group went into the studio and laid down what is to be their first album as a full band effort. Their sound is described by WhatstheRuckus.com as being "resplendent with expertly played banjo and absolutely beautiful vocals." They have been compared to the likes of Mumford and Sons, Matthew and the Atals, Iron and Wine, and City and Colour.