|Centered around the husband-and-wife songwriting team of Don Peris (vocals, guitar) and Karen Peris (vocals, guitar, piano), Lancaster, PA, natives The Innocence Mission crafted a tasteful, politically correct brand of collegiate folk-pop similar to Sarah McLachlan or 10,000 Maniacs (in fact, The Perises appeared on Natalie Merchant's 1998 album Ophelia). With a rhythm section composed of bassist Mike Bitts and drummer Steve Brown, The Innocence Mission released their eponymous debut album in 1989; Umbrella followed in 1991.
Thanks to the advent of the adult alternative radio format, The Innocence Mission were able to break out to a wider audience with the release of their third album, 1995's Glow; material from the album appeared on the soundtrack of the film Empire Records and on the television show Party of Five. The Innocence Mission remained quiet for several years, as The Perises made guest appearances on albums by Merchant, John Hiatt, and Joni Mitchell, in addition to having their first child.
The latter experience greatly informed the group's fourth album, 1999's Birds of My Neighborhood, which witnessed the departure of drummer Brown, leaving the group officially a three-piece. ~ Steve Huey, All Movie Guide