Cuppa Joe was formed in 1991 at Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey) by Doug Larkin, Bob “Diz” Diszler and Steve Spatucci. The band’s initial “Demonstrations” cassette attracted the attention of the newly-formed Dromedary Records, who asked the band to contribute the song “Meanings” to their …Nothing Smells Quite Like Elizabeth compilation.
Cuppa Joe began playing shows at The Rat (Trenton State’s on-campus bar), Tir Na Nog, Stevie T’s, and Club 14 in Trenton, and various other venues around New Jersey, New York City and the Philadelphia region.
The band returned to the studio in 1993 and recorded additional songs which were first issued on 1993’s Busy Work E.P. and then on their first full-length CD, Nurture, in 1994, which quickly became Dromedary’s top-selling releases. At this point, Doug’s younger brother Rick stepped in to fill the vacated bass position as Diz left to pursue a career in public service.
Before Doug was sent to Kenya for a two-year tour in the Peace Corps, the band recorded 16 new songs, which were released as Casualties of Explorations and Growth, a full-length cassette album. During this period, Drive-In Records of Grand Rapids, Michigan, released the “Archichipellago/Love Peace Anarchy Infinity” 7” vinyl single in 1995.
After Doug returned from the Peace Corps in 1997, he and Steve recruited Craig Frame of Uncle Seymour to play bass and record a few more songs. This material became their final self-released CD, Following Lights Into the Forest, in early 1999.
In the early 2000’s, Doug and his wife moved to Wisconsin, and Cuppa Joe became inactive for the next decade, with members focusing on their careers and newfound family life.
In late 2009, Doug began writing and recording a new batch of songs. Around the same time, Dromedary Records reformed and re-teamed with Cuppa Joe (and many other bands from its original stable), reissuing Nurture in an expanded digital format. A year later, Doug moved back to New Jersey. He and Steve began working to finish what would become their first album in more than a decade, Tunnel Trees.