The Storm Orphans were a rock band formed in Tuscaloosa in July 1986. The group included vocalist Rusty LuQuire, formerly of Western Decadence. He recruited brothers Mark and Shawn Patrick on lead guitar and bass. Drummer Eric Stock completed the quartet, but he left the group after graduating from the University of Alabama and was replaced by Jack Massey, formerly of The Hitchcocks.
The group got their start opening for White Animals at the Ivory Tusk. The crowd swelled so large that the fire marshal cleared the building before the main act could start. Their first radio single, a cover of Little Richard's "Greenwood, Mississippi" got regional airplay and the band used it to kick off their performance at the Radio Free Tuscaloosa IV outdoor festival in 1988. Their participation in Atlanta's New South Music Showcase in 1990 was featured on the MTV program "120 Minutes".
With Massey's influence, the group's sound evolved from a Led Zeppelin-inspired version of Southern Rock to a heavier college/alternative rock sound that paralleled West Coast grunge. The band participated in numerous music industry showcases, including South by Southwest and at CBGB in New York. Their hard-to-peg sound and insistence on holding the publishing rights to their music limited their attractiveness to record labels. The Storm Orphans instead released albums on their own Low Rumble Records independent label.
The hardships of touring without a major label contract eventually wore the band down, and the Storm Orphans dissolved in 1993. They played their final show at The End Zone on June 25 with the Autumnn Lords opening.
The Patrick brothers regrouped with Massey in The Inlaws, a country act. Mark Patrick later opened the Whirligig record store in Tuscaloosa and now performs with Jake Brake. The band played one reunion show at The Nick in 2003.
- The Storm Orphans (1989) "Promise No Parade" EP, Low Rumble Records SD-8901, recorded Muscle Shoals Sound Studio
- The Storm Orphans "Garage Sale", Low Rumble Records
- The Storm Orphans "(Living in a) Wasted Union", Low Rumble Records
- The Storm Orphans "Sin Souls in Hell from Sex" Low Rumble Records, recorded by Ed Roland
- Cobb, Mark Hughes (June 24, 1993) "Storm Orphans to play final gig Friday." The Tuscaloosa News
- Wake, Matt (September 1, 2016) "'Almost famous' Alabama bands of the '90s, their untold stories: Storm Orphans." The Birmingham News
- Storm Orphans music on bandcamp.com