Mariner was formed by two members of the late period Outsiders (the Tom King version), Bill Cavanaugh (guitar) and Jon Simonelli (vocals, keyboards). Originally the two musicians worked on recording an LP which has been described as 'progressive folk-rock'. Press accounts at the time hailed the group as something unique in the Cleveland music scene.
After spending several months of recording, Bill and Jon put together a working band that included John Belcon on bass, formely with the North River Street Rock Collection, and Egor Flagg, from Akron, on drums, Egor had been in a few bands and even ran a club. The band also had Rocky Marszel on violin, John Trczinski on piano, and Mike Coughlin on flute and sax.