Sweetstone Productions presents Eddie From Ohio in concert, April 30 at the Smith Opera House. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show.
Too energetic to be labeled just “folk” and not angry enough to be pegged “alternative,” Eddie from Ohio (EFO) continues to defy description with their unique blend of vocals and acoustic instrumentation. A bedrock foundation of hand and stick percussion and a textural flavoring of acoustic guitar/bass/harmonica support the four-part harmonies and lyrically driven original music. While this combination has drawn comparisons like the Grateful Dead meets Peter, Paul & Mary, or like Jewel fronts the Barenaked Ladies, EFO fuses a multitude of musical influences to create their own trademark sound.
Performing Songwriter wrote, “The manic strumminess recalls Ani DiFranco or Dave Matthews, but there's also a deep undercurrent of high, lonesome mountain harmony that should appeal to fans of Alison Krauss and Union Station.”
With this trademark sound, EFO has produced seven CDs (selling over 100,000 copies to date), toured from Maine to California, cultivated a mailing list of over 20,000 names, received air play from hundreds of radio stations worldwide, been invited to play the Main Stage at prestigious festivals like Philadelphia Folk, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival (Hillsdale, N.Y.), Folks Festival (Lyons, Colo.) and City Stages (Birmingham, Ala.), appeared on syndicated radio programs Mountain Stage and World Cafe, and were awarded “Best Contemporary Folk Group” by the Washington Area Music Association in 1998, 2000 and 2001.
Not bad for a Virginia-based band that began in 1991 playing covers in neighborhood bars when three James Madison University graduates (Robbie Schaefer, Eddie Hartness and Michael Clem) teamed up with Virginia Tech alumna Julie Murphy (now Murphy Wells). After more than a decade, with the same four members, EFO graduated from town taverns to renowned listening rooms and concert series throughout the country, where their tight harmonies and humorous lyrics, set against an eclectic array of musical forms, can be featured to best advantage. Since signing with a national booking agent in 1996, the band has covered the country, from The Bottom Line in New York City to The Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, Calif. – from The Variety Playhouse in Atlanta, Ga. to The Boulder Theatre in Colorado.
The band will be the first ones to admit that they owe a great deal of their success to the fans (or Edheads) who have reached new fans by simple word of mouth. Whether it's due to Virginians who have moved to other parts of the country spreading the news, or friends and relatives of Edheads getting turned on to the music, club owners remain astonished at the loyal following EFO brings with them wherever they play. The grass-roots style of the band's marketing (through mailings and the Internet) has been the mark of the band's enormous growth — growth that shows no signs of slowing down.
EFO tickets are available at the Smith box office and by calling 315-781-LIVE (5483) or toll-free 866-355-LIVE (5483). They are $15 in advance and $17 at the door. Seating is general admission. The Smith accepts MasterCard, Visa and Discover Card.
The Smith Opera House is located at 82 Seneca Street in Geneva.