Pin It

It's an Ed Thing 

click to enlarge Eddie from Ohio plays The Egg on September 15. From left: Eddie Hartness, Robbie Schaefer, Julie Murphy Wells, Michael Clem.
  • Eddie from Ohio plays The Egg on September 15. From left: Eddie Hartness, Robbie Schaefer, Julie Murphy Wells, Michael Clem.


The first thing to know about the band Eddie from Ohio, is that, yes, there is an Eddie but, no, he’s not from Ohio. He and the other three members of this inventive folk foursome are from northern Virginia, but they’ve put time in all over the country at this point—including Ohio.

These self-described “road warriors” spent the better part of the last decade touring, but in the last few years the group has scaled back their travel schedule to one trip a month. They choose the “crème de la crème” appearances, says Michael Clem, who plays bass, guitar, and sings vocals, concentrating on places “where we know a good show is inevitable.”

Albany, as it turns out, is such a place.

Recently, the well-traveled Eddies were in Albuquerque, New Mexico, enjoying fish tacos, blue burritos, and enchiladas at the High Noon Saloon in the heart of Old Town, and looking forward to their trip to New York state. It took a while for them to find a home in Albany, Clem said, but they found one at The Egg. “It’s a freak of architecture,” Clem allows, but he says they always enjoy playing the ovoid venue.
The band began as friends, and their music has an open, friendly feel to it, as though everyone’s invited to join their good time. Grade school pals Clem and Robbie Schaefer both went to James Madison University, where they met Eddie Hartness. Clem and Schaefer, who plays guitar, formed the Jellyfish Blues Band. Then, in 1991, they asked Julie Murphy Wells, another high school friend, to sing with them, and Hartness to join them on drums. (Eddie from Ohio was Hartness’s nickname. It began as a reference to another local musician who was known as Ed from Ohio, and so Hartness became Eddie from Ohio. The newly established band soon took up the handle as its own.)

Initially, EFO played covers, but they soon began to write their own songs, and critics have praised the group for its stunning harmonies and clever songwriting. “EFO boast impressive harmonies, quite possibly the best female vocalist in the Mid-Atlantic, and an example of intelligent songwriting that should be the standard by which all followers should be measured,” wrote Music Monthly. The Boston Globe wrote that the band’s “quirky, hilariously smart-alecky songs are bringing young fans to folk and a welcome spirit of fun to the often dour world of the songwriter.”

Eddie from Ohio has recorded nine albums and won four Wammies (an award presented by the Washington Area Music Association). And they have a loyal fan following, a group that calls themselves Edheads. “They’re employed,” said Clem. “Self-reliant. Peaceful. Easygoing. The kind of people you would invite to your wedding.”

Eddie from Ohio is the kind of band you’d invite to dinner (and hope they’d do an after-dinner show). But since you probably won’t make it onto their itinerary, you’ll simply have to go see them.

Eddie from Ohio will appear at The Egg on September 15. (518) 473-1845; www.theegg.org. For the band: www.efohio.com.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Speaking of...

  • New DVD Chronicles Peter, Paul and Mary
  • New DVD Chronicles Peter, Paul and Mary

    The iconic folk trio is the subject of a recently released documentary.
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • Rich Conaty (1954-2016)
  • Rich Conaty (1954-2016)

    The Hudson resident and host of radio's "The Big Broadcast" died last Friday.
    • Jan 3, 2017
  • Turning the Turntables
  • Turning the Turntables

    This month, we once again ring in the new year with a specially selected panel of Hudson Valley music mavens, who run down their top releases of 2016 and talk current crushes and future faves along the way.
    • Jan 1, 2017
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • CD Review: "The Poughkeepsie Jazz Project"

    If you want to catch some of the best jazz in the Hudson Valley, head over to the Derby bar and restaurant on Main Street in Poughkeepsie. Since 2013, the duo of pianist John Scanlon and bassist Ben Basile has held court there every Tuesday, jamming with an array of local talent each week and establishing Po-Town as a rising force in local bop.
    • Aug 1, 2015
  • CD Review: Zs' "XE"

    Higgins and current fellow Zs Sam Hillmer (sax and pedals) and Greg Fox (percussion and electronics) are nothing short of poets of noise. Even in the most assaultive moments on Zs' new record, XE, a sense of delicacy, separation, and emotive purpose prevails.
    • Aug 1, 2015

Hudson Valley Events

submit event

Latest in Music

  • Art of Business: Bardavon
  • Art of Business: Bardavon

    See a show at the Bardavon this season. You won't be disappointed.
    • Jan 1, 2017
  • Turning the Turntables
  • Turning the Turntables

    This month, we once again ring in the new year with a specially selected panel of Hudson Valley music mavens, who run down their top releases of 2016 and talk current crushes and future faves along the way.
    • Jan 1, 2017
  • Nightlife Highlights: Kris Kristofferson
  • Nightlife Highlights: Kris Kristofferson

    Handpicked by music editor Peter Aaron for your listening pleasure.
    • Jan 1, 2017
  • More »

Related to Music

  • Opera in Phoenicia Park
  • Opera in Phoenicia Park

    With its open-air format, where attendees picnic in the parks and watch the stars emerge during performances, and its $5 youth tickets, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice is the perfect place to share with children a love of music and theater, in a variety of styles.
    • Jul 25, 2016
  • More »

More by Molly Belmont

  • Birth by Design

    From the the first contractions to a celebratory lobster dinner, the Neugarten Birth Center brings something new, compassionate, and comfortable to the experience of childbirth.
    • Oct 28, 2008
  • Out of the Toy Box

    Photographer Steven Planck turns the relics of childhood into a series of black-and-white portraits for thetwentytenproject.
    • Sep 25, 2008
  • The Reawakening

    Molly Belmont examines the full-scale renaissance that has occurred in Schenectady in the past decade.
    • Jul 28, 2008
  • More »

Hudson Valley Tweets