Eddie from Ohio

Labels mean nothing. Not only is drummer Eddie Hartness not from Ohio -- neither are any of the other three members of Eddie from Ohio -- but the "folk-rock" tag often given them is as misleading as can be. Sure, they do a fine version of Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" on their new double-disc live CD, but they're no Byrds. The foursome from northern Virginia is an original. Throw them into the catchall "Americana" bin if you must, but even that doesn't do them justice.

Genre-wise, EFO is all over the place, and it changes, sometimes drastically, from song to song. Rock, folk, jazz, pop, Celtic and mountain music are all marked "present" at roll call. Maybe it's the wicked four-part harmonies, led by the awesome vocals of Julie Murphy Wells that are responsible for the folk-rock appellation. Whatever. Seductive hooks, sharp lyrics, rock-solid percussion and soaring vocal work have gotten EFO eight CDs since 1992. The double live album Three Rooms should open up the band to a wider audience: Much of the band's best recent stuff will be found there.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Steve Byrne