Washington, DC-based Eddie From Ohio have been
favorites of the modern folk scene of the Eastern seaboard and nationally
since forming back in 1991. In that time, they have self-released nine
CDs (seven studio and two live) on their own Virginia Soul label. The
group is made up of singer Julie Murphy Wells, guitarist/vocalist Robbie
Schaefer, drummer/vocalist Eddie Hartness and bassist/vocalist Michael Clem.
was produced by Lloyd Maines
(songwriting and producing father of Dixie Chick Natalie Maines), and thus
has a slightly higher country quotient than some earlier releases.
However, the band is still wonderfully unpredictable musically. Their
diverse inspirations are all in full flower here – This Is MeThis Is Me has
gospel spirituals ("Walk Humbly, Son"), traditional folk (the brilliantly
authentic "No Pain, No Problem"), pop-rock (the terrifically catchy "The
Bird"), bluegrass ("Horse"), nostalgic pop with vague nods at funk ("Fly")
and quiet ballads ("This is Me" and "Baltimore"). Even the band's name
shows how widespread their musical scope is – it is a reference to eD
fROMOHIO, a member of long-defunct punk band fireHOSE.
"The Bird" rocks out triumphantly on the chorus after
a loping tune. "And the Rain Crashed Down" is a gorgeous pop-country
lament. The marvelously atmospheric "Adiós, Lorena" is a wonderful
smashup of Mexican beats, jazzy brass, nearly-rap spoken word verses and a
heart-stopping chorus. I love the gothic folk of "Independence,
Indiana." Wells also does a quite impressive white-blues-mama holler
I don't know if This Is Me will get this band
noticed by radio any more than their previous releases.
However, if it doesn't, it is a real shame.