Eddie From Ohio Charms at Rams Head Onstage - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Eddie From Ohio Charms at Rams Head Onstage

There something to be admired about a band whose between song chatter is just as entertaining as the songs themselves.

Robbie Schaefer (All photos by Chris Swanson)

Michael Clem (All photos by Chris Swanson)

That quality removes the performer’s wall between fan and musician was on full display Saturday night when the folk rock quartet Eddie From Ohio took the stage at Annapolis’ Rams Head Onstage.

EFO, made up of vocalist Julie Murphy Wells, guitarist/vocalist Robbie Schaefer, bassist Michael Clem and drummer Eddie Hartness gave the sold out crowd an 18-song show mixed with jokes, anecdotes and playful pleas to buy their T-shirts, CDs and drum lessons from Hartness.

Fan inclusiveness is what they do. At their recent three-night run at The Birchmere celebrating their 25-year anniversary as a band, EFO had fans create an all request set list for the shows.  They broke from their set list Saturday as well, inserting Eddie’s Concubine near the end of the show when a group of fans had called out for it.

The audience had its own interaction with the music as well, including using hand gestures to mimic the wearing away of the Rocky Mountains during Old Dominion, and synchronized fist pumping at the crescendo of The Three Fine Daughters of Farmer Brown.

The show even included a vocabulary lesson, as they tried to teach the crowd to pronounce Going Back to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch , a song from Clem’s new solo album Fifty Clementines. ( and yes, it’s a real place.)

Scheafer joked before the song: “The consortium of folk DJ’s has all unanimously decided there’s no way in hell it will get any airplay…because the title is too damn long” to which Clem replied “I’ll take any distinction I can.”

Robbie Schaefer

Robbie Schaefer

Later in the set Schaefer performed Remember Me from his 2014 solo album Ruby, bragging his song can get airplay on folk radio because the title was shorter.

The interaction did nothing to detract from the music itself though.  Murphy Wells’ vocals on Independence, Indiana  included the lyric “and she’s about had enough, of waving brave goodbyes, the greyhound bus, the sighing brakes, nothing else makes such a desperate sound.” It stirred a heartbreaking empathy as she sang about a teenage girl sees her friends flee the town she loves.

The show moved through several crowd favorites like Number Six Driver, And The Rain Crashed Down, and Fly, each with its own patter surrounding it, but each very much standing on their own musically and lyrically.

Eddie From Ohio has been together for 25 years.

Eddie From Ohio has been together for 25 years.

The night’s encore began with a very non-partisan call to be politically engaged and vote in the upcoming primaries and general election, followed by a cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s America.

They wrapped up the performance with a sweet acapella singing of Walk Humbly Son.

Set list

Gravity, Old Dominion, One, Sahara, Hey Little Man, Number Six Driver, Irish Dream, Going back to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, Independence Indiana, The Three Fine Daughters of Farmer Brown, Fly, Remember Me, Baltimore, Drum Solo, Eddie’s Concubine

Encore: America (Simon and Garfunkel cover), Walk Humbly Son

About the author

Chris Swanson

Chris Swanson had bled orange and purple since moving to Baltimore in 1985. Swanson, a Catonsville resident and father of four, has a Communications degree from Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. Contact the author.

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