Eddie From Ohio

Friday, January 9, at the Beachland Ballroom.

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Don Austin, with Teeth of the Hydra, Dead Sea, and Winds of Saturn Annabell's, 782 West Market Street, Akron 9 p.m. Friday, January 9, 330-535-1112
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 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" on the roll call. Maybe it's the wicked four-part harmonies, led by the awesome vocals of Julie Murphy Wells, that's 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 only open up the band to a wider audience: Much of the band's best recent stuff will be found there.

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