Though the name does not reveal it, Eddie from Ohio is a band from Virginia. The group began playing together in 1991 in local bars. Friends from James Madison University, Robbie Schaefer, Eddie Hartness, and Michael Clem found band mate Julie Murphy at Virginia Tech and began their musical tour of local clubs and bars playing cover songs of their favorite bands. Their music has drawn comparisons like the Grateful Dead meets Peter, Paul, & Mary, or Jewel meets Bare Naked Ladies. Eddie From Ohio combines many musical influences to create their own sound. Less than a decade after the creation of the band, the foursome began touring more famous venues across the United States.
The tight harmonies and humorous lyrics appeal to a wide variety of music lovers. They signed with a booking agent in 1996 and soon toured the country, filling venues like New York's Bottom Line and The Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, CA. Though the band had signed with a booking agent, they chose to remain independent in their recording career. The band still retains control of all of their releases and splits the business responsibilities evenly among themselves. Shaefer coordinates the tour schedule with the booking agent, Murphy manages the accounts and merchandise, Clem maintains the publicity and mailing, and Hartness keeps the band's touring vehicle, Harvey the RV, in good condition.
Like many self-made musicians, Eddie from Ohio does not rely on bit publicity to sell albums and concert tickets. The band has gained more fans by word of mouth than any other method. Fans, called Edheads, follow the band loyally. The grass-roots style of marketing gives the band an air of integrity in the eyes of their folksy fans. The way the band manages itself fits well with their laid-back style of music and cool demeanor. The band recognizes how much of their success they owe to their devoted fans. A group of "regulars" follows the band to venues around the country, spreading the word of the musical group that made it on their own.
Hard work, original music, and dedication have helped Eddie from Ohio make it to the success they have today. Today, the band has produced seven CDs, which have sold more than 100,000 copies. They have collected more than 17,000 fan names on their mailing list and receive airplay on over 100 radio stations worldwide. In addition to their self-managed touring career, the band has been invited to headline at prestigious festivals like Philadelphia Folk, Folks Festival in Lyons, Colorado, and City Stages in Birmingham, Alabama. The Washington Area Music Association awarded them the Best Contemporary Folk Group title in 1998. The energy of their music is astounding, even after many hard years on the touring circuit. The foundation of their music is built on hand percussion and acoustic guitar. The four-part vocal harmonies pull together the folk/rock sound to please audiences of all ages. Eddie from Ohio specializes in playing to a smaller crowd, and getting everyone on their feet enjoying the music. Audiences leave Eddie from Ohio concerts satisfied every time.
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