- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 1, 2001

Some bands travel by plane; others use a lavish tour bus to get to a venue. Members of the Northern Virginia folk quartet Eddie From Ohio needed only their minivans Friday to get to Wolf Trap's Filene Center in Vienna, Va., where they performed before a sold-out crowd of 7,000 nutty fans who seemed to know every word of the band's lyrically driven songs.
The band, led by lead singer Julie Murphy Wells, started the show with two songs about Virginia — "Old Dominion" and "Number Six Driver" — for a toe-tapping audience. It also played the ever-popular "The Three Fine Daughters of Farmer Brown," gospel favorite "Great Day" and EFO's newest single, "Quick," from its latest album of the same name.
Yes, Miss Wells' father, Joe Murphy, did come onstage during "Farmer Brown" and pump his fists in the air and do a little jig. He also got a standing ovation.
Guitarist and singer Robbie Schaefer did a fine job performing the touching "Candido & America," while bassist and singer Michael Clem kept the music and laughs rolling with "Tommy the Canexican."
Percussionist Eddie Hartness, usually silent, waxed poetic about the band's "Let's Get Mesolithic," saying the song speaks of a time when "drummers were considered gods." True to form, Mr. Hartness' drumming on the congas and the trap kit was thundering, with Filene Center's wonderful acoustics making the effect tenfold.
Even though the band seemed a little nervous playing before such a large crowd, EFO settled right in and made the show feel as intimate as ones it did when the group began.
Richmond-based Fighting Gravity played a fine opening acoustic set, drawing from 13 years' of fan favorites. The radio-friendly "Mission Bells" was particularly sweet to hear, as was fan favorite "Bend the Light," which, even with acoustic instruments, sounded just as bright as it does with more volume.
Newfoundland's Celtic-inspired music of Great Big Sea was a treat for those who never had heard of the acoustic quartet — but nearly every song the band played with its fiddles, accordions and guitars was greeted with glee and applause. If Great Big Sea's pop-folk song "Consequence Free" is any indication, the group could be the next — Canadian export to realize big success in America, even topping that reached by Barenaked Ladies.

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