06 February 2007
Previous posts a’plenty shout out to the best d*mn folk band ever, Eddie From Ohio. The end of January found those Northern Virginia birds flying south to Atlanta’s Rialto Center for the ACM “One City, Many Voices” benefit. Highfalutin gig digs at the Rialto compared to their previous haunts at the Variety Playhouse and Eddie’s Attic. Assigned seats, great acoustics. Cheek’s EFO posse was 13 strong, including virgin attendees from Florida and Carmelita Diva’s brood (urchins hooked on EFO since gestation).
Pre-show band chat found them impressed with the opening act’s vocal chops, Atlanta’s own Morehouse College Glee Club. Cheek’s interest was piqued, as high school choir had her gospel geek on, led by the superlative Milton H. Borens. Posse elves helped with merch setup and swag selling, and we scurried in as the show started.
50+ strong, the Morehouse Men didn’t disappoint. A capella good time memories unearthed. Tickled pink when the men’s quartet pulled out Plenty Good Room. And the wow arrived as promised with "Betelehemu”, a drum-led folk song they usually reserve for holiday performances. Stunning.
EFO opened with Number Six Driver, thrilling us lapsed Virginians in the house. Julie blew us away with her heart-rocking “Great Day”, backed in gospel glory by Mike, Eddie and Robbie. The first two measures found the Morehouse Men with hands raised; by song's end they led the night’s first standing ovation. Julie’s palpable joy infected the rest of the night’s performance, later ‘fessing that it was one of her personal faves of all time. Standing O #2 after “Old Dominion” and Robbie’s basso close. Post-show, the Morehouse bass section gave Robbie additional props.
Only odd moment of the night was Michael’s peculiarly damning admonition on buying swag. He doesn’t sit to pee, I tell you whot. The quiet, unplugged closer of Mike’s “Walk Humbly Son” was a great cap on the evening, but he’s still a Hail Mary shy of redemption. The night harkened this listener back to “De Camptown Races” sung on a 1983 district chorus album, roll call listing Robbie, Julie, Knightly Jest alum Chad Bittick, the impeccable Vern Yip, and Cheek. Good times. Great Day.