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Published: 2002/11/23
by Michael Lello

Take Enough Home – From Good Homes


From Good Homes disbanded in 1999, but thanks to Take Enough Home, we
have another vibrant page in their sonic scrapbook to remember them by: a
nine-track album containing highlights from the popular New Jersey group's
farewell show at the Waterloo Concert Tent in Stanhope, New Jersey.

Starting in 1994, FGH would play a yearly show before thousands of its
hometown fans at that venue, but even the uninitiated can glean from the CD
that there was something special in the air that night. This was not a
mournful funeral for the 5,000 FGH fans and its beloved 5-piece group; it
was a celebration of the years of music that collective of fans and
musicians shared and enjoyed.

The band, led by current Railroad Earth frontman Todd Sheaffer, shines from
the get-go, with an impassioned take on "Charlie Loves Our Band", an
appropriate nod to a dedicated FGH fanatic. "We're not famous, we're not a
famous band," Sheaffer sings, "but that's all right, Charlie loves our

Sheaffer has a gift for storytelling – both in his writing and unique,
slightly nasal singing – and here he draws us into the larger story. If the
listener isn't familiar with FGH, he sure wants to find out more after this
standout track.

That said, to call "Charlie", or any other tune on Take Enough Home,
a standout is almost unfair because the entire album is so enjoyable.
There's the buoyant E Street Band-style pop of "Celebrate"; the
world-music-flavored "There She Goes"; and the violin-driven "The Giving
Tree". And the 12-minute version of "Where Songs Begin" deserves separate
mention, with a big Dan Myers sax-driven peak a little after the halfway
point and some hot work from guest keyboards Damian Calcagne. The jam is
pretty and not overwrought, and it isn't easily predicted after the song's
understated opening.

While its unfortunate that From Good Homes left behind its dedicated fan
base and uplifting, unique, hook-laden power pop, it'd be much worse if it
continued down an uninspired, burnt-out path. Maybe the five will get back
together someday. Maybe they won't. But one thing's for certain: when they
were together, they were tough to beat. And thanks to Take Enough
Home, we have more than memories, word-of-mouth and other intangibles to
back up that statement.

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