From Good Homes are an eclectic, seasoned bunch of roots-rock musicians from New Jersey who have found success in the record business on their own terms. The group consists of Todd Sheaffer (vocals and acoustic guitar), Brady Rymer (bass and vocals), Jamie Coan (acoustic guitar, mandolin, fiddle and vocals), Dan Myers (saxophones, percussion, melodica and vocals), and Patrick Fitzsimmons (drums and vocals). Their generally positive, upbeat folk-rock and blues-rock sound and lyrics are a reaction to the mostly hardcore punk scene they came out of in the late 1980s. What makes the group distinctive are their choice of instruments and their melody-driven arrangements.
Like other groups who have taken a grass-roots approach to their careers, From Good Homes built their reputation one show at a time and built their sizable mailing list and resultant fan base through their marathon live performances. From Good Homes got started in the local clubs around their base in the northwestern corner of New Jersey. In the early 1990s, their following spread down to the Jersey Shore and into New York City.
Sheaffer, Rymer and Fitzsimmons all attended high school together and began learning ensemble playing and arranging the most natural way, through frequent rehearsals. The trio called themselves the Dogs before Dan Myers and Jamie Coan later joined the band. They took their name from the reason a judge let all five members off with community service for playing after hours in a bar in Sparta, N.J.
After gaining a foothold in the early 1990s at a lower Manhattan club, Wetlands, the band began to draw bigger crowds and shared bills with bands like Hootie and the Blowfish, Dave Matthews, Joan Osborne and Rusted Root. From Good Homes released their self-produced, independent Hick Pop in August 1994. Shortly after that, RCA Records offered the band a recording deal. The band recorded their debut album, Open Up the Sky, at Kingsway Recording Studios in New Orleans; Don Smith, who had also worked with Tom Petty and the Rolling Stones, produced the album, which was released in the spring of 1995. A self-titled effort followed in 1998. ~ Richard Skelly