From The Scene: Fred & The EDsPosted: Updated:
The north country's music scene spans generations -- and genres. 7 News anchor Jeff Nelson takes a close look in a series he calls "From the Scene."
Finding a talented band in the north country is easy.
Finding one that's been entertaining people for decades? That's a little harder.
Back in 1996, a group of teachers started jamming for one purpose: to kill a little time.
From those humble beginnings, a dance floor powerhouse was born -- and the group hasn't stopped since.
This is a story "From the Scene."
We visited the funkiest basement in the greater Watertown area -- home base for Fred and the EDs.
They're a band known for dishing out hot hits by the dozens.
The recipe for their repertoire? It's deceptively simple.
"As long as it's danceable, you're going to find somebody that likes it," Fred Lanham said.
Lanham is a retired police detective and the Fred of Fred and the EDs.
He and drummer Tom Murray have been in the band since the very beginning when a group of teachers, educators, or "ED"s, formed a group to perform at Indian River Central School.
"They were doing a talent show and they had to have some kind of act because it took them so long to do the tabulation for who won the talent show," Murray said.
The show was a success and Fred and the EDs was born.
"We kept Fred, sort of as a mascot," Murray said.
"That's fine with me," Lanham said. "As long as I'm in the band."
"Sometimes we'll be playing and I'll hear the sound we're making and it's amazing to think you're part of that," Murray said.
It's a sound that has persisted for decades, a sound that has entertained thousands of people at the biggest north country events.
Members have come and members have gone, but each has added a brick to Fred and the EDs' unmistakable wall of sound.
"If you got harmonies and horns, you got it," Murray said.
Ron Casler plays guitar and also gets credit for mapping out the band's high-flying vocals.
"We don't force stuff and it works," he said, "I think we're the full bill of goods, so to speak."
So what's the secret to Fred and the EDs' longevity? They take the music seriously, but not themselves.
"Immaturity," Murray said. "You have to be completely immature."
"When I stop having fun, that's when I'm done," Lanham said.
Hard working, but fun loving. It's easy to see how these guys serve as an inspiration for other musicians in the scene -- which brings us to a Saturday night at rock bar in Watertown.
That's where Murray is checking out a new band of particular interest to him.
The drummer is his son.
That's our next story "From the Scene."