The Eddies are all about gathering as friends and singing and making music for fun. Our spot for getting together (during tolerable weather) is alongside the Mississippi River across from downtown St. Paul, Minnesota. But we get great pleasure from taking our music to people wherever and whenever they may have us. Groups large and small have heard us sing our songs of work, love and death. We appreciate every chance we get to sing for others. We aim for harmonies in our singing and feature guitar and accordion accompaniment when the song calls for it. We started out singing sea shanties and sea songs (It’s Minnesota after all! You might be amazed to know how hugely popular sea songs are here.) But we added a wide range of songs, both traditional and composed, new and old. You likely would recognize many of the songs we sing but, certainly, not recognize others. It’s quite a mix.
The Eddies originally got together as a book club back in the mid 1990s. At that time, the five original members all lived on St. Paul’s West Side and got together, once a month, at a local bar for discussions about books, beer and decent conversation (not necessarily in that order). At some point, we started closing out our evenings with a couple of songs and after a couple of years of that signed up to sing some songs at a local old-time music contest. We didn’t win the contest, but we all agreed that it would be more fun to get together once a week to sing than to meet up once a month for book talks. One of our members was, right about that time, rebuilding an old towboat he salvaged out of the mud along the Gulf coast into St. Paul’s premier floating Bed and Breakfast (The Covington Inn; it’s still there) and we dedicated every Tuesday night to gathering along the River to sing, enjoy beer and figure out the world’s problems. Almost twenty five years later, we’re still at it. We believe we are some of the luckiest guys in town.
Of the original five members, three of us are still part of the weekly gathering. One member retired several years ago and one moved to Arizona. We have brought a couple of new guys into our circle of singing and problem solving. It is all working out real good. It is sometimes kind of surprising to think of just how many songs we have sung over the years.
Why are we called The Eddies? It is not because any of us is named Eddie. Not a one. Our name relates to our familiarity with River. An eddy on the River is a whirlpool-like swirl of water where the movement of the water runs counter to the mainstream. We kind of related to the idea of running counter to the mainstream and The Eddies were born.
The Eddies are: Mark Richardson, Tom Welna, Chuck Lentz, Paul Garding and John Moriarty (our newest member). Every time Paul Martin comes back from Arizona (or if we happen to travel down there for some warmth) he is welcomed back with joy.