Ohio jam band Eyeris Wide celebrates CD release at Hannah’s

Eyeris Wide (L-R) Andrew Baxter, Steve Asher, Ben Shalloe, Josh Folino, Nathan Atkins

By Katie Fender

An up-and-coming group of eclectic musicians, based in Hamilton, OH, Eyeris Wide have been gaining traction in the musical world, performing at a variety of venues and music festivals throughout the region. The band also just finished their self-titled first album, and will be celebrating the release with a live show at Hannah’s in Dayton.

Lead singer and guitarist’s Ben Shalloe’s voice has been compared to Brandon Boyd of Incubus and Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon. Rounding out Eyeris Wide are Steve Asher (guitar), Josh Folino (bass), Nathan Atkins (percussion), and Andrew Baxter (drums).

Shalloe and crew have been performing together for the last five years. While the band likes to constantly create new sounds, they definitely have some influences that inspire their music, such as The Grateful Dead, Ekoostik Hookah, Bob Dylan, Dave Matthews Band, Blind Melon, and Incubus. However, the beats they put together on their own are totally unique with a funky and upbeat vibe. The band is dedicated to their music, putting together original lyrics and rhythms with each song.

Like a lot of great bands have started, Shalloe and his bandmates were just a few friends who liked to play music together. In fact, they’ve been doing it for the past decade. It wasn’t until recently they decided to take it more seriously and become an official band and put together their first album. “I’d describe it as Americana jam with a little bit of funk—kind of a weird combination, but it works,” said Shalloe. “I write most of the songs—usually I’ll just have an idea, something I’m inspired by and I’ll just start writing the music and lyrics to it. Then I’ll bring it to the band and we kind of create the rest of the sound around it.”

While writing music and practicing with the band, Shalloe admits there’s nothing better than performing. “Playing live for a crowd is one of the best feelings in the world,” said Shalloe. Fans of Eyeris Wide can look forward to a second album in the near future. A few songs are already in the works and the band wants to continue to create music and make records.

Eyeris Wide performs at a lot of festivals and enjoys hanging out before shows, which often turns into a kind of meet and greet with fans, who they have nicknamed “The Pupils.” They also enjoy listening to the music of other bands at festivals. They strive to make their shows not only a great entertaining live act, but to create the feeling of truly engaging audience members.

Booking manager for Hannah’s, Jonny Dreads, and Eyeris Wide’s manager, Mike Shalloe (Ben’s brother), have been friends and worked together to bring this show to Hannah’s—the bistro is becoming a hot spot as a music venue. Dreads has been involved in music in the Dayton area for about a decade now and he is an expert on discovering great bands. Booking Eyeris Wide was a no-brainer.

“I’ve got a pretty wide realm of influences as far as bands I’ve seen in festivals.” Dreads adds that it seems like “I’ve seen about 1,000 lives acts just last summer alone.”

“I’m always trying to scour for live acts, but a lot of bands now actually submit to us,” Dreads continues. “Hannah’s is kind of opening up as a venue and getting some more publicity around it and people are excited to contact us and pitch their band to us. We even get some national acts now.”

The band is not only memorable for their great music, but also for their clever name, which was created by Ben Shalloe. “They were originally called ‘Reflection’ but after we looked up other bands with the name Reflection, we found out there was a band in Cincinnati with the same name that had a lot of likes on Facebook, so we decided to change it,” said Mike Shalloe. The name “Eyeris Wide” was something that just popped up in Ben Shalloe’s head that really stuck with the band. It was original, creative and a memorable play on words. Come see for yourself when Eyeris Wide takes the stage at Hannah’s on April 7.

Eyeris Wide will perform at Hannah’s, 121 N. Ludlow St, Dayton, on Apr. 7 at 9 p.m. For more information, visit hannahs.com or call 937.640.1335. More information about Eyeris Wide can be found at EyerisWide.Bandcamp.com.

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Reach DCP freelance writer Katie Fender at KatieFender@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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