Eclectic Ladyland

The common threads, strangely enough, are early King Crimson and Waters-era Pink Floyd. "Those are bands that really strayed from the norm, as far as rhythm structure and things like that," explains Evi. "The vocal structure wasn't the standard verse-verse-chorus, verse-verse-chorus. Because we have those influences as a whole, that probably helped us to develop our sound." The band regularly works a Pink Floyd cover into its set, usually a two-song medley such as "Vera"/"Comfortably Numb" or "Welcome to the Machine"/"Mother." "We don't play them like the original songs," notes Evi. "We don't play them note for note, we kind of develop our own style of playing with those songs. It's kind of like a tribute to Pink Floyd in a way."

The record labels may not have caught up yet with the band's eclectic leanings, but that hasn't stopped INHOUSE from reaching a comfortable level of local success. With a considerable following in their Palm Beach County base, INHOUSE usually plays five or six nights a week. Under the representation of Fantasma Productions, the band has shared billings with such diverse acts as Frampton, Widespread Panic, Better Than Ezra, Moist, Fleetwood Mac, and Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. (They politely declined an offer to open for Willie Nelson; eclecticism apparently has its limits.)

Most telling, sales for Five Wooden Chairs, a five-song CD released in early 1994, have hit the 2200 mark. That's virtually platinum in local-music terms. The band is now down to fewer than twenty copies of Five Wooden Chairs, but no additional pressings are planned. Evi explains INHOUSE has moved beyond the soft, understated sound of that CD. "We only recorded it three months into the band," she points out. "We were all kind of nervous about stepping on each others' toes at the time, so our creative energy was kind of laid-back."

Judging by INHOUSE's muscular performances, those concerns are long gone. Last month the band members went into the studio to begin work on a full-length CD that more closely reflects their current sound, which has steadily evolved from the earliest days when INHOUSE was simply Gin and Evi playing the obligatory Indigo Girls covers in coffeehouses. "That bothered us a lot," says Evi. "We learned a few Indigo Girls songs just to appease [the crowds]. But after we did that we found it was the worst thing we could do, because people were thinking, 'Oh, they play Indigo Girls songs, they must sound like the Indigo Girls, or maybe they're trying to be the Indigo Girls.' So we totally cut them out of our repertoire."

Gin chimes in, "It was when we started playing full original music toward the end of our duo career, we were starting to do two sets of originals, one set of covers, and as we would add more and more original songs, if anybody would come up to us and make a request like the Indigo Girls..." (Evi: "We'd say,'Who?'") "It would be sad," continues Gin, "because we were like, 'Well, nobody needs two sets of Indigo Girls out there.'"

That was in early 1993. By the end of that year, Kalasz, Williams, and Stein had joined the band -- in that order, one at a time. The piecemeal way in which INHOUSE came together may help explain the group's intricate sound. "What we've developed isn't the sound we were thinking we would develop," concludes Evi. "That all came when the band formed, and then we just fell in love with the music we were creating."

INHOUSE performs at 9:00 p.m. on Friday, August 10, at New World Cafe, 9661 W Sample Rd, Coral Springs; 340-7108. Admission is $2.

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