In the 1990’s, the band From Good Homes (FGH) hit some incredible heights, scoring a record deal with RCA and selling out countless shows—even receiving an achievement award from Billboard Magazine and the Irving Plaza for the most consecutive sold-out performances ever (12) at the historic NYC venue. FGH would frequently perform with other up-and-coming acts, including Hootie & The Blowfish, Dave Matthews Band, and Blues Traveler, all of whom opened shows for FGH at one point or another. The band went on indefinite hiatus in 1999 but ten years later in 2009, they came back together to play reunion shows at the Wellmont Theatre in New Jersey. Since then, the band has played a few reunion shows virtually every year. FGH is notable for its genre-defying sound, a rural Americana feel coupled with a rock ‘n’ roll vibe that has been labelled “Hick Pop.”

On Saturday August 5th, lead singer-songwriter Todd Sheaffer (now best known from the band Railroad Earth), three-time Grammy nominee bassist Brady Rymer, drummer Patrick Fitzsimmons, multi-instrumentalist Jamie Coan, and horn player Dan Myers reunited to the delight of their fans at The Fields at Waterloo in Sussex County, New Jersey, the band’s original stomping grounds, for one jam-packed evening.

The band opened with two fan favorites, “Wide Open Wide” and “Suzanna Walker”, before launching into “Head”, the first extended jam of the night. “Head” originally started out as a From Good Homes song, but it has since transitioned over to the Railroad Earth repertoire in addition to being covered by other bands including Greensky Bluegrass.

Following “House on a Hill”, the band launched into “The Butterfly & The Tree”, a lovers’ tale about spending an afternoon “in a field a mile from nowhere,” painting each other up with body paints and laughing “into the sky.” Over the last several years, FGH has used the song as a vehicle to remember artists when they pass: The band interpolated “Little Red Corvette” in the middle of the tune after Prince’s passing, for example, and included “Let’s Dance” in the song after David Bowie’s death. On this occasion, the band payed homage to Tina Turner by tucking one of her earliest and best known hits, “Proud Mary”, in the middle of a “The Butterfly & The Tree” sandwich with vocals deftly handled by drummer Patrick Fitzsimmons.

Todd Sheaffer introduced the next song, “Into the Black”, by reminding fans that it appeared on the band’s 1997 EP, Live at Waterloo. Drummer Patrick Fitzsimmons then handled lead vocal duties for the second and final time of the night with “Back in the Day”, which appeared on the band’s most recent release, 2019’s Time and the River. The song is a fun reminiscence of Fitz’s last days of middle school in 1973 and the music happening at the time, name checking a list of songs including “Drift Away”, “Bennie and the Jets”, “Love Me Like a Rock”, “Papa Was a Rolling Stone”, “You’re So Vain”, “Rocky Mountain High”, and more.

“Comin’ on Home”, a song featuring a list of Sheaffer’s East Coast friends who headed out west to get rich but wound up coming on home with empty pockets and their “tail between their legs” was next, followed by the first Brady Rymer-led song of the evening, “Sweet Spot”, featuring another audience-pleasing extended jam. The long first set then closed with a one-two punch as “Celebrate” segued into Sheaffer’s newer tune about the sorry state of the world, “I Throw Up My Hands”.  The latter song saw him literally throwing his hands in the air and occasionally kicking up his feet too as the audience danced along.

Second set opened with a pair of rockers, “Drivin’ n Cryin’” followed by the bucolic rural New Jersey-appropriate “Second Red Barn on the Right”, sung energetically by a beaming Brady Rymer. After crowd favorite “The Giving Tree”, the band brought the energy down for a moment with the beautiful acoustic number “Scudder’s Lane”. “Cool Me Down” then led into a pair of FGH favorites that have also become staples in the Railroad Earth repertoire, “”The Old Man and The Land” and “Way Down Inside” (also know as “The Hunting Song”).

“I Only Want” featured another furious, psychedelic-tinged jam and was followed up by the rare “Lady Liberty”, Sheaffer’s recently penned commentary on the hypocritical nature of a nation of immigrants that is no longer welcoming to foreigners. Brady Rymer took the reins once more on “There She Goes”, which had a phenomenal mandolin-led jam courtesy of Jamie Coan. “Rain Dance” came next with its message of healing our troubles and our wounded. The set then ended with the celtic-tinged jig “Maybe We Will” and the classic FGH song “Broken Road”.

The triple encore of already fun songs “I Am A Mess”, “Charlie Hogan”, and “Fruitful Acre” was rendered even more joyous as the band welcomed longtime friend Stevo Nelson, playing his one-of-a-kind, strapped on, washboard-based percussion device on the first and third songs. The encore had everyone on stage and in the audience dancing elatedly and left them fully satiated—at least until the next From Good Homes reunion.

Click below to view fan-shot videos and photos from the 2023 From Good Homes reunion show below, and scroll down for full-show audio courtesy of i3lkpeter and to view the full setlist.

From Good Home – “Second Red Barn on the Right” – 7/5/23

[Video: Recreate Magazine]

From Good Home – “Scudder’s Lane” – 7/5/23

[Video: Recreate Magazine]

From Good Home – “Back in the Day” – 7/5/23

[Video: Recreate Magazine]

From Good Home – “I Only Want” – 7/5/23

[Video: Recreate Magazine]

From Good Home – “Maybe We Will” – 7/5/23

[Video: Ralph Milite]

From Good Home – “I Am A Mess” – 7/5/23

[Video: Ralph Milite]

From Good Home – “Head” – 7/5/23

[Video: Ralph Milite]

View More Videos

From Good Homes – The Fields At Waterloo – Hackettstown, NJ – 8/5/23

Setlist: From Good Homes | The Fields At Waterloo | Hackettstown, NJ | 8/5/23

Set 1: Wide Open Wide, Suzanna Walker, Head, House On A Hill, The Butterfly & The Tree>Proud Mary>The Butterfly & The Tree, Into The Black, Back In The Day, Comin’ On Home, Sweet Spot, Celebrate>I Throw Up My Hands

Set 2: Drivin’ n Cryin’, 2nd Red Barn On The Right, The Giving Tree, Scudder’s Lane, Cool Me Down, The Old Man & The Land, Way Down Inside, I Only Want, Lady Liberty, There She Goes, Rain Dance, Maybe We Will, Broken Road

Encore: I Am A Mess*, Charlie Hogan, Fruitful Acre*

*w/ Stevo Nelson