Music Medley


Photo by Taylor Wilkinson

Guitarist, Duffy Duyfhuizen, and violinist, Olaf Lind, of Eggplant Heroes performed at Acoustic Cafe.

Story by Jenna Erickson, Freelance Writer

Music is an expression of human emotion and experience, and it unites us all to become one community, Max Garland, a band member of Eggplant Heroes, said.

This past Saturday, this musical group, Eggplant Heroes, performed at The Acoustic Cafe on South Barstow Street.

The band comprises Duffy Duyfhuizen, Joel Pace, Olaf Lind, Max Garland, Lucas K. Fischer, Caleb Horne and Dan Zerr. The original band came together from all parts of the globe 15 years ago and have been playing ever since, said Duyfhuizen, the main player of the group.

Their music consists of “a blend of country, bluegrass, blues — influences from all those directions, rather than straight on rock and roll,’’ Duyfhuizen said.

They blend harmonies with various instruments including guitar, trumpet, violin, mandolin and bass, and they write many originals.

“I like that we have original music in the group,” Duyfhuizen said. “But when we do something by someone else, it’s not necessarily because it’s a hit that everyone’s going to know, but rather it’s a song that we like. We want to show people some other folks so they go listen to some Jason Izbo or another artist.”

Every member of the group united here in the west central part of Wisconsin, according to their website.

“I was living in Madison, Wisconsin as a street musician after school did not work out so well the first go-around,” said Lind, the violin and viola player. “I came to Eau Claire to sort of get back on my feet and figure out where I was going — to figure out if I wanted to go to school or if I just wanted to go forth boldly into the world and do something else.”

“We had all been playing in different groups or by ourselves,” Duyfhuizen said.

He met Garland at UW-Eau Claire, where they were both English professors many years ago, he said. 

“Max and I talked for years about getting together to see how our guitars and voices would blend,” Duyfhuizen said,  “Then we finally got around to doing it.”

Pace, another UW-Eau Claire English professor, joined the group next, Duyfhuizen said. 

“He provides another harmony layer and we said, ‘Let’s see how Joel does,’” Duyfhuizen said. “Then Olaf joined, so that’s the original four. As the band grew, it grew by people who could just fit right in.”

Only four of the seven played Saturday.

“You sort of end up with a high level of authenticity,” Lind said. “People are performing because they really want to and it’s an interesting city because from here, all things are possible. You can incline yourself in the cities or say ‘Gosh, I want to go hiking, kayaking, or go in the Northwoods.’ It’s a very interesting geographical location where sort of all sorts of experience become possible and I think that’s reflected in the art and music in the city.”

Erickson can be reached at [email protected].