New Orleans-based E.O.E. brings Mardi Gras to Vail |

New Orleans-based E.O.E. brings Mardi Gras to Vail

Charlie Owen
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

VAIL, Colorado “-When a band hales from New Orleans its usually expected to possess a unique sound built upon many different genres and styles of music. E.O.E. takes it one step further and pushes the boundaries, going beyond the typical brass and blues bands sound New Orleans constantly gives birth to. Each of the four members of E.O.E. ” Billy Franklin on guitar and vocals, Koan on percussion and vocals, David Hyman on bass and vocals and Gabriel Velasco on drums and vocals ” is from the same city, but they share different musical tastes and influences. Together they mix elements of jazz, hip-hop, funk, reggae, Latin, Afro-Cuban and rock with socially and politically-conscious lyrics. The end result is a high-energy show.

E.O.E. stands for Equal Opportunity Employment. Although the name appealed to everyone in the band, Franklin said its worn as a badge of diversity.

“The band right now happens to be, which is not on purpose, but it happens to be a black guy, a white guy, a Latin guy and a Jewish guy. So Equal Opportunity Employment really works … Our whole message is unity through diversity and building strength through the differences,” Franklin said.

And though the band members may have their differences, that’s also part of what makes the project work, Franklin said.

“We’re not promoting a Democratic or Republican or Independent message, we are encouraging all those differences to come together and work,” Franklin said.

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E.O.E. is playing a pre-Fat Tuesday show with local rock band M.T.H.D.S. at the Sandbar in West Vail Tuesday night. “Because the band E.O.E. is from New Orleans and they dominate that town, we’re going to do a Mardi Gras theme. We’re going to have party favors and drink specials and just blow up the whole debauchery of Mardi Gras that night,” said Dick Dime, talent buyer for the Sandbar.

To even play in New Orleans requires a high level of talent and being surrounded by so many other skillful musicians has forced E.O.E. to work hard to rise to the top of the city’s music scene, Franklin said. Now they’re working on getting their name known outside their hometown.

“We got a lot of stuff going on that we’re really happy about and we’re finally starting to see two or three years of touring and being broke and all that start to pay off,” Franklin said.

They’ve recently signed with In The Pocket Artists, will have a slot at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival this year and Franklin said fans can expect a new album sometime this summer, with a tour to follow. But more than anything, Franklin said the band wants to make a positive impact in society.

“I think one of the things that was responsible for a lot of the movements against the Vietnam War and stuff like that was music … A lot of that was in response to war and hard times and that’s when the best and most influential art comes out and I’m hoping that right now is the beginning of another time like that,” Franklin said.

High Life Writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or

What: New Orleans-based band E.O.E. share the stage with local band M.T.H.D.S.

When: Tuesday at 9:30 p.m.

Where: Sandbar Sports Grill in West Vail.

Cost: $10.

More information: Call 970-476-4314 or visit

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