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Efren plays Murphy's

Article Published: Dec. 9, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Efren plays Murphy's

Efren performs Dec. 10 at Murphy's in Boone.

Photo by Jason Thrasher


"We're sort of a freaky psychedelic folk band from Athens, Ga.," vocalist and guitarist Scott Leon-O'Day said.

And they're back in Boone with their eclectic mash of ... well, a lot of things.

"We've got a lot of jazz training," he said, "but I write a lot of songs with cowboy chords."

Think a funk-folk explosion with a southern twang, 14-months-old and growing.

"We're playing a lot right now," Leon-O'Day said.

Think Johnson City, Bristol, Knoxville and the High Country.

From their first stint in Boone a month ago, the group is High Country-hooked already.

"We love Boone," Leon-O'Day said. "We're loving the whole highlands up there."

Leon-O'Day, who calls Boone his "favorite spot to play," says his group has been called a quieter Drive-By Truckers. "It's a little more sensitive," he said.

While music has been a lifelong passion for Leon-O'Day, this particular band came out of personal tragedy.

"It's kind of a tribute to my father-in-law who passed away," he said. "His name was Efren. It's an old Mexican family name ... He was really ill, and my wife and son went to take care of him out in New Mexico ... I stayed home and wrote a bunch of songs."

It's those songs that soon became the sound known regionally as "Efren."

Efren released an EP, "Always Been a Bleeder," in August and just recorded a new album, "Rise Up and Melt," due out January.

"I'm really proud of it," Leon-O'Day said of the album, which was recorded at drummer Jamie Derevere's house.

Efren, made up of Derevere, Darrin Cook, Jonathan Brill and Leon-O'Day, plays Murphy's Restaurant and Pub (747 W. King St.) Dec. 10. Download their album at

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