Formed in 1988 while all four original band members were attending Louisiana State University, Better Than Ezra were acclaimed for their roots-fueled college rock as well as for singer/guitarist Kevin Griffin’s earnest and infectious songcraft. Sadly, in 1990 the band’s lead guitarist committed suicide, but after a brief hiatus, the remaining three musicians opted to continue.
Deluxe, Better Than Ezra’s debut album, was released independently in 1993 and then again in 1995 after the trio’s signing to Elektra. “Good,” the album’s lead-off single, became an essential anthem of the alternative age, reaching #1 on Billboard’s “Hot Modern Rock Tracks” chart and spurring Deluxe to RIAA platinum certification.
Founding drummer Cary Bonnecaze departed Better Than Ezra soon thereafter, the intraband tensions inspiring the title of 1996’s Friction, Baby. The album included two further Modern Rock hits in “Desperately Wanting” and “King of New Orleans,” leading to its RIAA gold certification.
Their third and final Elektra release, 1998’s How Does Your Garden Grow?, saw Better Than Ezra stretching their sound to include elements of electronica, trip-hop, and psychedelia. The band have since carried onward with a number of further albums, their emotive sound still inspiring a legion of fervent fans known as “Ezraites.”