Free Hot Lunch were one of the zaniest trios to step onto a folk festival stage. Although they were capable of singing serious-minded tunes, including "Home of the Whales" and a harmonious rendition of John Sebastian's "Lovin' You," the group were more at home with tongue-in-jowl, Jimmy Buffett-meets-the Beach Boys ditties, including "Sex in a Volcano," "Sex By Mail" and "Sidewalks on Parade." They joked about a hangover during "I Hate to Wake Up in Nebraska" and wondered how penguins kissed during the title track of their debut album, Penguin Love. Never mind that they were half a continent away from the ocean.

Free Hot Lunch, featuring Jeff Berg (guitar, vocals), John Corning (acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin and vocals) and Jeff Laramie (guitar, vocals), crafted a fun-filled sound that sounded as though they had sand in their sandals and were preparing to ride the waves. Their breakthrough album Penguin Love was a studio effort with instrumental support by Randy Sabien (violin), Jeff Eckels (bass), Todd Steward (drums, percussion), John Torrell (drums), Kathy Mueller (keyboards) and Frank Furillo (harmonica), while their last album, Eat This was a live collection recorded at Orphans in Chicago on October 28 and 29, 1988. ~ Craig Harris, Rovi