2023 Christmas Tour Thoughts

One December, not long after Over the Rhine began recording and touring, we were invited to perform some seasonal songs on a public radio station in Cincinnati. It was Christmastime and apparently they thought we were up to the task. We worked up a few carols and traditional tunes and Karin even read a poem by Thomas Hardy called, The Oxen.

It actually felt really good and conjured up an unusual mix of feelings from childhood: innocence, loss, wonder, joy, sadness. I think we were surprised.

People must have tuned into the radio broadcast, because we began receiving inquiries as to whether we had recorded any of our Christmas songs. I don’t think we had considered it at the time, but any young, struggling songwriter is open to the suggestions of the marketplace, and people were persistent.

In December of 1996 – can it really be over 25 years ago? – we recorded and released our first song cycle of some of the Christmas carols that still haunted us. We included a few original tunes and called our wintry mix The Darkest Night Of The Year. We played a special “darkest night” release concert on winter solstice in an old 1300-seat theater in Cincinnati. Every last seat was full. Folks began snatching up copies and seemed to agree that they hadn’t heard anything quite like it.

We began playing concerts around the Midwest every December and found that the rooms were usually packed full of people who had bundled in out of the cold with prized compatriots. Hats and scarves abounded. If you stepped outside during intermission, you could make ghosts with your breath in the crisp night air. And it was dark – oh so dark: a time of year with its own music.

A decade later, in 2006, we released our first full collection of original Christmas/holiday songs called Snow Angels. What is it about Christmas music and the undeniable gravitational pull it exerts on some songwriters? So many Christmas songs have already been written. I think we are genuinely curious about the ones that haven’t yet been written.

We continued to tour every December and these special year-winding-down concerts began to feel like an annual tradition – gatherings of extended musical family, without whom, we’d be homeless.

By the time we released our third holiday album of original songs, Blood Oranges In The Snow, in December of 2014, Karin suggested we had discovered a new genre of music: Reality Christmas.

It’s true: if you’ve buried a loved one, or lost a job, or battled a chronic illness, that stuff doesn’t go away during the holidays. It can be a complicated season for many of us.

And then there’s family.

When Karin and I make the annual holiday pilgrimage home to visit family and pull into the driveway and turn off the car, one of us inevitably looks over at the other and says, “Tie a rope around my waist, I’m goin’ in.”

In 2023, more than 25 years after releasing our first holiday CD, we are still at it. This year, we will be leaning into some harmonies and making an intimate but hopefully holy ruckus. It won’t be all Christmas music: we’ll certainly mix in tunes from many of our records along the way. But hopefully it’s still true: hopefully you haven’t heard anything quite like it.

Maybe a midnight snow will fall and turn each streetlight into its own private snow globe. Maybe, regardless of whatever reality Christmas brings, we’ll hear a faint echo of a song once rumored to have been sung by angels, a song of peace on earth, goodwill toward all…

We’ve never heard anything quite like it.

We hope you’ll join us,

Linford Detweiler
With Karin close by
Nowhere Else
Clinton County, Ohio

Upcoming Shows

Over the Rhine  

Date City Venue
Sep 22 - Sep 25 Martinsville, OH The Barn at Nowhere Else
Time: 5:00pm. Songwriting Workshop Sold Out More information
Oct 07 Belfast The Black Box
Time: 8:00pm. Buy Tickets
Oct 11 Utrecht, Netherlands TivoliVredenburg
Time: 8:15pm. Buy Tickets
Oct 12 Wageningen Junushoff
Time: 8:30pm. Buy Tickets
Oct 13 Rotterdam, Netherlands LantarenVester
Time: 8:30pm. Buy Tickets
Oct 14 Groningen Spot Groningen
Time: 8:30pm. Buy Tickets
Nov 09 Seattle, WA The Triple Door
Time: 7:30pm. Buy Tickets
Nov 10 Seattle, WA The Triple Door
Time: 7:30pm. Buy Tickets
Nov 11 Portland, OR The Old Church Concert Hall
Time: 7:30pm. Buy Tickets
Dec 01 Kent, OH Kent Stage
Time: 7:30pm. Buy Tickets
Dec 02 Grand Rapids, MI Calvin College
Time: 8:00pm. Buy Tickets
Dec 03 Chicago, IL Old Town School of Folk Music
Time: 7:30pm. Buy Tickets
Dec 05 Ann Arbor, MI The Ark
Time: 8:00pm. Buy Tickets
Dec 06 Pittsburgh City Winery Pittsburgh
Time: 8:00pm. Buy Tickets
Dec 07 Alexandria, VA The Birchmere
Time: 7:30pm. Buy Tickets
Dec 08 Philadelphia City Winery
Time: 7:30pm. Buy Tickets
Dec 10 Boston, MA City Winery
Time: 7:30pm. Buy Tickets
Dec 15 Cincinnati, OH Memorial Hall
Time: 8:00pm. Buy Tickets
Dec 16 Cincinnati, OH Memorial Hall
Time: 8:00pm. Buy Tickets
Dec 17 Cincinnati, OH Memorial Hall
Time: 4:00pm. Buy Tickets

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Nowhere Else Songwriting Workshops!

Come join us on the farm for a deep dive into this beautiful mystery called songwriting. Very limited availability. Email for tickets.

July 14-17, 2023: Songwriting Workshop, Part 2
Open to those who have previously attended a songwriting workshop with Karin and Linford.

September 22-25, 2023: Songwriting Workshop
Anyone is welcome at this workshop during one of the most beautiful times of the year in Ohio.


 “Karin Bergquist may be the finest singer on the alt-country / Americana scene right now, striking the perfect balance between earthy sensuality and ethereal grace.”

Over the Rhine’s latest
studio album Love & Revelation
available now!

“An album of loping ballads and probing lyricism that addresses grief, loss and what it means to be an American in a conflicted country. But Love & Revelation, like Over the Rhine itself, is ultimately about restoration and perseverance.”
- Rolling Stone

“Take a trip through this Ohio duo’s music,
and you’ll want to follow them anywhere…”


Now available in Deluxe Gatefold Vinyl


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