Meet Me At The Edge Of The World

  • Disc One

  • 1. Meet Me At The Edge Of The World
  • 2. Called Home
  • 3. Sacred Ground
  • 4. I'd Want You
  • 5. Gonna Let My Soul Catch My Body
  • 6. All Of It Was Music
  • 7. Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down
  • 8. Highland County
  • 9. Wait
  • Disc Two

  • 1. All Over Ohio
  • 2. Earthbound Love Song
  • 3. Against The Grain
  • 4. It Makes No Difference
  • 5. Blue Jean Sky
  • 6. Cuyahoga
  • 7. Baby If This Is Nowhere
  • 8. Wildflower Bouquet
  • 9. The Birds Of Nowhere Farm
  • 10. Favorite Time Of Light
1. Meet Me At The Edge Of The World

One lone tupelo stood against the ironweed
The goldenrod that tamed our need
For something other than fear and greed
Meet me at the edge of the world

Expectations great and small
Unfettered us as I recall
From dreams we scaled before the fall
Into the lap of the world

Cold hard tied like rebar frames
Pale skeleton of the man remains
We’re floating checks and naming names
Paper airplanes to the edge of the world

But I remember that face
All the miles we misplaced
Leave behind all but one trace
And walk me to the edge of the world

That lone tupelo soon will be on fire
For all I know with God’s desire
As Autumn in Ohio spirals
Off of the edge of the world

Here we stand on cold concrete ground
‘Cause someone said they liked the sound
I’m thankful that they’ve hung around
But I’m craving the edge of the world

Is it time to disappear?
Oh babe, can we just get out of here?
You and me love and no one near
Walk me to the edge of the world
Meet me at the edge of the world
I’m waiting at the edge of the world

2. Called Home

Just shy of Breakin’ Down
There’s a bend in the road that I have found
Called home

Take a left at loneliness
There’s a place to find forgiveness
Called home

With clouds adrift across the sky
Like heaven’s laundry hung to dry
You slowly feel it all will be revealed

Where evening shadows come to fall
On the awful and the beautiful
Every wound you feel that needs to heal

And silence yearns to hear herself
Some long lost memory rings a bell
Called home

Old pre-Civil War brick house
Standin’ tall and straight somehow
Called home

Mailbox full of weariness
And a word of hard won happiness
Called home

Leave behind your Sunday best
You know we couldn’t care a less
Out here we’ve learned to leave the edges wild

And stories they get passed around
And laughter – it gets handed down
Read it in the lines around a smile

Our bodies’ motion comes to rest
When we are at last
Called home

3. Sacred Ground

Love me like a memory held too long
Like the need to feel some forgotten song

Kiss me to chills like there’s only me
Like it’s hard to kill the last cottonwood tree

Love me later when the stars fall down
A burning light for a wedding gown

They stole the blood right out of this ground
They’d still kick a flower when it’s down

Help me trace the scars on mountains
The sun that sets in a bloody fountain
Take me home and lay me down
On the hungry earth (Love me, love me)
On the sacred ground

Love me like the breath you held too deep
Like the need you feel to lay still beneath

Leave me with teeth marks on my skin
Like some holy spirit’s tryna get in

Love me like a rumor you can’t outlive
Like the deepest cut you’ll ever forgive

They stole my blood right out of this ground
They’d still kick a flower when it’s down

Help me trace the scars on mountains
The sun that sets in a bloody fountain
Take me home and lay me down
On the hungry earth (Love me, love me)
On the sacred ground

4. I'd Want You

If the moon fell from the sky
Rendering everything black and blue
I’d want you
I’d want you

If the swallows fell like snow
Tumbling tiny angels with wounds
I’d want you
I’d want you
I’d want you
I’d want you

I will lay my body down
When the storm is finally through
I’d want you
I’d want you

If my faith should ever fail
Faltering look what I dragged it through
I’d want you
I’d want you

If the music all went still
Enabling all my fears to come true
I’d want you
I’d want you

I will lay my body down
When the storm is finally through
I’d want you
I’d want you

I’d want you
I’d want you

5. Gonna Let My Soul Catch My Body

Gonna let my soul catch my body
My body make up my mind
Gonna let my soul catch my body
My body make up my mind
This road makes me weary
I’m livin’ here on borrowed time

Gonna pray the Lord free my spirit
The spirit gonna give a sign
Gonna pray the Lord free my spirit
The spirit gonna give a sign
This world makes me weary
Sellin’ me what’s never been mine

Now if I’m good to my body
My body she’ll point the way
Now if I’m good to my body
My body she’ll point the way
All these days they are numbered
I might not have too long to stay

Gonna lay out fine linen
Gonna make up my dyin’ bed
I’m gonna lay out fine linen
Gonna make up my dyin’ bed
If you call me sweet Jesus
I’m ready to lay down my head

Gonna let my soul catch my body
My body make up my mind
Gonna let my soul catch my body
My body make up my mind
This road makes me weary
I’m livin’ here on borrowed time
(Oh) This road makes me weary
I’m livin’ here on borrowed time

6. All Of It Was Music

The night was bending in a grin
As streetlight shadows tattooed skin
Whatever we were tangled in
All of it was music

The bed sheets were our whitest flag
The war became a game of tag
We surrendered all we had
And all we had was music

The humming of the window unit
The street noise often sang right through it
A drunken song somehow we knew that
Even it was music

The newness of uncovered skin
Your messy hair your goofy grin
Your shattered places deep within
All of it was music

To those I’ve wronged, Please forgive me
I hope this song, helps you believe me
The holding on the letting go
It all gets buried soft and low
But even then a song might grow
All of it was music

We left the city far behind
We traveled light we traveled blind
With no idea what we’d find
Or whether we could use it

The rolling fields were lined by trees
Wild flowers brought us to our knees
The poison ivy thick as thieves—
We swung an ax to bruise it

A place where we could rest awhile
Where hummingbirds could thrum for miles
And we could leave the edges wild
And let wild birds sing through us

Fires where all our sparks could scatter
Midnight stars could drop their ladders
I’m not sure any of it matters
But all of it was music

To those I’ve wronged, Please forgive me
I hope this song, helps you believe me
The holding on the letting go
It all get buried soft and low
Don’t ask me how but I still know
All of it was music

To those I’ve wronged, Please forgive me
I hope this song, helps you believe me
This world so full of joy and pain
Was more than one heart could contain
We let it spill and flood the plain
All of it was music

7. Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down

Feel the ache of Ohio
Through the veins of Illinois
Mine the seams of West Virginia
Land of buried joy

Lean into the half-light
Fade into the night
Moonrise hovers on the highway shoulder
And scatters into light
 
Don’t let the bastards get you down
Don’t let the bastards get you down

Backroads shining in the moonrise
She’s a dragon with a lazy eye
Canary’s in the coal like a fallen soldier
Drunk on the song of a little white lie
 
Don’t let the bastards get you down
Don’t let the bastards get you down

Are they gonna steal my love?
Are they gonna steal my love?
Are you gonna free my love?
Are you gonna free my love?

Three birds sittin' on a chainlink fence
Got no cares in this world

Don’t let the bastards get you down
Don’t let the bastards get you down
Don’t let the bastards get you down
Don’t let the bastards get you down

8. Highland County

How did you find me
I can’t remember anymore
Along the Ohio
My wreckage washed upon your shore

As sure as the snow is gonna fall
In Highland County
I want you to know your kindness
Through this night has found me

Now that you found me
How do I offer all my thanks
A river’s still flowing
Love can still overflow its banks

As sure as the snow is gonna fall
In Highland County
I want you to know the angels that you sent Surround me

How I’m gonna miss
How I’m gonna miss
How I’m gonna miss your smile

It’s good to reminisce
Now that it’s come to this
I hope and pray it’s been worthwhile

Now as the day dies
Fading into gray
Straight as the crow flies
Silence speaks all we need to say

As sure as the snow is gonna fall in Highland County
I want you to know that mockingbird you sent it found me

As sure as the sun is gonna shine in Highland County
I want you to know your kindness through this night has found me

How did you find me?

9. Wait

Wait for the sound of the water dog
To call up the ghosts through the cracks in my past
Make the hair raise on my skin
Tonight we’ll settle in
Into a promise that I’ve held fast

Life is a beauty that’s mocking you
She’s a river to drown in while singing the blues
Let the backstroke pull you in
On your lover you descend
Leaving your mark without leaving a bruise

Make the sound
That I need you to
Hit the ground
Like it’s haunting you
Come around
Like you’re dying to
Then wait…

Wait for the sound of the water dog
To call up the ghosts through the cracks in my past
Make the hair raise on my skin
Tonight we’ll settle in
Into a promise that I’ve held fast

1. All Over Ohio

Well the rain it has been falling
Like it wants to drown us all
And the trees are gently swaying
Like they’re thinkin’ ‘bout the fall
I still get shivers when I hear
You singin’ down the hall
I’m gonna kiss you all over Ohio

And the starlings they were flying
Earlier today
Doing their maneuvers
Clouds of feathers on display
Makes me wanna kneel in prayer but
I’ve forgotten what to say
I’ll just name all the birds in Ohio

Now the reason I am writing
Is to tell you ‘bout the flood
Ahh, the river is so beautiful
But it leaves a load of mud
All I have now are these dirty songs
I guess they’re in my blood
They make me wander so far from Ohio

(Yeah) It’s a silly undertaking
To fly halfway ‘round the earth
With an imaginary womb of songs
Intent on giving birth
I gave all that I had to give
I’m not sure what it’s worth
Scatter the ashes right here in Ohio

All I wanna be is a thousand black birds
Bursting from a tree into the blue
Love – let it be not just a feeling
But the broken beauty
Of what we choose to do

And the halleujah chorus
Used to make my Daddy cry
I still wonder ‘bout the ruckus
Angels make up there on high
In the meanwhile there are measures
We can take to get us by
Lay me down next to you in Ohio

But my expectations stand still
Like beggars at the door
I’m flat broke from the dues
I’ve paid them all before
Gonna let the Cuyahoga
Wash me up on burning shores
Shipwrecked with you in Ohio

All I wanna be is a thousand black birds
Bursting from a tree into the blue
Love – let it be not just a feeling
But the broken beauty
Of what we choose to do

I have seen the slow corruption
Of the best ideas of Christ
In the pulpits of our nation
Gospel turned into white lies
If you preach a subtle hatred -
The bible as your alibi
Goddam you right here in Ohio

But my shameless hallucination:
He’s still knockin’ at my door
And I know how this one’s gonna end
He’s gotten in before
I’ve run as fast as I can run
I’ve had to ask, What for?
He haunts me all over Ohio

All I wanna be is a thousand black birds
Bursting from a tree into the blue
Love – let it be not just a feeling
But the broken beauty
Of what we choose to do

Well the rain it has been falling
Like it wants to drown us all
And the trees are gently swaying
Like they’re thinkin’ ‘bout the fall
I still get shivers when I hear
You singin’ down the hall
I’m gonna kiss you all over Ohio

2. Earthbound Love Song

When you find your little dream
Costs you everything
I hope your broken bluebird heart
Still sings

When you find the kiss that brings
The holy aftermath
Follow that blinding light down a crooked path
And wind up here
In an earthbound love song

I wanna see you smiling
On Sunday afternoon
I want your soul to sing you
An everlasting tune

Some questions cannot be answered
Who’s gonna bury who
We need a love like Johnny
Johnny and June

You might feel you gotta find your way home
Mostly all alone
Jacob’s ladder’s still hangin’
But the angels are gone
(Long gone)

They left the jukebox loaded
Our world exploded
Did the preacher have it all wrong?
Is heaven a place you fly off to
When the day is done?
Or do you work right here
On an earthbound love song?

I wanna see you swayin’
On Sunday afternoon
I want your soul to sing you
An everlasting tune

Some questions cannot be answered
Who’s gonna bury who?
We need a love like Johnny
Johnny and June

Some questions cannot be answered
Who’s gonna bury who
We need a love like Johnny
Johnny and June

We need a love like Johnny
Johnny and June

3. Against The Grain

Rolling boxcars
Made a big impression on you
200 rolling acres
Singin’ them shape note blues

Swinging high and rolling low
Doesn’t much matter which way we go
Outbound train moving fast and slow away
Hey…

Heaven’s angels
Are they ridin’ shotgun with you?
Welcome strangers
Sitting at a table for two

People come places go
Only one sure thing that I know
If the train’s sold out
You gotta stow away
Hey…

You can ride with me
Far and wide and free…

Sketching familiar faces on the barn
Whitewashed by the dawn…
Against the grain leave the edges wild
Come now child

Rolling boxcars
Made a big impression on you
200 rolling acres
Singin’ them shape note blues

4. It Makes No Difference

It makes no difference where I turn
I can't get over you and the flame still burns
It makes no difference, night or day
The shadow never seems to fade away

And the sun don't shine anymore
And the rains fall down on my door

Now there's no love
As true as the love
That dies untold
But the clouds never hung so low before

It makes no difference how far I go
Like a scar, the hurt will always show
And it makes no difference who I meet
They're just a face in the crowd on a dead-end street

And the sun don't shine anymore
And the rains fall down on my door

These old love letters
Well, I just can't keep
Just like the gambler says
Read 'em and weep
And the dawn don't rescue me no more

Without your love, I'm nothing at all
Like an empty hall, it's a lonely fall
Since you've gone it's a losing battle
Stampeding cattle, they rattle the walls

And the sun don't shine anymore
And the rains fall down on my door

Well, I love you so much
That it's all I can do
Just to keep myself from telling you
That I’ve never felt so alone before

5. Blue Jean Sky

All the ghosts are in the trees
All afire in the glowing leaves
Love makes me wanna skin my knees
Throw my heart upon your healing

Underneath a blue jean sky
Underneath a blue jean sky
Open up your love and show it to me

Underneath a blue jean sky
Underneath a blue jean sky
Gimme a swig of a little kick ass beauty

Just the whisper of a breeze
Rollin’ up these threadbare shirtsleeves
Love makes me want to bruise my knees
Sweet Jesus can you come release me

Underneath a blue jean sky
Underneath a blue jean sky
Open up your love and lay it on me

Underneath a blue jean sky
It’s just a faded blue jean sky
Gimme a swig of a little kick ass beauty
Gimme a swig of a little kick ass beauty

All the ghosts are in the trees

6. Cuyahoga
7. Baby If This Is Nowhere

Baby if this is Nowhere
How sweet it is to find
Baby if this is Nowhere
How sweet it is to find
Now that we are finally here
Nowhere suits me fine

I’m crazy for you baby
I hope that you can see
I’m crazy for you baby
I hope that you can see
When we disappear here
Ain’t nowhere I’d rather be

Baby if this is Nowhere
Ain’t it good to know
Baby if this is Nowhere
Ain’t it good to get to know
We’re right where we belong
When there’s nowhere left to go

So welcome now to nowhere
Where there’s nothin’ left to lose
Welcome now to nowhere
There’s nothin’ left to lose
Out here where the sky’s got a big ol’
Case of the blues

Baby if this is Nowhere
Then let the good dogs run
Baby if this is Nowhere
Then let the good dogs run
Finally we will lift a glass
When the dog days are done
Finally we will lift a glass

8. Wildflower Bouquet

If I die in the winter send roses 
In the spring, magnolias
If I’m called in the summer or in the fall 
Best of all – bring me a wildflower bouquet 

In the dirt and clay don’t lay me down
And stare at a cold lonely hole in the ground
When I go to my Maker in smoke and ash
It won’t be your grief I crave

Your tears will not be necessary
Build a blazing fire, drink something merry
When the sparks fly off into the wind
That will be me blowing away

Bury my ashes with the dogs I’ve loved
My faithful companions from God above
And ‘neath a sycamore we’ll grow strong
And the roots will bear us away

If my one true Love should join me there
Mother nature soon will be aware
That sycamore will thrum and sing
And we’ll have left it that way.

So I don’t want you to feel sorry
God knows how I despise your pity
And I’ll no longer bear the weight of worry
Those angry robes all fall away

I’ll be singing loud and laughing long
A blaze of glory and an untold song
So there’s no need for tears my friend
Just bring a wildflower bouquet

If I die in the winter send roses
In the springtime, magnolias
If I’m called in the summer or in the fall
Best of all – bring me a wildflower bouquet
Best of all – bring me a wildflower bouquet

9. The Birds Of Nowhere Farm
10. Favorite Time Of Light

Leave the dishes in the sink don’t overthink it
Close up the brokenhearted piano
Join me on the porch if you can swing it
Let’s dream an ocean in Ohio

You’ve been working so hard I can feel it -
The clean and honest sweat upon your skin
I wanna see the rosy light on your face
Is this evening free or did it cost us everything

It’s our favorite time of light
Just before the day kisses the night
You see the redwing blackbirds fly
The sun’s a big ol’ lazy eye

And when the day is bending low
And rolling fields begin to glow
Feels like we traveled all this way
Just so I could hear you say
It’s our favorite
Our favorite time of light

Can you still hear those children singing?
Remember Jesus Loves Me This I Know
Now there’s just a lone blue heron flying
Dreaming an ocean in Ohio

It’s our favorite time of light
Just before the day kisses the night
You see the redwing blackbirds fly
The sun’s a big ol’ lazy eye

The moon is waiting in the wings
Dreamin’ up some midnight song to sing
And I know we’ll be okay
Everytime I hear you say
It’s our favorite
Our favorite time of light

The dreams I’ve dreamed I give them all to you now
I’m not really sure what shape they’re in
Maybe they were all just too expensive
Maybe after dark we’ll try again

So add this to your list of simple beauties
I know we’re gonna miss it when we go
While barren fields undress their gentle mysteries
We dream an ocean in Ohio

It’s our favorite time of light
Just before the day kisses the night
You see the redwing blackbirds fly
The sun’s a big ol’ lazy eye

When they lay me down at last
And this life is finally past
Just remember me this way
And don’t forget to say
It’s our favorite
Our favorite time of light

Thanks to our families, friends and extended musical family. Without you, we’d be homeless.

Thanks to Joe and Melanie and Lulu (Levon being off on his own adventures in NYC) for once again opening their home to us, and offering such a lovely welcoming place to lean into these new songs. The communion and hospitality found therein is a gift to all who enter.

Thanks to Paul Mahern, Peter Hicks and Justin Golden for assisting Karin and Linford with the recording of the demos for this project.

Thanks to our team at Blind Ambition Management for their belief in our music and efforts to share it.

Thanks to all at High Road Touring. Thanks to Chip Taylor and the team at Port Merchandise.

Thanks to Rob Seiffert and Madhouse for OtR web design and maintenance.

For all Over the Rhine contact information, tour dates, discography, letters and much more, please visit: OvertheRhine.com

Linford would like to thank the following authors and artists for lines that became springboards for songs:
Ted Kooser: “All I want to be is a thousand blackbirds…” Annie Dillard: “They kissed all over Ohio.” In an interview conducted by Jeffrey Overstreet, sound editor Pete Horner describes his epiphany when he finally heard the world that surrounds us: “All of it was music.” Anne Lamott: “…and now we'll give you a little kick-ass beauty before we die.”

Karin: I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the grace and nature of Nowhere Farm, which has afforded me so much inspiration and recovery over the last eight years. Also, the legacy of Dad Detweiler, who encouraged us to leave the edges wild; his irrepressible spirit dwells in many of these songs. You could say that my poets this time around were these things, mostly... And of course Shakey, Porter and Minnie Pearl. Let the good dogs run.

Sincere thanks always to those who are willing to pack suitcases and take this music on the road with us: band and crew alike. Notably, Mike Sponarski, Nick Radina, Byron House, Greer Barton. We are unstoppable when we are together. Rave on.

Thanks to Shure for providing microphones and in-ear monitors for all of Over the Rhine’s touring needs.

Finally, immense thanks to Joe and Ryan and the Band of Sweethearts (and our special guests!) for once again helping us to make a holy ruckus we couldn’t imagine in advance. What a lovely thrill to be in it as it unfurls.

Meet Me At The Edge Of The World is a Great Speckled Dog Recording, a double album designed to be played at magnificent volumes, whenever possible. Enjoy.
Produced by Joe Henry
Recorded by Ryan Freeland at The Garfield House, South Pasadena
Mixed by Ryan Freeland at Stampede Origin, Los Angeles
Mastered by Gavin Lurssen at Lurssen Mastering, Los Angeles
Garfield House studio assistant: Julian Cubillos

Over the Rhine:
Karin Bergquist: Vocals, acoustic guitar, tenor guitar
Linford Detweiler: Vocals, acoustic guitar, upright piano
(The Birds Of Nowhere Farm)

And the Band of Sweethearts:
Jay Bellerose: Drums and percussion
Eric Heywood: Pedal Steel, Electric and acoustic guitars, Hilo Weissenborn
Jennifer Condos: Electric hollow body bass and Earthwood acoustic bass
Patrick Warren: Upright piano, harmonium, chamberlin, autoharp, accordion and additional keyboards (Disc One & “All Over Ohio”)
Mark Goldenberg: Acoustic guitar, mandolin, gut-string acoustic guitar (Disc Two)

With special appearances by:
David Piltch: Upright Bass (Earthbound Love Song, The Birds Of Nowhere Farm)
Van Dyke Parks: Accordion (Favorite Time Of Light)
Aimee Mann: Harmony vocals (Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down)

Catering: Heirloom Bakery and Café, South Pasadena

Design: Gregory Sylvester
Nowhere Farm photos: Linford and Karin
The Garfield House recording session photos: Darrin Ballman
Snapshot of Linford laughing: Kevin Rains
All songs written by Linford Detweiler and/or Karin Bergquist:
©2013 Scampering Songs Publishing (ASCAP) except: “It Makes No Difference” written by Robbie Robertson, WB Music Corp (ASCAP).

"It's a collection of songs that required some extra real estate," Linford Detweiler says of Over the Rhine's Meet Me At The Edge Of The World, the latest product of his prolific two-decade musical collaboration with longtime partner Karin Bergquist.

Indeed, the new two-CD set, recorded with producer Joe Henry and released on the band's own Great Speckled Dog label, marks something of a landmark in Over the Rhine's large and remarkably accomplished body of work, exploring some challenging new musical territory while featuring some of the duo's most compelling songs and performances to date.

The double album's 19 songs—18 original compositions plus a memorable reading of The Band's classic "It Makes No Difference"—are both introspective and expansive, embodying the same mix of lyrical eloquence, emotional nuance and melodic soulfulness that have already won Bergquist (vocals, acoustic guitar, tenor guitar) and Detweiler (vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboards) a passionate fan base and considerable critical acclaim.

Paste has praised Over the Rhine's "lovely, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting musical mosaic," while USA Today made note of the group's "mature, graceful and sad songs (and) intimate, soulful arrangements," which "showcase Bergquist's achingly beautiful voice." Newsday described the music as "aggressively beautiful, like those '60s protesters who confronted soldiers with flowers."

"There may be no more soothing voice in music than Karin Bergquist's," observed Entertainment Weekly. "She could be interpreting jazz standards, but fortunately she applies that balm to her and husband Linford Detweiler's beautifully languid originals, which invoke hard times and celebrate the survival of the least fit."

Meet Me At The Edge Of The World's blend of confident songcraft and creative restlessness is apparent on such vividly expressive new songs as "Meet Me at the Edge of the World," "Sacred Ground," "All Of It Was Music," "Favorite Time of Light," "Wildflower Bouquet" and the haunting "Don't Let The Bastards Get You Down," which features guest vocalist Aimee Mann.

The songs that comprise Meet Me At The Edge Of The World were largely inspired by the atmosphere of the couple's rural Ohio home of the past eight years: a ramshackle farmhouse built in 1833, amidst the rolling, tree-lined fields of rural Highland County.

"These songs all grew loosely out of the soil we live on," Detweiler explains. "We had always dreamed of having a piece of unpaved earth which would serve as our home base, just like many other American artists or writers that are immediately associated with a specific geographical place. We call our place Nowhere Farm: nowhere, or now here, depending on how you look at it."

"We realized when we moved out here that we didn't know the names of much of anything," Bergquist notes. "We began to learn, and once we had, the names of the trees and the weeds and the birds began slipping into our songs. When Linford's father, a birder all of his life, first saw the farm, he encouraged us to 'leave the edges wild.' That became an important metaphor for us on a number of different levels, and the line appears on this record in several places."

While the duo drew artistic inspiration from their home environment, they received financial support from their fans in bringing Meet Me At The Edge Of The World to fruition. Rather than use a conventional third-party crowd-funding site like Kickstarter, they appealed directly to their fans, via their website, for help in financing the recording. The fans responded enthusiastically, showing their support with contributions of between $15 (a simple pre-order with bonus tracks) and $5000 (for a private concert, and executive producer credit etc) in order to make the ambitious project a reality.

"It's actually divided into two short records, 35 minutes each, two distinct chapters," Bergquist explains. "A decade ago, we found ourselves releasing a double album called OHIO that became an important project for us and our audience. In neither case were we completely aware we were making a double album while we were making it. It had to be revealed.”

Meet Me At The Edge Of The World marks Over the Rhine's second collaboration (following 2011's The Long Surrender) with Grammy-winning producer Joe Henry, an iconoclastic singer-songwriter in his own right whose production resume also includes acclaimed albums with the likes of Billy Bragg, Elvis Costello, Solomon Burke, Bonnie Raitt, Allen Toussaint and Loudon Wainwright III.

"The records that Joe's been involved with all have a unique, funky, organic vibe. There’s something mysterious going on that is hard to explain. But they tend to tug at the soul,” Detweiler says.

Bergquist, Detweiler and Henry gathered a stellar musical cast that included drummer Jay Bellerose, guitarist/pedal steel player Eric Heywood, bassist Jennifer Condos, keyboardist Patrick Warren (Disc One) and guitarist Mark Goldenberg (Disc Two) plus a few notable guests (David Piltch, Van Dyke Parks and Aimee Mann) and cut all 19 of Meet Me At The Edge Of The World's songs in six days.

"It was all about capturing what was happening in the room," says Bergquist. "Everything on this record is recorded live, so you're hearing the sound of a band leaning in and conjuring something in real time."

Meet Me At The Edge Of The World also showcases the developing vocal chemistry that's become an increasingly prominent element of Over the Rhine's performances, as featured on such new numbers as "All Over Ohio" and "Earthbound Love Song."

"In the past, I've always been gun shy about singing, and would actually have a fair bit of physical pain whenever I tried to sing," Detweiler admits. "But after years of working together, Karin gently encouraged me to try singing through the pain to see if there was anything on the other side, and I think I finally learned how to relax. This is the first record where you can really hear us singing together. It feels a little bit like starting a new band."

Native Ohioans Detweiler and Bergquist launched Over the Rhine as a quartet in the spring of 1989, naming the ensemble after the historic, bohemian Cincinnati neighborhood Over-the-Rhine, where they lived and first wrote and recorded together. Their early demos and performances quickly struck a chord with listeners, and they already had a solid local following by the time they launched their recording career with a pair of well-received independently-released albums, Till We Have Faces (1991) and Patience (1992).

Over the next two decades, Over the Rhine continued to build a musically and emotionally potent catalogue, encompassing the studio albums Eve (1994), Good Dog Bad Dog (1996), Films For Radio (2001), Ohio (2003), Drunkard's Prayer (2005), The Trumpet Child (2007) and The Long Surrender (2011), the holiday-themed The Darkest Night of the Year (1996) and Snow Angels (2006), the live Changes Come (2004), and a series of limited-edition CDs featuring live, rare and unreleased material.

The fierce independent streak that has fueled Over the Rhine from the start asserted itself when Bergquist and Detweiler decided to release 2007's The Trumpet Child on their own Great Speckled Dog label (named after the couple's Great Dane, Elroy). The Long Surrender marked the band's first venture into fan-funded recording.

"We are blessed with an incredibly devoted audience who've assured us that they have invited our music into many of the significant milestones a human can experience," Detweiler states, adding, "People have told us that they fell in love, or walked down the aisle, or conceived, or went off to war, or buried loved ones, or gave birth to our music. And so forth. At the end of the day, what more can a songwriter ask for?"

Meet Me At The Edge Of The World's effortlessly engaging, timelessly resonant songs more than justify such loyalty, once again validating Over the Rhine's enduring musical mission.

"We see our catalog as our life's work," Bergquist concludes. "It's imperfect and broken, but we've also come to see our records as strangely beautiful and valid in their own way—much like life itself.”