Letters

April 10, 2002

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OVER THE RHINE
P.O. Box 12078
Cincinnati, OH 45212

April 10, 2002

To our extended, ragtag musical family strewn about the world, greetings.

The weather has been all over the map here in Ohio this Spring: early last week it was 75 degrees Farenheit, then it dipped down to the upper 20’s, and we woke one morning to snow that looked like powdered sugar sprinkled on a cheap birthday cake. I’m a little chilly at the moment in this back corner bedroom of the Grey Ghost, but it’s a stunning Spring day, and I’ve been trying to remember what the difference is between a starling and a grackle. The blackbirds, shall we say, have been roosting in our black walnut tree. Two squirrels have been hauling mulch up out of Karin’s perennials into the hollow crook of one of the oaks, so we’ve got our eyes peeled for the arrival of their young ones, assuming that’s what all the fuss is about. The squirrels keep a watchful eye out for Willow.

Can’t remember if we’ve told the story of the young squirrel that followed me home from the park one Spring. Willow cornered it, but spared its life, and by the time I could encourage the dog to break the stare they were both locked in, something seemed to pass between them, some sort of unspoken agreement. It was as if the squirrel had made a pact that if he could go free, he would be “at our service” for the rest of his days.

And sure enough, there he was following after Willow with that textbook squirrel-trot. She was the new Mama. I was the new chaperone. I was afraid Willow was going to step on the little fellow after awhile–he was so intent on staying near her–so I knelt down, and he jumped up into my arms, and I brought him home.

Karin named him Joe Henry, and we sat out on the porchswing for awhile (I realize this sounds sickeningly idyllic) and watched as the squirrel would try to ride around on Willow’s back. The dog wasn’t too thrilled about her new sidekick, but was trying more-or-less to maintain a good attitude.

Well, Karin went out and bought a green bird cage that we set up on the backporch, and Joe Henry slept in there at night. During the day he would go out tooling around in the oak trees. Sometimes he would take naps in the sleeve of Karin’s flannel shirt next to her smooth forearm. One afternoon, after he had been getting a little more wary and aloof and squirrel-skeptical (we hadn’t seen him too much for a few days), he must have gotten into his first squirrel fist fight. I happened to see him easing himself down one of the oaks with a bloody nose, and he soon hopped back into my lap for comfort and re-assurance. He seemed to calm down after awhile. Karin called a “squirrel expert” and of course mothered Joe Henry back to health with eyedroppers and bags of unsalted mixed nuts and what not. Joe eventually made his way out into the world for good, and we left for tour, but we’re pretty sure he ended up being the big squirrel that we often saw on the outskirts of our backyard. Some mornings he would just sit and stare at us from a distance as if he knew a secret the other squirrels didn’t.

Karin named Joe Henry’s girlfriend Lucinda Williams, and believe me, there were plenty of squirrels around for a good while. Our neighbor eventually trapped about a dozen in a live trap and took them out into a woods and let them go free. I suppose this new couple we’ve been watching is getting ready to take over where Joe and Lucinda left off.

If you’d like to see the young Joe Henry, you can check out this link at overtherhine.com:
http://overtherhine.com/people/contributors/jeffbell.html

I believe this snapshot was taken soon after he arrived on the scene, when he was making a fool of himself around the company we had visiting one afternoon.

Well, it’s Spring and here’s the news.

OVER THE RHINE DATES

We’re finally going to make up the Lexington and Atlanta shows we had to cancel back when the flu bug tackled us. (Nashville–we’re still working on.) We have some scattered college dates that we’re looking forward to, and we’re excited to be heading back out to the West Coast of the USA in May for a swing through some of our favorite cities. You can always check out overtherhine.com for links and more info, but here’s a quick rundown.

Apr 12 Lexington KY, Lynagh’s Musiclub, 388 Woodland Avenue
Age Restriction 21+

Apr 14 Atlanta GA, Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Avenue
Age Restriction 21+, tickets on sale at etix.com

Apr 19 Grand Rapids MI, Calvin College
Over the Rhine will perform a 20-minute opening set for Patti Griffin at 9:00pm
tickets $10, 616-957-6282 or tickets@calvin.edu

Apr 20 Canton OH, Malone College, Centennial Center
All ages show (Karin and Linford’s Alma Mater!)

Apr 26 Gambier OH, Kenyon College, Rosse Hall
All ages show (The Kenyon Review was one of the first literary journals to publish Flannery O’Connor. If you haven’t been to Oxford, England, Kenyon will do. Beautiful!)

*Apr 27 Berwyn IL, FitzGerald’s, 6615 Roosevelt Rd.
Age Restriction 21+

*May 03 Seattle WA, Crocodile Cafe, 2200 2nd Avenue
opener Jim & Jennie and the Pinetops, Age Restriction 21+

*May 04 Portland OR, Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie
opener Jim & Jennie and the Pinetops

May 05 Eugene OR, Gutenberg College House Concert, 1883 University St., TWO SHOWS
opener Jim & Jennie and the Pinetops

*May 08 San Francisco CA, Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell Street
opener Jim & Jennie and the Pinetops

*May 10 San Diego CA, The Casbah, 2501 Kettner Blvd.
Note: This is an early show with doors at 6:30 pm and OtR at 7:00 pm.

*May 11 Los Angeles CA, Knitting Factory, 7021 Hollywood Blvd.
opener Jim & Jennie and the Pinetops

For the dates that are *starred*: We’re looking for two volunteers to sell merchandise for the band. Volunteers get free admission to the show and the cd of their choice. If you’re interested in helping out, please e-mail Blair Woods at BigWalkup@aol.com. Let him know if you are volunteering solo, or bringing a friend. Thanks. (If the club specifies an age-restriction, volunteers must be of age.)

OVER THE RHINE *LIVE* ON THE WEB

You can hear Karin and Jack and Linford this Friday, April 12 at 2pm EST on WRVG in Lexington, and on the web at www.wrvg-fm.org… Cue the tape recorders.

THE LATEST ON THE BOOK: UNSUNG

Jay Bolotin is finishing up the woodcuts for the project which will be printed into the book directly from the blocks. (I ordered the wood for the woodcuts (walnut) from a small town in the mountains of Utah.) The complete text has been type-set by hand and is waiting in the wings. The book should be ready to go into “production” in May. Your patience has been strong. Thanks. Please let us know if your address has changed. What was supposed to be a late summer project last year has grown into a summer project this year. We’re still having fun though and trust that this delay won’t prove too thorny for the early believers in the book. We’ll get there.

FUTURE RECORDING

Virgin/Back Porch have given the go ahead for Over the Rhine to begin work on new recordings which the band will begin working on soon. The band hopes to record two full-length albums later this summer and fall. Stay tuned for more.

MONTHLY SPECIAL

For those of you who like to take advantage of our secure server at overtherhine.com for a little on-line shopping break every once in awhile, Karin and I are signing all the merchandise this month that’s ordered through the website. So if you’ve had a hankerin’ to fill in a few gaps in your Over the Rhine catalog, or if your ex-boyfriend ran off with your original copy of Good Dog Bad Dog, or if you’ve always wanted to get one of those huge, collectible Over the Rhine posters autographed, we’ll be happy to slap a Spring signature or two on whatever you happen to order. Just thought you might like to know.

Check this out:
http://overtherhine.com/catalog/order.tmpl

Well, I should probably go strap on my roller blades and pine for the days when I was an aspiring 15 year old hockey player attending school north of Calgary, Alberta.

Rock on and stuff,

Linford Detweiler for Over the Rhine
(Flying the pop music flag high over the Ohio River.)

(Or something.)