Letters

August 28, 2007

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

August 28, 2007

Back From Europe Ready for the Next Chapter

Hello from Nowhere Farm,

We flew back from Belfast Sunday evening, arrived home safely to a
couple of grinning dogs and a swaggering cat. Last night, Karin came bursting through the screen door and said, “Drop everything, come quick.” I ranĀ outside, and we watched a plump, golden, full moon rise over the fields
once again drenching the world in an eery, after dark light. When a
full moon rises in a clear sky out here on the farm, it always feels
like the brightest night of our lives.

It had been 5 years since we’d been across the great pond to the old
world. Karin did the math and realized that since our last trip in
2002, we had released eight CD’s:

OHIO Changes Come | Over the Rhine LIVE Drunkard’s Prayer Live From
Nowhere Volume One Snow Angels Discount Fireworks Live From Nowhere
Volume Two The Trumpet Child

So we had a lot of catching up to do with folks abroad who have found
all this music.

We enjoyed Holland once again. The Dutch are easily some of the most
organized, most efficient folks on the planet. We can’t understand why
we don’t just get them over here to fix New Orleans – they know all
about reclaiming reams of land from the ocean, planting pristine
forests, weaving their endless bike paths through it all. The
production at Flevo Festival is world class, and we’re hoping to get
our hands on some of the film footage they shot of our mainstage
performance. Thanks for the hospitality.

We got to spend 4 nights in Scotland (Crieff and Comrie). The weather
was sunny and lovely. We hopped on the train to Edinburgh to meet up
with Jack and Hazel and 6-year-old Finlay, and then Jack came up to the
Highlands for a few days. We sat out under the stars and reminisced,
solved the world’s problems over a glass of something good as we are
prone to do. Juicy wondered up into the hills to talk to the sheep
about the world’s first blues singer, David the shepherd boy,
songwriter, fighter, lover, king, a man after God’s own heart.

We played a show in Comrie in an old church that had been converted
into a concert venue, and it’s always inspiring to see a village come
together to put on a show, off the beaten path. Dr. Payne cooked a
fabulous meal for us, and 15-year-old Scottish girls bought copies of
The Trumpet Child and had us sign them.

It was good to be back at Greenbelt Festival – (Over the Rhine’s sixth
in fifteen years) – lots of memories made at this festival including
Karin’s song, The Seahorse (and in 1995, our first ever whirlwind trip
to Wales to find Dylan Thomas’s writing shack). This time around, Billy
Bragg sounded great, and we ran into Robert from Willard Grant
Conspiracy (who toured with us extensively on the Films For Radio
tour). Also ran into Ian Archer (and Miriam), a fine songwriter from
Ireland, who turned us on to Lowden acoustic guitars back in the 1990’s.
Karin and I have played them ever since. It was good to see Ric and
Josh and Sarah Masen and Steve Stockman – pretty much impossible
(especially for Jake) to walk around a corner without recognizing
someone. Brandon got to meet up with friends he hadn’t seen in years,
and Lloyd had e-mailed us about sampling a 25-year-old Scotch after our
show. We were happy to oblige, and there we were sitting in a tent, the
sound of our laughter and real conversation and music in the distance,
something resembling the Holy Spirit in our glasses. (If bread and wine
remind us of Jesus, a glass of Scottish Whisky aged with care in the
misty hills is a pretty good symbol of the 3rd member of the Trinity.)

We ended with a quick trip to Belfast – and played a gorgeous concert
hall in Armagh. Then back home to our little farm in Southern Ohio – as
beautiful in its own way as anything we saw on our entire trip.

We were talking a lot about Home the last few weeks. Karin and I have
chosen a life where pretty much every day we get to spend at home is a
prize, a rare gift, something we worked for, an event drenched in
gratitude. And yet, maybe home is not really about geography or air
quality, or moonlight, or being in the city or out of the city, or in a
red state or blue state, or in a music town or a working class town.
Maybe home has more to do with the work we’ve all done as individuals
to increasingly become people we can live with. Maybe home is the
desire to live soulfully, the tiny ongoing decisions we make that allow
the soul room to breathe.

That’s our prayer for our extended musical family: that we would all
find lives that allow the soul to thrive.

***

Speaking of, wanna get together this week?

(The Trumpet Child has arrived. We’re having a good time with this
one.)

Here’s what we’ve got:

Thursday, August 30, 7pm, Joseph-Beth Booksellers (Rookwood) in our old
neighborhood of Norwood, Ohio: We’ll be playing an acoustic set
featuring songs from The Trumpet Child, and signing copies of the CD,
giving away posters etc. This is a free performance – everyone is
welcome. (We’ve realized we’re probably not going to be able to greet
all y’all at the Coney show, other than from stage, so pls stop by
Jo-Beth this Thursday if you’re able – we’d love to see you prior to
embarking on one of our most extensive tours of the USA ever.)

Friday, August 31, 7pm: This is our big hometown, Trumpet Child release
concert, with special guest Josh Rouse. Finally! Karin has given Coney
Island the recipe for Show Ponies (a fab summer drink we were served on
tour in New Zealand, referenced in the new song I’m On A Roll) so you
might wannna sample one, I dunno. For those who don’t know, Moonlight
Gardens is a stunning outdoor venue at one of Cincinnati’s old
treasures – Coney Island – a historic amusement park on the banks of
the Ohio River. WNKU will be taping the concert. Hope you can join us.
(If you want to make a holiday wknd of it, one of the largest fireworks
shows in the Midwest takes place this Sunday evening in downtown
Cincinnati.)

Saturday, September 1st – We’re packing the band into The Dame in
Lexington, Kentucky, for an early show. Check out OverTheRhine.com for
details. (In case you’ve forgotten, The Dame is next to one of our
favorite hat shops in the world.)

This Sunday, September 2nd – We’re performing at 3rd and Lindsley,
Nashville, Tennessee, with special guests Swan Dive. WRLT will be
broadcasting the Over the Rhine concert live on the air. (Tune in
on-line as well.)

The West Coast Tour starts in a few weeks. Check out OverTheRhine.com
for much more.

Hope to see you soon,

Linford (and Karin)