Letters

December 16, 1998

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

December 16, 1998

Over the Rhine: A new band is picking up fans as its music keeps rolling along.
CBS This Morning Co-Anchor Mark McEwen calls Over The Rhine “one of the great unsung bands in America.”

(CBS) Every once in a while, a great band sneaks up on you and, before you know it, you’re telling your friends about a CD they have to hear, says CBS This Morning Co-Anchor Mark McEwen. He wants to be the first to tell you about Over The Rhine, which he calls “one of the great unsung bands in America.”

The band dropped by This Morning to perform the song All I Need Is Everything from their CD Good Dog Bad Dog and to chat with McEwen.

Over The Rhine (OTR) is a Cincinnati-based band that has been together since 1990, making records and serving as the opening act for such stars as Bob Dylan. The band’s evolution reached a watermark in 1996, when bandleader and keyboardist Linford Detweiler and lead singer Karin Bergquist (who are married) were advised to streamline their sound, focusing on Bergquist’s voice and one or two instruments. The result was the album Good Dog Bad Dog.

Eventually, the band’s music caught the ear of Peter Leak, manager of such bands as 10,000 Maniacs and The Cowboy Junkies. He became OTR’s publisher and dealmaker, and got them a gig as the opening band on The Cowboy Junkies latest tour. In addition, members of OTR contributed vocals and other musical support to the Junkies’ act.

Once the new year starts, OTR will hit the road again with The Cowboy Junkies for the Australia and New Zealand leg of the tour.

While the theme of faith is strong in OTR’s songs, Detweiler doesn’t want listeners to pigeonhole OTR as a Christian band. His father was a Methodist minister, and Detweiler says his own struggles with faith are bound to be reflected in his music. But it is not written with a desire to impose his beliefs on the listener, and he cringes at the thought of his music being defined so narrowly.

Bergquist tells McEwen that she hopes that, when people hear the CD, they will find “some good songs, probably something that is a little hard to put into words.”

While the band does not have a record label, Detweiler says he is not overly concerned.

“For a while, we weren’t sure we wanted to be signed,” he explains. “But we’re giving it serious consideration again. We canceled some dates this month so we could record some new material. We’ve got some people who are listening to it. We’ll see how it goes.”

In addition to Detweiler and Bergquist, members of the band are G. Jack Henderson, electric guitar; Brian Kelly, drums; Randy Cheek, bass, and Terri Templeton, background vocals.