February 14, 2011

P.O. Box 12078
Cincinnati, OH 45212

February 14, 2011

Hello friends,

Last year when an ice storm came through this part of Ohio, it turned our 5-acre field of waist-high frozen weeds into a junkyard of discarded chandeliers. Every growing thing was leaning over, bending a knee, covered in heavy glass. There it all was the next morning, sparkling in the sun. I had to squint my eyes.

When my brother Conrad delivered milk in Holmes County, Ohio, I rode along with him one dark afternoon after an ice storm, and whenever his milk truck crashed into low-hanging ice-covered branches, it sounded like three dozen Pepsi bottles smashing on the windshield. It was deafening and fabulous.

But beauty is always dangerous, and when the rain started freezing on our trees a week ago, we wondered what the outcome would be. Our Norway spruces slowly started to sag as ice formed on them from tip to toe. The red maple limbs reached low as if they were straining to pick something up out of the snow. 

When everything is coated with ice, I worry about the birds that winter here on the farm. We do leave the edges wild, and I think we amuse our neighbors by sometimes letting entire fields go to seed so cardinals and quail and mourning doves and finches have plenty of cover and plenty of winter food to forage. 

But what do the birds eat when everything is covered in a half-inch of ice?

Karin encouraged me to fire up our generator before the storm so that we could power at least part of the house if the lights suddenly went out. She’s usually the one thinkin’ ahead around here. It took a few pulls on the rope, but seemed to run fine after I put some fresh gas in the tank. 

We hunker down in the wintertime, me in a heavy Irish sweater made of un-dyed black sheep wool, Karin in layers too numerous to name, a thick ceramic mug of something warm nearby always. And my goodness the dogs sleep a lot. 

Our friend Justin described our dogs as alternating quite suddenly between

Deep. Winter. Sleep. 



It is often one or t’other come to think of it.

Well folks, can you believe it’s February 7th? 

In our world, I’ll tell you what day it is: It’s the eve of the official release of our latest offering: 

The Long Surrender. 

Yes, that’s got a nice ring to it, if I say so myself. There’s fresh snow on the ground here at Nowhere Farm. We’re safe and warm. And grateful:

Grateful that we’ve made it this far together; grateful that we’re all still here…

What do you say we lift a glass of something good to the occasion?

Again, our thanks to all of you who pitched in in advance to make The Long Surrender possible. Our thanks to all of you who will go out of your way to find this music, spread it around, give it a life. Without you, we’d be homeless, as my wife still likes to say.

And special thanks to Joe Henry, engineer Ryan Freeland and all the musicians who blew the seams out of the songs.

Here’s all the latest news, and we hope to see you soon!

We officially release the new Over the Rhine project, The Long Surrender, into the world. If you’d like a CD in a deluxe digipak delivered directly to your door, order it from overtherhine.com, and we’ll ship it out immediately.

If you haven’t yet heard The Long Surrender, it’s now streaming at overthehine.com, from beginning to end in real time: “The Laugh of Recognition,” all the way through “All My Favorite People,” and “Unspoken.”

Play it loud.

We have a beautiful limited vinyl edition of The Long Surrender – two 180 gram records in a striking gatefold jacket (thanks to the bold and gorgeous photographs of Michael Wilson). The vinyl edition is also available directly through overtherhine.com, and will ship immediately to your doorstep.

We just heard from the factory that these will be shipping to us in the next few days. This is the hope chest version of the record – a lovely box with both vinyl and CD copies as well as a large expanded book of Michael Wilson’s photographs that opens like an accompanying silent movie. Once we get these to the donors that ordered them, we’ll be making additional copies available at overtherhine.com. Stay tuned. Only 500 total copies exist.

At 1:30pm Eastern, Karin and I will be doing an interview with John Patrick at WNKU, 89.7, 104.1 and 105.9 fm. You can stream the interview live at wnku.org.

NPR: All Things Considered will be running Melissa Block’s interview with Karin and Linford Tuesday, early evening, February 8th, during their national broadcast.

FREE RELEASE DAY CONCERT: Tuesday, February 8th: At 7pm, Karin and I, along with Nick Radina, will be performing a free, living room concert at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 2962 Madison Road in Cincinnati, playing many of the songs from The Long Surrender, and more… (We’ll be signing CD’s and giving away posters to all in attendance. Hope to see you!)

ADDITIONAL FEBRUARY DATES: (Check out overtherhine.com for all the details…)

Wednesday, February 16, Memphis, Tennessee, Folk Alliance, (Sirius/XM live concert broadcast) with Paul Thorn and Ruthie Foster (tickets available)

Friday, February 18, Louisville, Kentucky, Noon: Free LIVE LUNCH concert at WFPK. (Listen online at WFPK.org)

Friday, February 18, Louisville, Kentucky, 6pm: Free in-store performance at Ear X-tacy!

Saturday, February 19, Nashville, Tennessee, 5pm: Free in-store performance at Grimey’s!

Sunday, February 20, Nashville, Tennessee, Third & Lindsley: Live concert broadcast on WRLT. With very special guest, Kim Taylor. Tickets available now.

Over the Rhine MARCH AND APRIL TOUR DATES (full six-piece band) – now posted at overtherhine.com:

*March 25, Boston, MA, Café 939 at Berklee
March 26, New York, NY, Highline Ballroom, An evening with Over the Rhine
March 27, Alexandria, VA, The Birchmere
*March 29, Philadelphia, PA, World Café Live
*April 1, Pittsburgh, PA, Mr. Smalls Funhouse
April 2, Akron, OH, Musica, An evening with Over the Rhine
*April 5, Ann Arbor, MI, The Ark
*April 7, Milwaukee, WI, Turner Hall
*April 8, Chicago, IL, Lincoln Hall
*April 9, Madison, WI, Majestic Theater
*April 10, Minneapolis, MN, Cedar Cultural Center

*With very special guest, Lucy Wainwright Roche

April 29 and 30, Cincinnati, OH, Aronoff Center, Over the Rhine performs with the Cincinnati Ballet: featuring many of the songs from The Long Surrender as well songs from Drunkard’s Prayer, OHIO, The Trumpet Child and more. (Three different choreographers offering world premiers.)

And skipping ahead…

September 22-30, New Mexico and Colorado: Over the Rhine – Conversations on a musical train. We’re teaming up with the fine folks of Roots on the Rails for another unforgettable train adventure. We’ll be joined by our friends Mary Gauthier, photographer Michael Wilson, naturalist Lynn Neal, and more TBA. Join us for a truly unforgettable week. Tickets available at: 


Hope to see you.

Stay tuned for more 2011 tour dates!

Well, I think I’ll venture out for a night walk in the “close and holy darkness” and then head on up to bed. Big day tomorrow…

Peace like a river, Love like an ocean,

Linford and Karin

PS Please pass the above information around and share freely: Orphaned believers, skeptical dreamers, you’re welcome. You can stay right here. You don’t have to go.