Letters

January 23, 2002

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

January 23, 2002

Hello,

Happy January. This is Linford taking a moment to send a few quick words your way. I hope your year has been a good one so far. Karin and I have spent quite a few days in Barnesville, Ohio, where she grew up, packing up her mother’s belongings, getting the house ready to sell. Many of you continue to ask how Karin’s mother is doing. Barbara Bergquist lives in Cincinnati now and is still receiving therapy. Initially, the doctors didn’t think she would survive her stroke, so as Karin says, we make the best now of these hard won days. Barbara is now able to stand for a few minutes at a time and is able to communicate fairly well using short sentences and phrases. The brain is a mysterious place that doctors know relatively little about. We’ve learned alot about health care culture and continue to take it a moment at a time. Thanks again on behalf of Karin and Barbara for your thoughts, concerns, prayers and notes of encouragement.

Do we know how cats purr? Seems to me that’s a mystery as well, come to think of it.

Moving on to Over the Rhine news, we were moved and humbled by a recently-completed two CD set of cover versions of our songs that fans of the band recorded and collected on a compilation called, What It Takes To Please You. Our jaws dropped open collectively on various occasions, and we smiled alot and even wiped away a few tears. (What more can you ask for in a record?)

What It Takes To Please You is an all-over-the-map collection that hangs together surprisingly well. Drew Vogel and Bruce Lachey coordinated the project and brought it to completion with very few laws broken along the way–a commendable achievement. (Obviously Bruce isn’t yet tuned into the legal nuances of a derivative work, but the liberties he took with Karin’s lyrics have as of yet remained undiscovered by GMMI Music International and Sony Tunes, the publishers of the song. And hey, he was baring his soul, so we ain’t sayin’ nothin’. And our former label mates on IRS, Ozric Tentacles, would undoubtedly raise an eyebrow or two if they discovered their music accompanying a computer-generated version of Jack’s Valentine, but frankly, they’re probably way too stoned to care.)

Anyway, we’re very grateful to those of you that took the time to let us see our songs in a different light. It certainly provided us with some enjoyable and stimulating listening as we drove back and forth across Ohio. We felt loved. And Drew and I were just talking yesterday: it means a lot that such a wide variety of people–professional musicians, people who had never recorded before, garage bands, or a few friends with a microphone set up on a church balcony–all wanted to be involved. Our hats are off to all of you.

To those of you who would like to order a copy, you can go to Drew’s website: DrewVogel.com. All the proceeds go to Cincinnati Shares, a charity based in Cincinnati that does a lot of good for many diverse folks in our community.

In other news, Jack Henderson, who has been playing guitar with us now for over five years, has put out a fine new solo album called Cheap Tattoo. You can check out the monthly special at overtherhine.com if you’d like a copy, or go directly to Jack’s website: bulldogfarmmusic.com. Jack has been doing some producing with other songwriters (with exceptional results). You can also contact Jack at his website if you’re interested in recording at his studio.

Earlier this year, I met with the folks at Larkspur who will be printing the limited edition of my first book, Unsung, and I was strangely moved as I drove off Sawdridge Road just South of Monterey, Kentucky, and onto the lane and across the creek that runs through the 60 acre farm where the presses are located. This will be a small book printed a page at a time with every letter of every word set by hand. They take their time down there! And I don’t believe I’ve mentioned this, but Jay Bolotin, a favorite artist of ours, is contributing two woodcuts to the project which will be printed directly into the book from the woodblocks. This makes me, for one, very happy when I think about it. Again, it will be a simple, handmade affair, and we’re not sure when it will be done. Everytime we talk, Gray Zeitz always reminds me, We don’t work with deadlines.

We’ll keep you posted, and get them signed, numbered and mailed out as soon as we receive them. I’m guessing we’re still talking about (at least) a few months down the road before we see anything. Larkspur’s involvement, although a coup, was not part of the initial plan for the book. If you’d like to get your money back because of the waiting involved, please just drop us a note, and we’ll be happy to send you a refund. Thanks for your patience.

Eric pulled several MP3’s out of the archive this month. Free downloads abound at overtherhine.com. Help yourself.

And finally, the shape of our year is beginning to emerge. We’ll be doing some touring this Spring on the East Coast, the West Coast and a few points in between. Scattered festivals are planned for this summer, including another trip to Europe in August, and we’ll be starting work on some new recordings a few months down the road. We’ll press record and find out what the music sounds like. (You can see some of the confirmed tour dates already at overtherhine.com.)

This weekend, we’re starting off the New Year right at Canal Street Tavern in Dayton, Ohio, one of our favorite listening rooms. Jack and Karin and I will play a couple of living room concerts and throw the door open to see what walks in. Join us Friday or Saturday if you can. We often start off the year at Canal Street–these will be the first shows of 2002. We’ll look for you… (More info available at overtherhine.com.)

By the way, we’d like to find two people who would be willing to look after our CD table each night in Dayton this wknd. Each volunteer would receive two tickets and a free cd from our catalog. Please e-mail Blair Woods (BigWalkUp@aol.com) if you’d like to help out.

Hope to see you soon.

Linford Detweiler for Over the Rhine