Letters

July 2, 2007

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

July 2, 2007

Hello from Nowhere Farm,

It’s a cool, bright summer morning, a delicious breeze is bending the locust trees, three hummingbirds are hovering around Karin’s feeder here on the back porch, Elroy is stretched out at my feet, Shakey, our Weimaraner, is off exploring. The chipping sparrows have another nest with three grouchy baby birds in the little potted pine on our porch, just a foot or so to the right of the porch swing. My father said that on the Amish farm of his childhood, the chipping sparrows would line their perfectly round little nests with horsetail hair. We don’t have horses (in spite of the fact that various locals have offered to give us their gentle old mares, donkeys etc) so when we see the chipping sparrows building their nests, I give Elroy a good brushing and leave the fur in the yard. Sure enough, their nests are always lined with his black and white hair, the baby sparrows nestled in a black and white Great Dane quilt. We save the Elroy-lined nests for our Christmas tree.

And we’ve had goldfinches this summer – sometimes 6 or 8 at a time in flight together, extravagant in the sun. And the bobwhite quail always come in close to nest in the golden rod and the blackberries. We leave plenty of wild patches for them. We hear them calling back and forth much of the time.

Shakey has turned into a world-class frisbee dog. We whip the frisbee as far as we can through the maples and Shakey does his Derek Jeter routine and somehow always makes us look good, as he rarely fails to make the catch running at full Weimaraner tilt. (He usually manages to grab about three feet of air for effect.) Then he circles back with doleful eyes, ears flapping with satisfaction, drops the frisbee at our feet and sits and points with his front, right, bird dog paw up, waiting for the next throw.

The moon has been full, and a few nights ago I took a midnight bike ride along the back roads, through the moonlight drenched fields, the moon tagging along over my shoulder, my lungs full of night air. That has to be the holiest light on earth.

The coyotes have been howling down in the creek the last few nights, restless with the sacredness of it all.

Saturday night, we were driving out of Chicago, and that big moon was asserting itself over the skyline, ducking behind the John Hancock building, following us home, an excessive, glowing, communion wafer. We are so grateful that we can work from city to city and then return home to the farm to these expanses of quiet, wake up with our coffee and each other, a little breakfast, the everywhere bird song, the breeze, the trees, the sky. And very little else…

And at the end of the day, as you may well know, when it comes to Nowhere Farm, we grow songs.

The Trumpet Child is Coming Soon.

Driving home recently, we were talking about balance. How we want to increasingly live in the moment. No past. No future. Only now. How we want to be thankful for all we’ve been given, and nurture a warm interior Yes.

We are able to support ourselves with our music, we are able to make the records that we choose to make, we are blessed with opportunities to take our music around the world and pass it around, we are surrounded by many good, supportive people. We never want to take any of it for granted.

And yet on the other hand, we want to remain hungry. We want to be open to going deeper. We don’t want to settle. We want to do the work that is required of us, work that will allow us to step more fully into our shoes as songwriters. We want to grow.

I was talking to a friend a few days ago, a music manager who’s been around the block, who’s observed Over the Rhine for many years since the very early days of the band. He said, Linford, Nobody gets bigger 18 years into their career. This is crazy. Look what’s happening with Over the Rhine!

We had a good laugh and traded a few stories.

But the good news is, Karin and I do believe we’re still growing as writers. We do feel like our story is still unfolding. We do feel like we’re caught up in something. And if we quit believing that, we’ll come back to the farm and put the guitars in their cases and get on with the rest of our lives. We don’t want to waste anybody’s time.

In the meanwhile, we’re up for what’s next. It’s all happening.

So, we dressed up a new website for this brand new Trumpet Child chapter. (Thanks to Rob Seiffert for his help with this.) Check out OvertheRhine.com for all the latest.

We’ve started a brand new record label, Great Speckled Dog, and lined our nest with Elroy’s fur.

We’ve got a great team together: Thanks to our Chicago-based manager, Glen Phillips, for helping us get this record out the door. Thanks to our NYC-based publicists, Diana and Abby at Shore Fire. Thanks to Mark and everyone at Skyline, who are putting the finishing touches on our tour this Fall. Thanks to everyone at Music Allies – they’ll be working to get these songs on the radio, spread around here and there, anywhere adventurous American music is still being played. Thanks to our Cincinnati-based road crew: Brandon, our tour manager who’s also running our Cincinnati offices, and Dave, our front-of-house engineer. Thanks to Eric and Drew and Michael and Owen as well for years of help. Thanks to Jake and Mickey for the present day holy ruckus. And thanks to our producer, Brad Jones, and all the musicians who helped us deliver The Trumpet Child. Life is good.

Join us at OvertheRhine.com this coming Sunday evening. At 8pm Eastern, we’re going to give The Trumpet Child its first spin from beginning to end, its very own LIVE, world premier webcast. Never done this before. It’s a listening party, and you’re invited. Karin and I will slip into The Orchard chatroom afterwards and field any questions, tip our hats to all of you, our extended musical family.

You can pre-order a copy of The Trumpet Child now at OvertheRhine.com and receive three free mp3’s immediately. A little taste without giving away too many surprises… Those that pre-order will also receive a special treat when the CD’s ship in August. (We think the extra bit will put a smile on your face this time around…)

And finally, many of the CD’s in our back catalog are currently on sale for $9.99 if you want to fill in a gap or two in your collection, or pick up a gift for a friend.

Drop us a line and let us know what’s new, what’s on your mind. Hopefully we’ll see you later this Summer and Fall. Quite a few of the tour dates have been posted on the site, with more coming soon.

It’s all happening.

Enjoy,

Linford (and Karin)