July 8, 2004
P.O. Box 12078
Cincinnati, OH 45212
Hello from OHIO,
It’s a breezy summer day here at the Grey Ghost, not too hot, bright skies, wispy clouds. Tracy just brought the kids over for a swim this afternoon. We’ve got a big round galvanized watering trough full of fresh water under the grape vines in the backyard. It’s rather small as swimming pools go, but it’s wet and cool and feels good. Gets the job done. Plenty enough water for contests to see who can hold their breath the longest, rousing sea crab tussles and a neat little game called, “Ready-set-splash-the-crap-out-of-everyone.”
Our dear friends Dave and Jody Nixon are coming over for supper this evening so I’m going to have to try to be brief. We’ll write more later. Karin’s got the table set. Life is good.
In no particular order:
It was great fun getting the band together recently and playing shows in Chicago, Columbus, Cincinnati, Lexington, as well as at Cornerstone Festival in southern Illinois. We always feel compelled to say thank you to those of you who make the effort to come out and cheer us on as we try our songs on for size every now and again, spread our wings, take a dive. Our audiences are very special. Hooray for us.
After fourteen years of fairly active touring, we thought we had seen just about everything. But then we woke up in Columbus and discovered that all of our touring gear had been stolen except for the Hammond B-3 in its road case. I guess that was the one thing that they couldn’t lift.
We waited around for a few hours and filed a police report finally and then booked it to Cincinnati where several very helpful friends came to our rescue and loaned us instruments etc to play the sold out show at Twentieth Century Theater.
It was a blast and we were able to shake the whole thing off for the time being and enjoy ourselves, enjoy you, the evening. I think it was the first Over the Rhine show where someone took up a collection (what used to be called a love offering if memory serves) and handed us a bag with about $600 in small bills to take the edge off. My knee jerked and I started playing Just As I Am, and Karin was crying and said something to the effect that there were tears and cash on stage and it was turning into a bona fide evangelistic experience.
We talked through the whole thing and it’s just stuff, and nobody was hurt, and it’s not a mortal wound. But when somebody enters your world and messes with it, it’s hard to shake the feeling of being violated. It is emotional to lose instruments that you’ve played and written and recorded with for years. Our prayers fluctuated between Old Testament and New Testament prayers: May they fall into the snare they’ve laid for themselves. May we forgive them.
We’ve still got the important stuff: each other, our friends, the watering trough.
But what the heck, if you’re poking around in music stores or pawn shops and happen to see any of the following feel free to let us know:
Karin’s Lowden Acoustic Guitar: handwritten Serial Number 8406 on the label inside the sound hole.
Leslie Organ Cabinet Model No: 122 RV, Serial Number H65918, with accompanying Starbound Road Case.
Yamaha P200 Digital Piano Serial Number 016459 in a Showcase Custom Road Case Serial Number 2846.
Karin’s pedal board w/Fishman Pre-amp etc in a road case marked “over the rhine”.
Karin’s vintage Fender Twin Guitar Amp in a road case marked “over the rhine”.
That’s just the tip of the proverbial ice berg lettuce. Maybe we’ll get serious (we’ve been trying to round up serial numbers etc) and post a complete list on the site and turn the wrath of our fans loose on the world armed with lyrics such as “Eyes wide open to the great train robbery” and “I didn’t know that murder could be good”.
Changing the subject:
We’re working on our next project for Back Porch, but in the meanwhile, we’ve made available through the website only a recording of a concert that was made informally while we were on tour last Fall. It’s not a perfect recording by any stretch of the imagination, but it does seem to capture some of the raw energy that has a lot to do with you being in a room with our music. Some of the songs on OHIO seemed to want to explode when we performed them in front of an audience, and we tried to hang on and take a good ride together when the spirit moved. We’ve tried pretty hard to document just about every phase of our journey so far as a band, and we think you’ll enjoy this memento of a very cathartic chapter. Here’s the link if you’d like to pick up a copy of CHANGES COME | Over the Rhine LIVE:
We’re not going to tell you where the concert was recorded. Maybe you can figure it out. If you weren’t there, you were probably there in spirit.
Thanks also to those of you who picked up a copy of Unspoken Requests, my new piano cd.
Also, we’re going to be selling off (and retiring) all the remaining t-shirts that were released with OHIO. So if you’ve been meaning to pick up a “Wine Me, Dine Me, Over the Rhine Me” t-shirt, or an OHIO shirt (remember, it sounds exotic to people that don’t actually live here), get ’em while supplies last. They’ll be going on sale in the next few hours for $9.99… (If technology cooperates.)
Well, it’s supper time.
Hope to see you all soon, and thanks for discovering and uncovering our music. It looks good on you.