November 10, 2006
P.O. Box 12078
Cincinnati, OH 45212
It’s been awhile. (Might want to get comfortable, pour a glass of something… This could take a little time.)
How have you been?
It’s an unseasonably warm November day today in Ohio. The fog snuck up all around the farmhouse in the wee hours this morning – we couldn’t even see the barn from the upstairs, East bedroom window. It was like waking up in the sky.
Most of the leaves have left the trees, and it’s supposed to be a bright 70 degrees today. Fall in Ohio is soothing and delicious. We have turned our clocks back. In the early evening, the windows of the farmhouse glow warmly now as mist rises up on the fields. Night comes before the evening meal. The air is moist and alive. Chilly breezes kick up now and again and flirt with the pines.
I’ve been meaning to write for some time. Sometimes it’s important to be quiet for awhile. Listen deeply. Learn a little. Labor well in obscurity. Disappear. Lose your life to find it.
It’s harvest time on Nowhere Farm. We grow songs mostly.
This is what we’ve got for you.
1. Snow Angels
After talking about it for years, we have finally made a new Over the Rhine Christmas Record. We’re on pace for one every decade. Snow Angels is our second. It’s a record full of upright bass and piano and percussion and little surprises and of course Karin’s increasingly soulful singing. I think it feels a little unlike any other Christmas Record I’ve heard. (Which might have to do with the fact that we wrote almost all of the songs.)
We hope that Snow Angels is a record that becomes part of the landscape for small gatherings of people who love each other. A record that’s a good companion for long winter afternoons spent alone. A backdrop for road trips across wide open spaces after dark. And we hope that you’ll feel drawn to revisit various songs on Snow Angels all year round.
If you’re hungry for something a little different to pass out to friends and family this year, something soulful, something alive, please keep Snow Angels in mind. We hope this music gets itself shared.
(We tried to package Snow Angels as beautifully as we could. Thanks to Clinton Reno for the wonderful illustrations, to Michael Wilson once again for stunning photographs, and to Owen Brock for helping put it all together. The package includes all the lyrics, extensive (characteristically rambling) notes, credits and more.)
Snow Angels will ship in early December, rubbing shoulders with other presents in the US Mail, flying in planes over the Atlantic to points beyond. We’re going to begin taking pre-orders very soon at overtherhine.com. (We’ll send out a note and let you know when we’re good to go). We’ve never done this before, but those that pre-order will be given a web address to a secret archive of Karin’s Nowhere Farm sketches – Karin’s earliest outlines of many of the songs that became Snow Angels . Fun. Those that pre-order can begin listening to these intimate performances right away.
(Please note: If you’re planning to see one of the first Over the Rhine Christmas Concerts this December, it may make sense to just pick up your copy (or copies) of Snow Angels at the show rather than having them shipped during a busy month…)
We’re making Snow Angels available directly to fans of Over the Rhine this December, and are planning a national release for this project in 2007. Check out overtherhine.com for more details.
2. LIVE From Nowhere Volume Two
This is a new Over the Rhine tradition we’ve started. We signed and numbered 3000 copies (Oh, my hand…) of Volume One, which Sold Out. Now for Volume Two!
Basically, we’re going to gather the juiciest highlights we can come up with from our December 16 Taft Theater show, our Christmas Tour, and maybe we’ll even pull a treat or two from our Sold Out tour of New Zealand earlier this year. (We also taped a couple of the concerts when we were out with Hem this Spring and Summer – so there’s a lot to choose from.)
If you enjoyed Volume One, we think we can make you real happy with Volume Two.
(Due to various lengthy, earnest letters, not unlike this one, which we received from those who weren’t able to get a copy, we are making Volume One available digitally at I-Tunes etc. But the real, signed, numbered copies of Volume One are no longer available.)
We’ll be taking pre-orders for Live From Nowhere Volume Two , which will ship in March of 2007. (We’re giving ourselves a little breathing room.) Karin and I are going to sign and number 3500 copies this time around, and we’ll include a small gift for those that pre-order. Get ’em while they last if you want ’em! Check out overtherhine.com for details.
3. Let’s Throw a Little Soiree
Sunday, December 17th, at 3pm, the day after our Cincinnati homecoming concert at the beautiful Taft Theater in Cincinnati, Karin and I are inviting you once again to join us at St. Elizabeth’s in Norwood, Ohio, for some acoustic music, spoken word, festive food and drink, conversation, and basically a chance for us to have a little holiday gathering with our extended musical family before we call it a year. We really enjoyed this last December, and hope to see even more of you this time. Check out overtherhine.com for more details.
4. Over the Rhine Blend
Just for grins and to keep life interesting: Join us for a cup of good coffee – the kind we now wake up with every morning at Nowhere Farm, specially blended for artists, writers, musicians, day dreamers and night walkers!
Karin and I made an important discovery recently: fresh-roasted, organic, fair trade coffee roasted in small batches by someone who approaches the whole process like an artist is truly eye-opening.
Fresh, organic, fair-trade, made in small batches – we hope it sounds suspiciously like Over the Rhine’s music…
This unique blend is fresh-roasted exclusively for Over the Rhine by Chuck Roast. You order, the beans are roasted the day they ship, Oh my.
Order yours at overtherhine.com. (Coming soon.)
5. We’re traveling to you. You’re traveling to us. We’re getting closer.
(Or something like that.)
We had an unforgettable year on the road in 2006. It started with two beautiful weeks in New Zealand where we had the time of our lives playing Sold Out shows and fraternizing after hours with French trapeze artists and Spanish flamenco dancers. We had a lovely time cavorting around the USA with Hem in the spring and early summer. Our songwriting workshop in Santa Fe this August was a truly charmed week (which alone could easily fill it’s own separate letter. Thanks again to all who participated.) We got to play a benefit concert for Africa with Aimee Mann and the Indigo Girls a few weeks back, and performing at Tall Stacks down by the river in Cincinnati (with Wilco, John Hiatt, The Blind Boys of Alabama and dozens of wonderful musicians) was simply magic. Thanks to all of you who found us.
But notwithstanding the above, for some odd reason, we look forward to these upcoming concerts all year long. Something about bundling up, dodging the snow (hopefully), coming in out of the cold, and making music with all of you �� – our extended musical family – at this time of year… Well, it’s just our idea of a good time. We really hope you can join us.
(This week: We’re hopping on a train across Canada with Cowboy Junkies and others for some cozy evenings of music on the train as we make our way across the prairies and through the Canadian Rockies. We’ll be looking out the window for the Northern Lights and I’ll give a shout out to my old high school in Alberta as we sneak through Calgary. Come find us in Vancouver when we hop off if you can.)
Wed Nov 15: Vancouver BC, Regent College, 8:00pm, all ages
Fri Nov 17: Dayton OH, Canal Street Tavern, ages 18+
Sat Nov 18: Dayton OH, Canal Street Tavern, ages 18+
***OVER THE RHINE Snow Angels Tour 2006***
Thu Nov 30: Columbus OH, Little Brothers, ages 18+
Fri Dec 01: Bloomington IN, Buskirk/Chumley Theater, all ages
Sat Dec 02: Chicago IL, Double Door, 21+
Mon Dec 04: Holland MI, Hope College (Knickerbocker Theater), all ages
Tue Dec 05: Kent OH, The Kent Stage, all ages
Thu Dec 07: New York NY, Joe’s Pub, all ages
Fri Dec 08: Philadelphia PA, Theatre of Living Arts, all ages
Sat Dec 09: Annapolis MD, Ram’s Head, 21+
Sun Dec 10: Washington DC, Jammin Java, all ages
Thu Dec 14: Nashville TN, 3rd & Lindsley, all ages
Fri Dec 15: Lexington KY, The Dame, 21+
Sat Dec 16: Cincinnati OH, Our Homecoming Concert at the beautiful Taft Theatre, all ages. Special Guest: Mary Gauthier. (If you haven’t heard Mary’s music, check out her CD, Mercy Now . You are in for a treat! Wow. Road trips are us – hope you can join us for this special evening.)
Sun Dec 17: Cincinnati OH, Gathering/Soiree/Exclusive performance at St. Elizabeth’s, all ages. You’re all invited!
Much more at overtherhine.com…
Well I need to go pack for a train trip. And the Canadian Rockies.
Hope to see you all soon,