November 16, 2007
P.O. Box 12078
Cincinnati, OH 45212
We returned home to the farm to chilly fall weather. The old maples had waited for us: they still had their leaves and have slowly blushed crimson and rusty yellow in the last week or so as if on cue. The first mildly shocking thing upon arriving home was the absence of birds and butterflies. The hummingbirds were gone, the songbirds had all but vanished. The silence is stunning – mostly just the sound now of the restless wind through the trees and pines.
The bluejays assert themselves in this new silence – their monosyllabic diatribes reverberate through the woods. The bluejays seemed to be everywhere when we got back, and it wasn’t long before the hawks noticed. We have twice found circles of neatly plucked bluejay feathers in the field, like the dying embers of a blue fire.
Of course, the cardinals are still here leaving the occasional smear of red in the air – the tip of God’s paintbrush. The blackbirds and grackles do their dizzy maneuvers, little black undulating clouds morphing just above the harvested fields. And occasionally, cozy little birds of a dusty blue grey make themselves known in the bushes, stealthy and bright-eyed – birds that I can’t name, which I assume must be Canadian, just passing through.
The second mildly shocking thing was Elroy got skunked on our very first after dark walk – the first night we were home. He trotted over to the weeds to fish lip a dark moving animal and took a direct blast to the head. Wow. I carried the 20 guage around for a few days, but haven’t seen hide nor hair of the offender. Fortunately, Karin has a special potion that a local farmer gave her (involving peroxide, baking soda and dish soap). She got the Great Dane smelling pretty good all things considered. But it was pretty ripe around here for a few days. Oh well, that’s the price you pay as a dog for waking up every morning surrounded by 1500 acres of not too much.
This is the time of year when we can begin to see the end of a long road. I wouldn’t want to count the number of miles we’ve traveled since late July, and we have more miles to go, but we can now begin to see the finish line. Now we feel always that sweet tiredness that comes from having given the best that we could muster, the hard-won exhaustion of seeing a long road through to the end. As the darkness arrives earlier each evening, we hunker down as much as possible at home in the old farm house in the warm lamp light. But I do love sneaking out later and walking alone after dark through the blustery fields, seeing the mist rolling in around the house. I’m an incurable night walker.
The finish line. In our case, it’s our annual hometown Christmas concert at a beautiful, historic, 2600 seat theater, followed by a little party that we throw in a ragged old cathedral the following afternoon. We invite anyone to attend and to our surprise, people from all around the world accept the invitation.
We hope you can make it this year on Saturday, December 15, for the concert, and Sunday afternoon, December 16, at 3pm for what we’re calling our Snow Angels Soiree: Chuck will be serving his impeccable lattes, we’ll have some drink and assorted refreshment, some acoustic music, some spoken word, some conversation, dozens and dozens of slightly used roses.
We continue to marvel at the unique symbiotic relationship we have with our extended musical family. We look back on all the miles and ask ourselves, How did we just do all that? Often it simply comes down to the energy and enthusiasm of an audience propping us up. On a good night, something takes over that’s bigger than all of us. Bigger than the caffeine, the drugs, the sleeping pills, the women of the night that constantly surround us…
(Just wanted to make sure you were still with me…)
We’ll try to bottle hints of the elusive magic again on the limited edition series we began a few years ago called, Live From Nowhere. Hard to believe we’ll be up to Live From Nowhere Volume Three already, after this year. You can pre-order your limited edition copy now. We’ll include as many musical highlights as we can from The Trumpet Child and Snow Angels tours, including reworked versions of some older Over the Rhine songs, and maybe a surprise or two. Should be fun.
So check out OvertheRhine.com for details and much more.
And I shouldn’t get too far ahead of myself: we’ve got miles to go before we sleep.
Once again, we’re looking for a few good volunteers to sell our wares in each city at our concerts. Who better for the job than folks who have actually listened to the music. If you’d be willing to help us out pls send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Pls put MERCH VOLUNTEER/CITY/DATE in the subject heading. Include your contact info in the body of the e-mail. If you don’t hear back, now worries, it just means we’re covered. Thanks again.
Here are the remaining dates this year…
This Friday, November 16, Canton, Ohio, Malone College. SOLD OUT. (Yes, our alma mater, the liberal arts college where Karin and I first made tentative music together. No tickets remain, but come sit in the hallway if you’re in the neighborhood…)
Saturday, November 17, Dayton, Ohio, Canal Street Tavern. SOLD OUT. (One of our favorite listening rooms and the only venue in America where we play two sets. Tradition. Limited standing room only tickets will be made available the night of the show.)
Sunday, November 18, Cincinnati, Ohio, The Taft Theater. The Cincinnati Entertainment Awards. (We’ll be playing a short set to kick off the proceedings. Thanks to CityBeat and to all who nominated us for Album of the Year and Best Cincinnati Musical Ambassador…)
Short break at the farm. You can be sure we’ll trim our tree early. Karin will festoon the old staircase (so it will all be waiting when we arrive home). Vince Guaraldi will suddenly be in heavy rotation.
OVER THE RHINE SNOW ANGELS TOUR 2007
Saturday, November 24, Chicago, Illinois, Old Town School of Folk Music. Two Shows! Special Guest Griffin House. (Wonderful venue in a fab neighborhood in one of America’s greatest Live Music cities.)
Sunday, November 25, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Cedar Cultural Center. (Finally. Looking forward to seeing all of you – our first appearance at this venue – we’ve heard good things.)
Tuesday, November 27, Madison, Wisconsin, Majestic Theater. (Great city to visit during the holidays – you’ll probably see Karin and I bundled up wandering around with our hot coffees exploring.)
Wednesday, November 28, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Miramar Theater. (Go Packers.)
Friday, November 30, Kent, Ohio, Kent Stage. (Beautiful old theater, red velvet seats, piano with a broken heart…)
Saturday, December 1, Columbus, Ohio. Private show.
Sunday, December 2, Ann Arbor, Michigan, The Ark. (Always one of our favorite stops on the Christmas Tour. Another great town to walk around in during the holidays.)
Friday, December 7, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Calvin College Fine Arts Center. (Wonderful venue – we still aspire to be the Calvin College House Band.)
Sunday, December 9, Goshen, Indiana, Goshen Theater. (Karin and I ended up in this area on our backroads Midwestern honeymoon. We hit the Shipshewana Antique Auction, and to our knowledge, this is the only place in the world you can find a hotel room with genuine handmade Amish quilts, oak furnithure and an ultra-modern hot tub.)
Tuesday, December 11, Nashville, Tennessee, Belcourt Theater. (Our first headline show at this historic venue. Hope you can join us. Thanks to WRLT for all their help with this one. Look for some additional musicians to appear.)
Wednesday, December 12, Indianapolis, Indiana, The Music Mill. (Hopefully we won’t have to drive through 10 hours of snow this time.)
Thursday, December 13, Lexington, Kentucky, The Kentucky Theater, with Michelle Shocked. (Our first headline show at this historic venue. Thanks to all at Woodsongs for their help.)
Saturday, December 15, Cincinnati, Ohio, The Taft Theater, with Michelle Shocked. (Join us in our hometown for our final concert of a very big year in this stunning venue. Always a special evening. Tickets are selling fast. Special thanks to WNKU for all their support over the years. Note: tickets are available at OvertheRhine.com w/o expensive service charges.)
Sunday, December 16, Cincinnati, Ohio, (Norwood): The Snow Angels Soiree at Saint Elizabeths. (3pm. Join us for an afternoon of conversation, drink, festive food, impeccable lattes, an acoustic performance by Over the Rhine and some spoken word and Q&A. We’ll bask in the afterglow together. See OvertheRhine.com for ticket info.)
That’s the finish line. Then we disappear for 6 weeks. In late January we head to Florida and Texas (finally) and parts unknown.
Hope to see you soon and thanks again for everything, As my wife likes to say, without you we’d be homeless.
Linford (and Karin)
Pls feel free to pass this letter around to family and friends. Perhaps parts of it are fridge-worthy.