Letters

October 6, 2009

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

October 6, 2009

Hello extended musical family,

How in the world are you?

(You might want to pour a glass or mug of something good, sit back and get comfortable.)

It’s October in Ohio. Our little piece of slow curving earth is changing right in front of our eyes everyday. Color is slipping into the faces of the trees. The nights are chilly. I slip on a wool sweater and a cap now when I walk the after dark paths.

The orchards are selling their new apples. I picked up a bag of jonathans recently – an excellent eating apple for late afternoons. A lot of folks have been talking about the honey crisps. I look for an apple not too sweet that pops and snaps when you sink your teeth into it and break off a bite.

Karin and I celebrated our wedding anniversary yesterday – a clear, crisp fall day much like the day that found us 13 years ago in Eden Park in Cincinnati surrounded by family and friends.

It’s good to be in love.

And we’re just back from Canada. Our niece Maria was married on Saturday, the first Detweiler grandchild to tie the knot.

She and her husband wrote part of their own vows and what struck me was how they promised each other that they would do everything they could to help the other meet their full potential. It was as if they believed the other had the raw materials to be truly great, and they each were owning a responsibility, a duty to help their partner get there, even if they didn’t fully understand yet what that looked like.

I don’t think I had ever quite heard this at a wedding ceremony. Maybe it’s something the younger generation gets. I like it.

When we arrived back at the farm, we were sad to hear that the father of Kenny Hutson (the multi-instrumentalist that’s been touring with us for a good while) passed away Sunday evening. We think of all the late night stories that Kenny has told us about growing up hunting and fishing in Georgia and playing bluegrass with his father. Apparently when Kenny’s Dad was at a music festival years ago getting ready to walk on stage, Bill Monroe leaned in and gave him the following instructions:

Y’all just rare back
And let it go
Like you ain’t got
A care in the world.

Our thoughts are with Kenny and his family.

We are at the stage of life where we are watching the young begin their fresh chapters, as our parents and their friends begin now one by one to speak their last few lines and step off stage.

Living out here on our little farm in Southern Ohio for almost five years now, we feel the deep rhythm of the seasons like never before. The full moon rises in a different place every month as it circles the house. Different wild flowers bloom at different times – the asters being one of the very last of summer to splash their colors around the farm. The hummingbirds vanish before the first hint of frost. The September sky opens up, the clouds get bigger and whiter. It all begins to feel familiar as it cycles over and over.

I ran across this from my journal earlier this year:

March 17, 2009:

“Now it feels like Spring is nosing around. The maple trees have their red buds. The finches have hints of gold seeping into their soft bodies. The yard is greening. The weatherman says 70 degrees today. Hooray.

Some overachieving midwestern robin is already well on her way to every robin’s dream: building the world’s most sturdy nest. She arranges her grasses, stuffs her family’s mattress.

Twenty years ago this month, without knowing what we were doing, we began making tentative new recordings in a basement garage. All we had was a dream and more heartache than we knew what to do with. We have left behind a trail of deeply flawed recordings, hopefully as deeply flawed as our own humanity/hearts, and in that sense, honest. We wanted the music to make us look better than we actually were. I suppose we succeeded somewhat, but mostly failed to pull the wool over the eyes of the world.

There is a lot of aspiration in the music. We wrote what we longed for. We wrote a lot with our eyes closed (more about the world inside than the world outside?). We aimed impossibly high and prayed that when we fell inevitably short, it would still somehow be good.

We tried to write songs that would stick to the listener’s skin. We tried to write songs that someone might want to listen to on their next to last day on earth. Isn’t that, after all, pretty much everyday? We tried to write songs that were relevant to the moments in life most pregnant with significance and possibility.

We tried.

What excites me more than the first twenty years is the next twenty. A yet-to-be-written-book. It feels like spring.

Someone said, In your twenties and thirties you learn. In your forties and fifties you earn.

I like that.

Hopefully, I’m less torn up inwardly now. Less conflicted. (Some might argue this is a liability for a writer. I don’t think so.)

It’ll be good to see how it all shakes out. New terrain. Choose your cliché .”

**

Yes, the next 20 years. It’s no longer springtime and yet we know seasons bursting with creativity will come round again in their time. It’s gray and wet outside today but new songs are starting to land. We have a few finished that are beginning to point the way forward for the many songs that are unfinished. We’ll see where it goes. We hope you can come along. We hope you sink your teeth into the not too sweet songs and feel the pop and snap as you break off a bite.

And we know this: when the nights begin to get colder, we come looking for you.

It’s October. If we squint our eyes we can see all the way to the end of the year.

Hope to see you,

Linford and Karin

**

OVER THE RHINE IN CONCERT 2009

NORTH:

(This week!)

October 8, Thursday, Milwaukee, WI, PABST THEATER (Special guest, Vienna Teng)
October 9, Friday, Madison, WI, MAJESTIC THEATRE (Special guest, Vienna Teng)
October 10, Saturday, Minneapolis, MN, CEDAR CULTURAL CENTER (Special guest, Vienna Teng)

WEST:

November 2, Monday, Denver, CO, SOILED DOVE (Special guest, Katie Herzig)
November 4, Wednesday, Salt Lake City, UT, THE STATE ROOM (Special guest, Katie Herzig)

November 6, Friday, San Diego, CA: (CANCELLED.) We were supposed to play Anthology but the venue cancelled because they had an opportunity to make more money hosting a private party. Our apologies. Pls join us in Los Angeles.

November 7, Saturday, Los Angeles, CA, LARGO AT THE CORONET (Special guest, Katie Herzig)
November 8, Sunday, Los Angeles, CA, LARGO AT THE CORONET (Special guest, Katie Herzig)

November 10, Tuesday, San Francisco, CA, GREAT AMERICAN MUSIC HALL (Special guest, Katie Herzig)

November 12, Thursday, Portland, OR, DOUG FIR (Special guest, Katie Herzig)
November 13, Friday, Portland, OR, DOUG FIR (Special guest, Katie Herzig)

November 1
4, Saturday, Seattle, WA, THE TRIPLE DOOR (Special guest, Katie Herzig)
November 15, Sunday, Seattle, WA, THE TRIPLE DOOR (Special guest, Katie Herzig)

EAST:

November 30, Monday, Philadelphia, PA, WORLD CAF É (Special guest, Lucy Wainwright Roche)
December 1, Tuesday, New York City, NY, HIGHLINE BALLROOM (Special guest, Lucy Wainwright Roche)

December 2, Wednesday, Tarrytown, NY, TARRYTOWN MUSIC HALL (Co-Headline with Vienna Teng)
December 4, Friday, Boston, MA, BERKLEE PERFORMANCE CENTER (Co-Headline with Vienna Teng)
December 5, Saturday, Old Saybrook, CT, KATHARINE HEPBURN CULTURAL ARTS CENTER (Co-Headline with Vienna Teng)
December 6, Sunday, Albany, NY, THE EGG (Co-Headline with Vienna Teng)
December 8, Tuesday, Washington, DC, THE SYNAGOGUE (Co-Headline with Vienna Teng)

MIDWEST:
December 10, Thursday, Kent, OH, KENT STAGE (Special guest, Lucy Wainwright Roche)
December 11, Friday, Ann Arbor, MI, THE ARK (Special guest, Lucy Wainwright Roche)
December 12, Saturday, Chicago, IL, OLD TOWN SCHOOL OF FOLK MUSIC (TWO SHOWS, 7pm and 10pm!) (Special guest, Lucy Wainwright Roche)

December 19, Saturday, Cincinnati, OH, THE TAFT THEATRE, Over the Rhine’s annual holiday homecoming concert. Tickets on sale now at OvertheRhine.com, Taft Theatre Box Office, Ticketmaster etc!

December 20, Sunday Soiree, Cincinnati, OH, ST. ELIZABETH’S IN NORWOOD:

In addition to the above, Karin and Linford would like to invite you to joi
n Over the Rhine on Sunday, December 20th at 3pm at St. Elizabeth’s, 1757 Mills Ave., Norwood, Ohio, 45212, for a holiday gathering featuring an acoustic performance, some spoken word, some conversation and of course some festive food and drink. (This gathering takes place the day after our Taft Theatre holiday homecoming concert.)

We have had so much fun with this the last four years in a row. It’s a great way to end our working year, surrounded by our extended musical family. See OvertheRhine.com for more details.

(Price of admission entitles you to bring a guest OR your spouse and children.)

I think that’s about it. Five pages is going to have to do it this time around. Thanks again for everything. (And by the way, if you’ve e-mailed recently, sorry, we’re more than a little behind with correspondence.)

xo from Nowhere,

L&K

PS Please feel more than free to share this letter with family and friends. Forward it, chop it up and TWEET it, FACEBOOK it, MYSPACE it, blog it, podcast it in a posh accent, print it out and let the Weimaraner chew it up like ill-fated homework, crumple it, strike an Ohio bluetip match and light an outdoor fall fire, nail a copy to the sugar maple and let the sap bleed the lines to syrup, place a copy for good luck in each newly raked pile of leaves, line the wooden crates with its pages and then fill them with sweet potatoes which must cure for 10 days at approximately 85 degrees Farenheit before eating, and finally, our favorite, place a crisp copy (printed on Mohawk Superfine) on the floor of the Victorian bird cage and let the white doves crap all night long.