September 18, 2002

P.O. Box 12078
Cincinnati, OH 45212

September 18, 2002

Hello from Ohio,

It’s high time we checked in with you all. Autumn is just around the corner. Sign me up.

We arrived back safely from Europe. It’s good to be home. We got to spend most of a week with Jack and Hazel and Finlay at their cottage in Lead Hills, Scotland. Scotland was chilly, damp and deep grey and green the week we were there. Lots of aromatic pipe smoke and Lagavulin to warm the blood and the heart. The sun did come out gloriously on the last day which we spent together in Edinburgh.

And it was soon time for Jack and Karin and I to pack up the instruments and head back out into the world to play concerts in Holland, England, Ireland and Wales. The concert in Italy was cancelled because the venue on the coast was destroyed earlier in severe weather, so we had an unexpected holiday in Pisa–two days and three nights. Italy opens her arms in the most intoxicating ways, and it’s not just the ’97 Chiantis. We stayed in an old hotel right along the river in Pisa. We climbed the leaning tower at sundown. And Karin and I got to make another day trip to Lucca and take an evening stroll around the wall of that tiny city. There is a road on top of the wall (4.5km) flanked by ancient sycamores. The clouds that clung to the mountains in the distance after the afternoon rains… We were each lost in our own thoughts on the night train ride back to Pisa, so many images to process.

Dublin is a place full of poetry and music lovers. This tiny country called Ireland, one tenth the size of Texas, has given the world an abundance of colorful writers: Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker, G.B. Shaw, Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, C.S. Lewis–and many others. Karin and I took a literary pub crawl around Dublin with two Irish actors who kept us in stitches with anecdotes of writers and recited passages from the pages of many a fine book. As we walked around Dublin, I couldn’t help but notice that the national treasures seemed more modest than those on display in say Rome, Paris, London, Madrid or Amsterdam. Maybe there is a different sort of wealth that has been accumulated in Ireland, something to do with language and music and kindness.

We had dinner outdoors in Amsterdam and watched the folks from the city idle up and down the canals in their sleek wooden boats with dinners spread out and glasses of wine in hand. We played a fine venue there called Melkweg, Dutch for “milky way”. It was a converted dairy plant and boasted an enthusiastic audience hollering requests, making us feel good.

It was great to return to Greenbelt and Flevo festivals–although we were in and out quickly this time around. We ended the tour in Laugharne, Wales, stomping grounds of Dylan Thomas. We were surrounded after the show by curly haired, husky farmers from the area, as well as a smattering of folks that had driven in from England. A surreal, special evening. Even a hundred or so cows came over to the edge of the field next to Hurst House after the show leaning as far over the fence as they could.

We spent our last night with Lucy in London, and flew home the next morning.

So we’re back at the Grey Ghost again, and it’s back to work on some more recording in the coming weeks. The folks at Virgin/Backporch have set a tentative release date for the next record: April 8, 2003. We’ll see what happens. (!)

We’re also planning a bit of a Rhinelander Revival. The big Christmas show this year at the Taft Theater in Cincinnati is scheduled for December 8th, a Sunday evening. The following Monday, December 9th, we’re planning to do a more intimate “Q&A” concert at a smaller venue here in town, more of a hang-out-and-say-hello-in-person-type-thing. (And a chance for more of you, to meet each other.) There will be a few other surprises connected with this affair–more later. But in the meanwhile mark your calendars for December 8th and 9th. We realized that these will be our only Cincinnati appearances this year, so we’re gearing up for a good time. Hope you can join us.

Turns out that this Fall, Karin and I are playing a series of living room concerts here and there. We tried this out in Madison, Wisconsin, last Saturday, and it was a blast for us to rework some songs we hadn’t done in a awhile, along with trying out more new stuff. With the exception of the occasional one-off, we really haven’t done much performing in the last decade as a duo, so it’s a bit of an undiscovered country for us. We were a little surprised at how much fun we had. So we’ll try this for a bit before firing the full band back up. Here’s what we got:

Friday, September 20, Birdy’s, Indianapolis, IN
Saturday, September 21, Schuba’s, Chicago, IL (two shows)
Sunday, September 22, Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis, MN

Friday, September 27, Canal Street Tavern, Dayton, OH
Saturday, September 28, Canal Street Tavern, Dayton, OH

Thursday, October 17, Jammin’ Java, Vienna, VA
Friday, October 18, Messiah College, Grantham, PA
Saturday, October 19, Club Cafe, Pittsburgh, PA

Monday, October 21 Lexington, KY, Woodsongs (Radio Broadcast)

Friday, November 1, Memphis, TN
Saturday, November 2, St. Louis, MO

Check out overtherhine.com for more specifics…

If you’d like to volunteer to help out with merch at any of the above in exchange for a free ticket and a free cd, pls contact Blair Woods: BlairW@aol.com. Thanks.

That’s about it for now off the top of our heads. Keep in touch and hope to see you soon. And thanks for everything,

Linford for Over the Rhine