Letters

September 4, 2012

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

September 4, 2012

Dear ones,

Hope you all had a good Labor Day weekend.

Is it just me or are there strong hints of autumn everywhere? 

The birds have gone mostly quiet in the mornings. 

The staghorn sumac is already turning crimson, the field of golden rod is starting to turn, evening mist is creeping into the low fields. The acorn and butternut squash are lying exposed in the garden. The school buses are picking up children on back roads.

Yes, there is something about the light and air that is foreshadowing fall.

Karin is down in Louisville acting in an independent film with some heavy hitting songwriters – John Doe, Aimee Mann, Loudon Wainwright III and Joe Henry. I got to spend the weekend down there and drink in some of the vibe. It was especially good to reconnect once again with Joe, who as you know, helped us catch and release The Long Surrender.

Joe always thinks of September 1 as New Year’s Day, “the gateway into fall; marking the time to set aside distractions and truly engage in the soul’s real work; to rededicate yourself to love and service, forgiveness and mystery.”

(That’s the kind of small talk that emerges over a very cold gin martini with Joe.)

But yes, Amen, in that spirit, it’s September: Happy New Year!

Karin and I are still writing for these next few projects that are taking shape. It reminds of me of our first trip to Scotland. We took a ferry to the Isle of Arran (where I first attempted to drive on the left side of the road: I grazed a few mailboxes and nudged a  sheep or two into the ditch, but other than that we eventually arrived unscathed at the youth hostel.) But anyway, we pointed to a small Scottish mountain one afternoon and decided to pull the car over and climb it. How long could it take? 

The thing is, once we started climbing and neared the top, we realized we had further to go. And we would climb, and climb some more, and then from that new vantage point, we would see we were still not all the way there. 

And so on. 

It was nearing dark and quite cold when we finally made it back to the car. Later, after a change of clothes, we opened a door to the heartwarming glow of a Scottish pub in the middle of nowhere, families having dinner, pints being poured all around, noisy laughter and conversation, dogs lying on the floor in front of a roaring fire place. Unforgettable.)

But that’s the thing about writing. You think you’re nearing the end of the long climb, and then you realize there is more. Sometimes the doors just keep opening. One thing leads to another. A new song might make you aware in your mind’s eye that there is an unexplored adjacent room full of draped furniture that seems to be calling your name. 

Anne Lamott compares this idea to driving at night. We can’t see the destination when we set out, but we can see as far as our headlights show us. And we drive that far and then we can see a little further. Eventually we get there.

Ray Bradbury said, Walk up to the edge of the cliff. Jump off. Build your wings on the way down.

It’s been good to surrender once again to the music, and feel it take us to wherever we need to go. It’s been good to be surprised by some new songs that have made themselves known late in the process. Yes, they often seem to be tugging us somewhere we cannot fully name. But I have a feeling, much as it was with that Scottish pub, we will eventually stumble in out of the cold to a place of warmth and laughter and camaraderie.

(Interesting side note: when we were walking across the brushy field toward the mountain, we criss-crossed a number of small flowing streams etc, but occasionally with no warning, one of our legs would suddenly plunge through the low growth into three or four feet of silty water. We were all soon soaked to the skin and a bit perplexed, but we were young and determined to press on. Later we were told we had crossed one of those infamous Scottish bogs, where people sometimes disappear and never resurface. Another metaphor for writing in there somewhere I suppose… Tie a rope around me, I’m goin’ in.)

But yes, I promise we will be announcing our new plans for these projects very soon. We are once again going to invite you all along and see where this next chapter takes us.

In the meanwhile, we have some lovely evenings planned for this fall. Lots of new songs we are anxious to try out on all of you… And some familiar ones as well, of course. Some listening rooms, some gorgeous theaters, some historic music venues… it’s gonna be good.

But it’s not the same without you. Hope you can come find us.

Rock on, rave on,

Linford (and Karin)

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WALTZ ACROSS TEXAS (When Karin’s movie shoot wraps early next week, we’re hitting the ground running and heading back to Texas. Join us!)

Thursday, September 13: Wimberly, TX: BLUE ROCK STUDIOS

Friday, September 14: The Woodlands (Houston), TX: DOSEY DOE

(Saturday, September 15: Austin, TX: Private Concert)

KENT STATE FOLK FESTIVAL 

Friday, September 21, Kent, OH: KENT STAGE, with special guest Girlyman

(A festival with a lot of history just a stone’s throw from Hartville where my family lived when I was born. Beautiful in late September! Hope to see some familiar faces.)

NORTHEAST AUTUMN LEAVES TOUR (We are going to venture into the heart of Fall, and watch trees light themselves afire from within. Watch the faces of the trees blush at the prospect of standing around naked all winter. In short, we are leaving home in search of “a little kickass beauty before we die…” Road trip anyone?

Thursday, September 27, Pittsburgh, PA: CLUB CAFÉ

Friday, September 28, Harrisburg, PA: MIDTOWN SCHOLAR

Saturday, September 29, Sellersville, PA: SELLERSVILLE THEATER

Monday, October 1, Northampton, MA: THE IRON HORSE

Tuesday, October 2, Boston, MA: CLUB PASSIM (Two shows: 7pm and 9:30pm)

Thursday, October 4, Fall River, MA: NARROWS CENTER FOR THE ARTS

Friday, October 5, Fairfield, CT: FAIRFIELD THEATRE COMPANY 

(K&L 16th Anniversary – Gonna be a sweet show.)

Saturday, October 6, Londonderry, NH: TUPELO MUSIC HALL

Sunday, October 7, Pawling, NY: TOWN CRIER CAFE

ADDITIONAL FALL DATES:

Friday, October 26, Dayton, OH: THE VICTORIA THEATRE

Saturday, October 27, Canton, OH: MALONE COLLEGE (Homecoming)

Saturday, November 3, Bloomington, IN: BUSKIRK CHUMLEY THEATRE

Thursday, November 8, Bloomington, IL: BLOOMINGTON CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

Friday, November 9, St. Louis, IL: OLD ROCK HOUSE

Saturday, November 10, Louisville, KY: BOMHARD THEATRE

Friday, November 16, Seattle, WA: THE TRIPLE DOOR

Saturday, November 17, Seattle, WA: THE TRIPLE DOOR

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We’ll be announcing CHRISTMAS TOUR dates soon as well. (This year, we’re actually kicking off the tour at The Taft in Cincinnati on December 1. Sunday soiree is December 2. Save the dates. More to come.)

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And finally, we are taking another musical TRAIN TRIP September 2-7, 2013, in ALASKA! Join us if you dare for a musical adventure/conversation in the last frontier. We announced this trip to our train “alumni” a few weeks ago, and many of the available tickets disappeared instantly. But there is still room for you! More info/make reservations here:

http://www.rootsontherails.com/2013-trips-alaska—kenai-peninsula

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Check out overtherhine.com for more info on all the above. Please share the above freely.

Peace like a river, love like an ocean… L&K