Over the Rhine: March Update
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Nowhere Farm Birds
Hello from Ohio,

What a true Laura Ingalls Wilder winter we have had here in Southern Ohio. The above was the scene on Valentine’s Day, and it looks much the same today.

We would wake up on our little hideaway farm, and find that, Behold, all was made new.
snowy yard
Some winter days heavy with impending weather dawned as if they were straining to give birth.
What does one do when one is snowed in on a farm in Ohio for much of two months:

One goes for walks and surveys the scene and breathes.
snowy woods
One reads. (The real reason God created long winter nights?)
One cooks.
One gets cabin fever.
cabin fever
One snuggles with big dogs.
Karin and Minnie
One gets caught up in winter games.
board games
One forms an armchair birdwatchers’ club.
window view
One opens a good bottle of red wine, this Bordeaux a gift from a friend as a reminder that this year marks the 25th anniversary of Over the Rhine. One hopes that some things get better with age.
Wow, 25 years? It’s true. In March of 1989, we recorded our first half-dozen tentative demos. For a very brief period, we were an ‘80s band. (I can’t remember if we believed back then that we had 25 years in us or not.) So we lift a glass of something good, and we are grateful. If you’re reading this, you probably had something to do with us being able to make a living for so long. Thank you.

But yes, sometimes, even now, we still think about quitting music and writing. I overheard someone say, There comes a moment in your darkest hour when you realize what will save you is the thing you’ve been doing your whole life.

And in this case, it seems to ring true. When we imagine reinventing our lives, we start dreaming about what we care about, and before too long, we end up back where we started.

When Karin and I picked the guitars back up recently, and sat down at the piano and started playing through the songs to get ready for our upcoming dates, we realized the music began to work on us again. The songs have a way of nudging us toward the people we want to be.

I once was thinking out loud with a colleague, and I remarked that it felt like all my songs were love songs, and this felt like a failure of some kind. He said, Yeah, but you’re not just writing about falling in love, you write about what happens further down the road.

James Baldwin put it this way: “Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word ‘love’ here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace - not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.”


Love: let it be not just a feeling, but the broken beauty of what we choose to do.

Yeah, I still can’t think of anything better to sign my name to.

So it’s time to leave the farm and try to make a joyful ruckus once again. Karin and I have some dates coming up in various listening rooms and theatres. We’re gonna strip it back down to the heart and soul of the matter again. Tell a few stories. Sing some harmonies.

A couple of special things to mention:

On April 11 and 12, at Duke University, we are collaborating with Joe Henry and The Milk Carton Kids on a project called Wild Edges. We are all going to put our heads together and try to write songs that respond to various existing standards found in the American Songbook – try to continue the conversation musically. We are going to record the proceedings in front of a live audience – two shows. (Levon Henry, Jay Bellerose and Jennifer Condos are joining with us as well.) Maybe we can all be surprised. Come find us if you can and we’ll see what’s revealed.

And on April 25 & 26, we are joining forces once again with the Cincinnati Ballet for three performances at the beautiful Aronoff Center in Cincinnati. As part of their 50th season, three choreographers have chosen 19 of our songs, which we will perform live while the dancers embody and explode them in front of our eyes. (Jay Bellerose, Eric Heywood and Jennifer Condos will be joining us as our Band of Sweethearts for these performances.) If you saw the collaboration a few years ago, you already know it’s a very moving experience – not to be missed.
(And just an aside, we are thrilled that we will be performing with the Cincinnati Pops orchestra in January of 2015. More on that later…)

There will be more 25th anniversary shenanigans to bring you up to speed on, but we’ll focus on the above for the time being.

Check out for more details and dates, and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Peace like a river, love like an ocean,

Linford and Karin
tour dates
03.06.14 Knoxville, TN, The Square Room
03.07.14 Frankfort, KY, Grand Theatre
03.08.14 South Bend, IN, Subkirke
03.25.14 Hopkins, MN, Hopkins Center for the Arts
03.28.14 Bloomington, IN, Buskirk-Chumley Theatre
04.03.14 Pittsburgh, PA, The Rex Theatre
04.04.14 Annapolis, MD, Ram’s Head Onstage
04.05.14 Lynchburg, VA, Academy of Fine Arts Warehouse Theatre
04.06.14 Charlottesville, VA, Jefferson Theater
04.11.14 Durham, NC, Hayti Heritage Center
04.12.14 Durham, NC, Hayti Heritage Center
04.25.14 Cincinnati, OH, Cincinnati Ballet
04.26.14 Cincinnati, OH, Cincinnati Ballet, Early Show
04.26.14 Cincinnati, OH, Cincinnati Ballet, Evening Show
05.01.14 The Woodlands, TX, Dosey Doe
05.02.14 Austin, TX, Texas Union Theater
05.03.14 Dallas, TX, The Kessler Theater
Copyright © 2014 Over the Rhine, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Over the Rhine
P.O. Box 12078
Cincinnati, OH 45212

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