0 Comments · Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Band Over the Rhine announce fundraising concerts this weekend at its new barn-turned-performing-arts-center, Nowhere Else. Plus, Americana/Blues/Bluegrass foursome The Goodle Boys celebrate their debut album and singer/songwriter Billy Catfish throws a musical shindig.
Plus, Tweens sign to Frenchkiss, PUBLIC's debut turns 1 and The Hiders go to the movies
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Over the Rhine announces its next album will be a double set released this September called Meet Me At the Edge of the World. Plus, Cincy trio Tweens sign with Frenchkiss Records.
by Mike Breen
Linford Detweiler of Over the Rhine pleads with gun-rights group to change its ways
In the aftermath of last week's once unfathomable tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, discussion about mental health services and gun control — thanks largely to social media — has grown to become the major topic of national discourse. During campaign cycles, certain music fans complain loudly about artists expressing their opinions about candidates and causes, using the old "shut up and sing" line to insinuate that, as entertainers, one somehow loses the right to speak their mind. Yet many other serious music fans understand that music and art are a reflection of our society — an artist can offer different perspectives that might help people understand some serious issue better or maybe even help them evolve their own views on particular subjects. I'm not saying we should follow artists blindly like some kind of cult. To quote Oasis, "Please don't put your life in the hands/Of a Rock & Roll band." But I for one am always eager to hear what musicians and other artists and writers I respect have to say about current affairs. Whether within their own art or speaking out in public, artists have the same right as non-artists to express opinions. It seems that the ones with particularly large followings are the musicians attacked most often for expressing views on politics or other controversial world affairs. They fear the power an artist can have if they express an opinion divergent from their own (in much the way liberals and conservatives fear the power Fox News and MSNBC might wield). Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist have never been afraid to speak up. The married braintrust behind longtime Cincinnati-based band Over the Rhine — which has a dedicated and loving international fanbase — has seen some backlash from fans for expressing "polarizing" viewpoints. Merely supporting Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry 12 years ago was enough to trigger anger amongst a few fans. The group isn't known for delving into political issues in their lyrics too often, but they have said that the song "How Long Have You Been Stoned" ("Takin' out Daddy's trash now ain't it a drag/Trippin' on Papa's brand new body bag") from 2003's double-album Ohio was inspired by the Bush administration's rush to war in Iraq.OTR never seemed to experience "Dixie Chicks-level" backlash (which nearly destroyed three musicians' careers); it's more similar to the recent hatred and disapproval aimed at Cincinnati natives The National, a globally successful Indie Rock band that angered some fans by campaigning for Barack Obama during the past two presidential elections. The worst (hopefully) that will ever happen in a case like that is the band might sell two or three less records and suffer insults on social media. For these artists and most like them, it's well worth the price. Following the recent shootings in Connecticut, Detweiler took to the internet to post an open letter to the National Rifle Association. Detweiler begins the post by writing, "I’m
a songwriter, and my first calling is to process the world in the
context of my songs. But I felt compelled to write the following,
because it’s been on my mind. If you find it useful, please share."What follows is the open letter from Facebook which has been shared almost 400 times and "liked" nearly 1,000 times. The 200-plus comments are actually fairly civil even when there's disagreement (OTR has a smarter-than-your-average-bear following), though they're not without a few angry and rude missives (it IS the internet after all). In the end, Detweiler has added to the dialogue about a topic that for too long has seemingly been "off the table" due to the power of the NRA and some citizens' particular interpretations of the constitution. (The NRA, at least for now, seems to be self-aware enough this time around to not come out with an insensitive statement, instead echoing the President's call for "meaningful" discussion to help avoid future tragedies like the one last Friday.)As always, Detweiler is eloquent in his words. No matter what side of the issue you come down on, I highly recommend giving it a read. And if you feel the need to weigh in, here is the link to the original post. AN OPEN LETTER to the four million members of the National Rifle Association: Dear fellow citizen,
The NRA released a statement yesterday on your behalf expressing that
you all are “shocked, saddened and heartbroken” by the news of the
massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary. Yes, we all are. For years
you have willingly given your money to an organization that has largely
ignored pleas from policemen across our country to limit access to
assault weapons and armor piercing ammunition. You have spent
countless millions of dollars silencing and vilifying voices that, while
supportive of gun ownership, were calling for moderation in the
distribution of weapons that could be used for mass destruction of human
life, including the gun used by Friday’s killer that shot one first
grader 11 times. And 19 other first grade children. And 6 adults in the
space of a few minutes… When previous heartbroken victims of
gun violence who lost children or spouses tried to speak out to
hopefully help prevent others from suffering similar unspeakable loss,
you rallied for your rights, and gave the suffering no quarter.
For years you have marketed the idea to the citizens of this country
that the US government is a potential enemy bent on harming its own
citizens, and the only way we could all be safe was if we each purchased
a private arsenal of weapons. While you are reportedly
“shocked, saddened and heartbroken,” how many of your members after
Friday’s shooting have changed their profile pictures to images of guns,
or tweeted messages like “I’m buying a gun the day after Christmas.
Join me! #NRAlifelongmember” How many of your members boasted last
Friday that they were going to take their kids to a firing range?
You continue to lobby in support of all of us carrying concealed
weapons into schools, day care centers, movie theaters, and public
squares. You argue that if only we could all walk around packing heat,
our society could be safer and more peaceful. You lobby for wider “stand
your ground” laws, so we can all load up and take the law into our own
hands and play judge and jury (and God?) in the heat of the moment. The members among you who call themselves Christian often bemoan the fact that “God has been removed from our schools” and yet those very members
ignore the direct teachings of Jesus as recorded in Scripture that call
upon all followers of Christ to work to break the cycle of violence and
not return evil for evil. Too many of us have stood by silently
while you’ve played the part of the playground bully in our public
discourse, and distorted our constitution for profit. While we as a
nation have improved upon the vision of our “founding fathers” to end
slavery in this country, to allow women the right to vote, and to outlaw
hate crimes, you cling rigidly to a few words written when the right to
bear arms referred to a single shot muzzle loading rifle. Your
voice has been powerful and strident, and too many of us have remained
silent in our disbelief of what we were hearing from you. Our silence
has been deadly. If you are indeed “shocked, saddened and
heartbroken” consider the part (if you are able and willing to join the
rest of us in searching our souls) your organization has played when it
comes to last Friday’s shooting. Consider the fear that your
organization markets. Consider the bitter fruit of your labors that we
must all taste. And please consider asking forgiveness,
changing your ways, and offering whatever healing you are capable of to
the hurting in Newtown, Connecticut, as opposed to condoning responding
to violence with still ever more violence, ad nauseum. Unless
you can do your part (along with the rest of us), and change in response
to Friday’s tragedy, there will be still worse to come. I live
on a small farm in Ohio, own two guns (and my own business) and have
family members who are big game hunters. I am rethinking my
responsibility as a citizen of this country. We all are. I invite you to
do the same. You’re holding your big press conference
tomorrow. We’ll be listening. But I am confident that many millions of
us will no longer be silent. LJD
by Mike Breen
Cincinnati musical favorites again reach out to dedicated fans for project funding
Well before social media made it easier to connect directly to fans, veteran Cincinnati music legends Over the Rhine were already whispering in their fans’ ears via regular notes on the band website, written intimately and poetically by OTR’s Linford Detweiler (mostly). The direct, worded contact fit well with Detweiler and wife Karin Bergquist’s mystical, emotionally resonant music, which has earned the group a dedicated fan base that spans the globe.Along with a series of excellent albums and mesmerizing live shows across the country and beyond, the couple’s fan-friendliness and fairly consistent engagement no doubt helped not only build that fan base, but also maintain it. The tight bond between OTR (which has put out albums on its well distributed Great Speckled Dog label since 2007) and its fans was tested in 2010 when Detweiler and Bergquist came to them with a proposition. Before sites like Kickstarter or PledgeMusic became the hugely popular resources for artists to “crowd-fund” projects that they are today, Over the Rhine (as well as a few others) was a step ahead of the trend, allowing fans to pre-order the album and kick in additional funds for bonus perks. The experiment worked incredibly well and the band ended up with a nice budget to record (with Grammy-winning producer Joe Henry, no less) the exquisite full-length, The Long Surrender, one of the group’s best (and best reviewed) albums to date, which ended up on many “Best of 2011” lists late last year. The Long Surrender campaign was so successful — at least partially due to the members’ way of making fans feel like they are a part of the resultant records — OTR has returned to its fans for assistance, this time so they can record and release two new albums by the end of 2013. In a letter on OTR’s website, Detweiler explains the two albums, the material for which has been crafted over the past few years. One of the albums is tentatively titled The Farm and will feature songs written about the couple’s past several years living in an old farmhouse in Highland County, Ohio. The duo even plans on hosting a live performance of the songs on their inspirational property to celebrate the release.The other project is a new holiday album, Blood Oranges in the Snow. The album will be OTR’s third holiday release, following 1996’s The Darkest Night of the Year and 2006’s Snow Angels. Not your typical Christmas-classics toss-off LP, OTR’s holiday releases, as Detweiler writes, “(hopefully) capture some of the reality of a beautiful — but often conflicted and even heartbreaking — time of year.” For more on how to donate, click here. There you’ll also find the different tiers and perks, which include everything from digital bonus tracks, a “thank you” in the album artwork and signed posters to a private house concert, admission to any OTR concert through 2014 and … a tree, to be planted on the twosome’s farm and dedicated to the contributor. Potential donors will have a chance to be swayed by Over the Rhine’s sublime sounds this Saturday, as the group returns to the Taft Theatre to perform many of their holiday tunes (and other songs). This year's event is being billed as “An Acoustic Christmas Concert.” The concert begins at 8 p.m. with opener Lucy Wainwright Roche. Tickets are $37.50 (via ticketmaster.com) or $42.50 at the door. For those hardcore fans who just can’t get enough, OTR presents its annual “Holiday Sunday Soiree,” a casual, intimate gathering at St. Elizabeth’s (1757 Mills Ave, Norwood). Tickets are not issued for Sunday’s 3 p.m. get-together; sign up and pay for admission to the event ($20) here and your name will be added to the guest list.
by Mike Breen
Posted In: Local Music
at 03:47 PM | Permalink
Exclusive live concert special to air this Sunday
Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist of long-running, internationally acclaimed group Over the Rhine know a thing or two about love. Not only do they churn out lovely love songs on a regular basis, but they've also been a married couple for much of the time they've been performing together. The couple celebrated its 15th wedding anniversary recently and they've been together in Over the Rhine since 1989. This Sunday, you can hear what a beautiful relationship sounds like (not that they haven't hit bumps in the road) when WVXU (91.7 FM) and Oxford's WMUB (88.5 FM) broadcasts an exclusive concert special at 8 p.m.
Balancing music, college and family with a juggler's skill
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Kim Taylor is not content with a single dream. Her desire to live off her musical endeavors has largely been fulfilled with a steady stream of physical and digital releases (the latest being the gorgeously sparse 'Little Miracle') and the required supporting gigs, an increased profile from advantageous song placements on television shows (including 'One Tree Hill,' 'Eli Stone' and many others) and frequent appearances with her friends Over the Rhine.
0 Comments · Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Organizers for Sunday's "Help for Haiti" benefit at Oakley's 20th Century Theatre put together a show in just a few days, and the massive and diverse roster of performers shows just how quick to help local artists are when an important cause comes up. The 6 p.m. concert will have Them Bones featuring Cheryl Renee, Freekbass, Kathy Wade, Kevin Fox, Sonny Moorman, Scotty Anderson, Phil DeGreg Trio, Steve Schmidt, Rumpke Mountain Boys, Robin Lacy and DeZydeco and many more acts. Suggested donation is $20. Proceeds go to the Red Cross.
Sept. 11 • Moonlite Gardens
0 Comments · Thursday, September 10, 2009
Like fine wine, local legends Over the Rhine have gotten better with age. From their first show at Sudsy Malone's (about 20 folks showed up to see it) to their various record deals (I.R.S. and Virgin/Backporch) and back to their DIY roots (which has given them some of their biggest successes yet), OtR is marking two decades of gorgeous, soulful music-making. A live recording of their reunion with original members Ric Hordinski and Brian Kelley last December at the Taft Theatre is out now on two CDs.
OtR plays at the Taft Theatre Friday and Saturday
0 Comments · Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Like fine wine, local legends Over the Rhine have gotten better with age. From their first show at Sudsy Malone's (about 20 folks showed up to see it) to their various record deals (I.R.S. and Virgin/Backporch) and back to their DIY roots (which has given them some of their biggest successes yet), OtR is marking two decades of gorgeous, soulful music-making.