Veteran local group preps for ‘Blood Oranges in the Snow’ release and Christmas tour
Over the Rhine is releasing its third Christmas album, Blood Oranges in the Snow, on Nov. 4, but The New York Times’ website is offering an early listen through its “Press Play” website. Click here to listen.
The album, which follows previous “reality Christmas” efforts Snow Angels and The Darkest Night of the Year, is available now for pre-order here. Pre-orders of the CD will instantly receive a digital version of the album.
OTR’s Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist will do some acoustic dates after Blood Oranges’ release, beginning next week in Washington state. The duo’s “Acoustic Christmas” tour officially begins Dec. 5 in Virginia and culminates with OTR’s annual hometown holiday show at the Taft Theatre on Dec. 20. Tickets for the all-ages show can be purchased here or here.
Plus, local artists umin, The Sleepin' Dogs and Electric Citizen celebrate new releases
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Veteran Cincinnati Roots/Pop group Over the Rhine returns for a homecoming show in support of its critically acclaimed new double album, Meet Me at the Edge of the World. Plus, local artists umin, The Sleepin' Dogs and Electric Citizen also celebrate new releases with area shows.
by Mike Breen
Art Academy's 'Reverberation' exhibit spotlights 25 years of musical performances in Greater Cincinnati
Beginning Sept. 3 at the Art Academy of Cincinnati's Childlaw Gallery (1212 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine), the people behind the massive photography exhibition FotoFocus will set their lenses on the many great concert photographers in the region. Reverberation: Capturing the Live Music Experience will coincide with the MidPoint Music Festival, located just off the 12th Street MidPoint Midway (the strip featuring vendors, food, live music the box truck carnival and much more). Hours will be extended during MPMF, with the exhibit staying open until 9 p.m. on Sept. 26 and 10 p.m. on Sept. 27-28. (Normal hours, starting Sept. 3, are 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Mondays-Fridays, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays). The exhibit closes Sept. 29. The work of 29 artists will be featured in the exhibit, including shots from legends like Melvin Grier (an award-winning photojournalist who shot many years for The Cincinnati Post) and Michael Wilson (whose portraits have been featured on the covers of albums by The Replacements, Over the Rhine, Lyle Lovett, Ron Sexmith and many others), as well as Maurice Mattei, Sean Hughes, Keith Klenowski and Kara Smarsh. (Click on the names to check out some of the artists' work.)
1 Comment · Wednesday, June 19, 2013
There was this woman with a deep, slow
drawl spoken in something between a rasp and a whisper who had a
lightning bolt inked high on her right cheekbone not as thuggery, irony
or defiance but as a simple, stunning marker adding to the mystique of a
woman easily mistaken in her era-defying androgyny for a man.
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
Northside Record Fair debuts and Over the Rhine preps two new LPs for 2013
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 28, 2012
This Saturday brings the first ever Northside Record Fair, featuring used, new and rare recordings in various formats and various other musical merch for sale (flea market-style), to Hoffner Lodge. Plus, Over the Rhine plays annual holiday show at the Taft Theatre and preps two new albums for 2013.
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
Weekly music, interactive musical fountains and more planned for renovated OTR park
Revitalization group 3CDC's live music programming throughout the past few summers has helped turn Fountain Square into the heart of Cincinnati's increasingly active downtown area, drawing thousands to the Square every week to catch everything from Reggae and Salsa to Hip Hop and Indie Rock. The group will be doing the same thing in Over-the-Rhine at the newly renovated Washington Park across from Music Hall. The Park officially opens tomorrow (July 6) with a 10 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. The christening will be followed by tours of the park, then a free 5 p.m. World Choir Games "friendship concert" at the Bandstand.Like with Fountain Square, Washington Park's weekly music series will showcase local musicians, with live performances on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesday will be "Bandstand Bluegrass" night, featuring some of the best area Bluegrass artists. The shows begin July 11 and will run every week, starting at 7 p.m., until Sept. 5. On Fridays, the Park features "Friday Flow," a night of R&B and Soul that starts July 13 and runs each Friday through Sept. 5.The lineups for Wednesdays and Fridays have yet to be announced, but more details have been made available about the every-Thursday Jazz in the Park series. Beginning July 12, the lineup has been curated by local Jazz pianist Chris Comer, who held a similar role on Fountain Square last year. The first Jazz in the Park concert is July 12 and features Comer and his quintet, plus special guest Napoleon Maddox from the progressive Jazz/Hip Hop group IsWhat?!Jazz in the Park performances run 7-9 p.m. through Aug. 30. Other shows in the series include the P&G Big Band (July 19); The Cincy Brass (Aug. 2); Steve Schmidt (Aug. 9), Ricky Nye Inc. (Aug. 16); and the Dick Sorice-Dan Jackson Quintet (Aug. 23).Along with many other special concerts — like Over the Rhine's (the band) free show July 22 and the rare joint performance featuring Cincinnati Pops, May Festival Chorus, Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Ballet — the Washington Park summer schedule is filled with other types of events, from community festivals to "dog programs" to movie nights and special "Curiosity Saturdays" for kids. One of the coolest physical changes to Washington Park is the interactive Classical Music Walk of Fame, a project in conjunction with the American Classical Music Hall of Fame and InfoTrust which will enable visitors to use their smartphones and tablets to play various musical selections through the park's sound system or through the very cool "musical fountains," which will change appearance/flow/color depending on which music is selected. Here's a quick overview of how the interactive Classical Music Walk of Fame will work. To read about all of the things Washington Park has planned just this summer alone (remember, it will be a primary venue for the MidPoint Music Festival at the end of September) click here.
by Mike Breen
Renovated park gears up for early July grand opening events
Veteran, internationally-acclaimed Cincinnati band Over the Rhine will be performing a free concert on July 22 in Over-the-Rhine (the neighborhood). The group is kicking off a series of "grand opening celebration" concerts this summer at the newly renovated Washington Park, which took 18 months and $48 million to complete. All events are free and open to the public.The first big event is Over the Rhine's July 22 concert at Washington Park's permanent stage on the new "Civic Lawn." An opening act will soon be announced.On Aug. 3, the Park will host a rare "joint performance" by the Cincinnati Pops, May Festival, Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Ballet. The full Pops Orchestra will perform a program of Classical, Broadway and Pop tunes, joined by the May Fest Chorus, singers from the Opera and dancers from the Ballet. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. On Aug. 4, the Over-the-Rhine Community Festival returns to Washington Park. The 28-year-old fest was on hold last year while the park was under construction. The event will feature games, food, kids' events, DJs and live music (TBA). The fest runs 12-6 p.m.Washington Park officially re-opens on July 6 at 10 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. There will be a free "Friendship Concert" in the park later that day (5-7 p.m.), presented by the World Choir Games.Like on Fountain Square, 3CDC is bringing a full slate of weekly musical events (as well as Saturday night movies and family-oriented fare on the weekends) to Washington Park. Full details will come with the launch of the new Washington Park website in early July. Plans so far are to have Bluegrass on Wednesdays, Jazz on Thursdays and R&B and Soul on Fridays. Check out the park on Facebook here for the latest updates.