Over The Rhine Takes Listeners on a Journey

The husband and wife team of Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist call their beloved 1833 brick homestead “Nowhere Farm” located on the outskirts of the Queen City in southern Ohio.  There is something to be said about moving from the city and living off the grid these days with the constant political ineptness making headlines and headaches for the commoners all across the nation.  The brand new double Lp Meet Me At The Edge of The World from Over The Rhine is a place we should all visit, and you can get there by vinyl, CD, or digital download.

It’s been over two decades since the pair first started a musical collaboration that has been garnering fans and critics along the path of their journey.  As with the brilliant 2011 release The Long Surrender, the new record was once again recorded and produced by Joe Henry at his Garfield House Studio in Pasadena, California over a six day span. The soothing voice of guitarist Bergquist flutters in the wind of Detweiler’s guitar and keyboard work on a collection of 18 original compositions that were inspired by their rural farmhouse landscape.  The record was released on their own Great Speckled Dog label with primary financial support from Over The Rhine’s passionate fan base instead of the more popular KickStarter and PledgeMusic avenues.

  The album is divided into two parts titled Sacred Ground for disc one and Blue Jean Sky for disc two.  There are many references to the names of trees, birds, and flora that surround the Highland County acreage found within the lyrics of the compositions.  Just as the couple took time to learn about their new surroundings, Meet Me At The Edge of the World should be referred to as a piece of artistic work that takes time to absorb.  Helping Over The Rhine on this particular transitional path is the gorgeous guitar and pedal steel work from Eric Heywood  and a rhythm section of Jennifer Condos on bass and Jay Bellerose on drums. Additional guests include Aimee Mann who lends her vocals to the song “Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down”.

From the opening title track, the record is chock full of beautiful songs including a song describing the move from city to countryside “All Of It Was Music”.  A rockin’ blues number “Gonna Let My Soul Catch My Body” is as surprising as hearing Linford singing for the very first time on any OTR album with the beautiful duet “All Over Ohio”.  The couple pays homage to the everlasting love of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash with “Earthbound Love Song”.  The ritual of walking out into the twilight is their “Favorite Time of Light” and a phrase from Linford’s Father to “leave the edges wild” is a metaphor found on the album’s single “Against The Grain”.  The lone cover is a gorgeous rendition of The Band’s “It Makes No Difference” which shows off Bergquist’s vocal styling on one of the greatest songs ever written.

Detweiler and Bergquist are beginning the second leg of their tour promoting the new record until Thanksgiving when they change the set list to their traditional holiday shows that this year will be called  An Electric Christmas with Over the Rhine.  Some of the early shows will have Tift Merritt opening for a sweet double bill, so check the band’s website or Facebook page for the latest news and information.

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Comment by Easy Ed on October 6, 2013 at 8:01pm

Second review I've seen here for this album(s) and both are on the money. One of the best to come along this year. Glad they'll be here in a couple weeks with Tift, but sadly my concert budget for the month is already depleted. And they're playing at the Highline which I beleive could be the only place they'll ever see this on the menu:


with spicy peanut cabbage slaw.

Comment by Jim Hunter on October 8, 2013 at 7:16am

Fine article...a wonderful record from a couple ( and various band mates) who have made some of the best music I've ever heard.  "Ohio" would definitely be on my top 10 of all time list, and "Drunkard's Prayer" is similarly wonderful;   The fan base has funded their last two records ("Meet me at the Edge of the World" and "The Long Surrender") through their website, and I believe they also have a Christmas record funded by fans tentatively titled "Blood Oranges in the Snow" in some stage of development (to understand why anyone would care that much about a Christmas record from OTR, you would have to have heard the first two, "The Longest Night of the Year" and "Snow Angels", or have seen them perform during their annual Christmas shows...their Christmas shows are special in a way that you have to be there to understand).   The new record is full of great songs, as noted, Linford singing is a new development, as Karin is such a great singer (live she gives you goose flesh, or as Ry Cooder once dubbed it, she sings "Chicken Skin Muisic") that I doubt he ever felt the need...highly recommended.

Comment by Jim Hunter on October 8, 2013 at 7:17am

By the way Easy Ed, those wings and slaw sound great to me...

Comment by Jay Minkin on October 8, 2013 at 7:53am

Nice comments Jim ... greatly appreciated.  I was raised in Canton, so OTR has a very strong fan base in these parts.  I'm sure you know Linford is from Hartville and the couple met at Malone College, so we have been blessed with many performances over the years ... including the Christmas shows.  Here is photo from their performance outside of the historic Stan Hywet in Akron during The Long Surrender tour. 

Comment by Jim Hunter on October 8, 2013 at 1:16pm

Great photo Jay...I am from Indiana, where they have a lot of fans as well...I have seen them a few times in Ohio...at Coney Island, Canal Street Tavern, The Taft and once at St Elizabeth's for the end of the year show...I wanted to go to the shows they did at Nowhere Farm this year, but couldn't manage it.   I have seen them several times in Indiana as well...they have played the Buskirk Chumley in Bloomington, IN several times, as well as a few shows in Indianapolis, and also Valparaiso and Goshen...I love their music, and have likely seen them 15 times (almost every show I have been to there is a guy named Bill in the audience that has seen 100+ shows and counting, their fans are extremely loyal, I am an amateur compared to some of them)...I am never disappointed, but my favorite two shows are Chrismas shows they did in Indy and Bloomington...what I like most about them is their love for all types of music, their willingness to bear their soul in songwriting (it is hard enough to be in a band, but to be married in a band is a tough thing to navigate), and the spiritual connection they have when they play music together both on record and live... that is why I mentioned Linford singing...when I see them live, it always occurs to me that Linford seems to be born to accompany Karin...he leaves so much space in the piano playing for her to sing around and colors the music around her amazing voice.  They have something really extraordinary, for certain, and the side palyers are always so sympathetic to what they do.   Again thanks for your article focusing on the new record, which is terrific...I love OTR, and I tend to go on and on about them, so I will stop now.  I hope your efforts gain them some new converts...Karin often tells the audience "We'd be homeless without you", and though they would likely find another way to make their daily bread, I'd rather keep them making music to pay the bills.

Comment by Jay Minkin on October 13, 2013 at 5:00am

Comment by Jim Hunter on October 14, 2013 at 6:41am

Great set list...thanks!


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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.