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View Full Version : Calling T-beard and his musical obsession (Over the Rhine)



Exiled_Devil
05-19-2007, 03:18 PM
So I was out and about in Durham the other day - actually at Bean Trader's on ninth st. Great coffee - and I saw someone with an "over the Rhine" T-shirt. I knew I recognized the name, thought maybe it was a music group, but couldn't remember what the deal was.

Then today, I read a thread and see Throaty's new descriptor, and remembered that Over the Rhine is a musical group he loves. Unfortunately, that's all I recall.

So...what is this wonder that is Over the Rhine? What kind of music do they play? where are they based, etc. I know you have plugged them in the past, but my memory is short, and the old archives are more than a mouseclick away. So how about a OTR primer?

Exiled

ohioguy2
05-20-2007, 08:46 AM
I believe Over the Rhine is named for and from an area in Cincinatti. They were a favorite of Southwestern Ohio college students. I have not heard anything of them as of late.

throatybeard
05-22-2007, 10:03 PM
Just now saw this, sorry.

Over the Rhine is composed mostly of a wife-husband singer-songwriter duo, and they've had a lot of different instrumental backup in the ~17 years the band has been around. Karin and Linford have moved out of Cincy to a farm actually. The band has released three indy albums (two live) in the last year and about ten studio albums over the last decade and a half. Several of their recent studio albums have been on Virgin/Back Porch. The next studio album Trumpet Child, releases on 21 August. In terms of career trajectory, they're in an interesting spot. Just big enough that some people have heard of them, but still just small enough that they know a lot of their fans and they tend to tour most in a tight core of Midwestern and Up-South locales. (although they've got significant followings in the UK and NZ among other places abroad). Fortunately they come to Blueberry Hill in StL, so soon well be able to walk from our apartment. In Mississippi, we've gone to Nashy, Louisville and Cincy to hear them most often. We travel distances to hear them, roughly four times annually.

They probably fall under the label "folk rock" less inaccurately than anything else. People who like them tend also to like Emmylou Harris, the Cowboy Junkies, maybe Norah Jones, and some semi-Christian bands like Vigilantes of Love. (They often play the Cornerstone festival). But they're definitely not Christian Rock genre-wise.

If you're interested, I would start with Good Dog Bad Dog, and then probably Ohio or Drunkard's Prayer. Also I have a 2-CD mix that I send to friends as a sampler.

And yes, they're named for the previously German neighborhood in Cincy.

www.overtherhine.com
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over_the_rhine

Exiled_Devil
05-22-2007, 11:26 PM
thanks, Throaty.

Does the StL reference mean you are following the exciting path of travelling faculty? Moving up in the university world?

Exiled

bluebutton
05-23-2007, 02:35 AM
A friend gave me the 2 CD set Ohio that T-beard mentioned and I listened to it in my car for months. If your in the mood for great lyrics and liquid vocals, they're really wonderful. They also help me stay sane in LA traffic. It's hard to be animatedly PO'd listening to them.

I'd love to hear them live--hrm. Wonder if they'll wander over to California

jkidd31
05-23-2007, 10:54 AM
OTR is an area of Cincinnati just north of downtown. The east part is pretty cool, art galleries and rehabed 19th Century home. Outside of that area there are parts you don't want to go into during the day, not to mention at night. It's where a good chunk of the Riots took place back in '01.

As for the band, they are still big in the Nati. They do an anual Hoilday show right before X-mas that is always a huge deal. I've never seen them live. Might have to do that once we get back there.

Throaty-Did not know you were in StL. You mentioned walking to Blueberry Hill so you're in U City-are you teaching at Wash U? St Louis is a great town. I loved catching shows at Missisippi Nights. My only regret is I never got to see Son Volt there back before Jay Farrar went solo then reformed SV in it's current incarnation. I heard the Uncle Tupleo fans came out of the wordwork for those shows.

throatybeard
05-23-2007, 12:07 PM
I'll be at UM-Saint Louis. (I can't imagine my being competitive at a place like WashU!). We won't be completely relocated till about August 1st. UMSL is nice, about 7.5 or 8 on a scale of 0 to 10 where 10 is the most researchey and 0 is the most teachey. WashU is about 11 on a scale of 0 to 10. But I get to use WashU and SLU's libraries. Score. We picked where to live based on where the two Metro lines come together and proximity to the park. It worked out great b/c Shalay got a job in Webster Groves, just 5 miles south. I don't plan to be behind a steering wheel much anymore except when we go out of town.

Ohio I has worn much better for me than Ohio II. (With the exceptions of "Long Lost Brother" and "Hometown Boy.") Ohio I absolutely has some of the best work. Lately I'm mostly partial to the non-studio releases (which have some of the same music). This year's tour album has an incredible cover of Henry McCullough's "Failed Christian."

They tour a LOT. In addition to the Taft Theater Xmas show JKidd mentioned, you get a good 5 or so appearances more in Cincinnati a year, plus usual 4 to 6 at Canal Street Tavern in Dayton. They go out west maybe every 3rd year or so.

Anybody who wants an OtR sampler, PM me.

oso diablo
05-23-2007, 12:57 PM
i think half of my mp3 player is either OTR or Vigilantes of Love, or so it seems.

My favorite CD of theirs is Ohio, but also fond of Patience, the first one i bought long ago.

oso diablo
05-23-2007, 01:00 PM
one more thought... caught OTR at a North Carolina spinoff of Cornerstone a couple of years ago. They played on a smaller side stage, a very stripped down set with just Karen on vocals and Linford at the keyboards. They totally mesmerized the audience, such that our reactions mid-set were muted, but erupted in mad applause at the end of the show. Karen laughed and remarked that she hadn't been sure how to take us, wasn't sure if we were enjoying it or not.

throatybeard
05-23-2007, 10:49 PM
That's awesome, Oso.

They also have played Cat's Cradle/Go Room, and Stella Blue in Asheville.

jkidd31
05-25-2007, 03:55 PM
OTR is headlining Sunday night at Taste of Cincinnati.

merry
05-27-2007, 02:15 PM
They played at Local 506 in Chapel Hill about a year ago and we saw them then. I got Good Dog Bad Dog first on throatybread's recommendation a couple of years ago, later Drunkard's Prayer, and bought Ohio at the gig last year. They are definitely worth going out of your way to see live.

DevilAlumna
12-07-2007, 01:57 PM
I had my Zune on shuffle during this morning's drive, and the most beautiful voice/piano combination came on just as I was pulling in to work. A voice more sultry than Diana Krall and with much more depth/range than Nora Jones, and the piano a perfect accompaniment to it.

It was the song, "Ohio" from OTR. I ended up sitting in the parking lot for the next 5 minutes until it was over. One of the best new-to-me songs I've heard in the past few years.

Thanks, Throaty, for making me aware of this group -- I'm listening to the rest of the album this morning!

throatybeard
12-07-2007, 05:39 PM
You bet!

I've got a bootleg of an even better track of "Hello, Ohio" from a show back in 2003 if you'd like to hear it.

Disc I is better than Disc II on the Ohio album--focus on that first I would say.

She really loves that song--it's deeply, deeply important to her. We finally got a chance to hang out with them this past April at a brunch in Cincy. We were discussing art/poetry centered on Ohio (the poet Stan Plumly in particular). And she brings up Ohio and the friend of hers who died in the strip pit as if we, almost as if even Linford, had never heard the story before, even though she tells the story about half the time she sings the song in concert. It seems like it was quite the formative experience for her.

It amazes me how long it took for that song to get committed to record.

We're seeing them at the Taft Show and the thingie at the Church in Norwood next weekend. That weekend in December always sort of functions as Over the Rhine homecoming, so to speak.

Mudge
12-20-2008, 03:09 AM
For the 'Beard:

Reunion of Over-the-Rhine's original line-up celebrates the band's 20th anniversary this weekend--
http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20081219/ENT03/812190328

Hard to believe that, with all that acclaim, this band has sold fewer records all told than Britney Spears sold last week... some things in life just don't make sense.

throatybeard
04-15-2010, 02:57 PM
For the 'Beard:

Reunion of Over-the-Rhine's original line-up celebrates the band's 20th anniversary this weekend--
http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20081219/ENT03/812190328

Hard to believe that, with all that acclaim, this band has sold fewer records all told than Britney Spears sold last week... some things in life just don't make sense.

Hi Mudge. Thank you. I only just now saw this while searching for something. We did in fact make it to the two-night Taft show with the reuinion on Sunday and the 2008 lineup on Saturday. There is also a less-advertised but increasingly crowded informal concert at the church in Norwood on Sunday.

Much of the first night's concert, the one with the original lineup, is available on the CD Live from Nowhere Volume IV

http://www.overtherhine.com/cd20.php

It was very important to me because it was the first time I ever got to hear "Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander" live.

We weren't able to go to the Taft show in 2009 because baby. They last made it to StL in August 09 and will be here again at the end of the month. Grapevine says they've got some new (post-Trumpet Child) songs

throatybeard
04-27-2010, 03:54 PM
Anyone who likes this band needs to be aware of the new news.

Indulge me for a moment here, especially if you've heard the band, like I know Merry and Exiled have.

Karin and Linford of Over The Rhine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over_the_Rhine_%28band%29) have been working for a couple decades to escape the clutches of record labels, which as we all know aren't particularly generous to the artists who create the music in the first place. Linford describes the difficulties involved in a letter from last Friday (http://www.overtherhine.com/letters.php).

They were with some smaller labels in the 90s, and then with Virgin from about 2000 thru 2005, by which time they had pretty solidly achieved the status they have now, which is that they aren't exactly a household name, but they have a medium-sized, and rather passionate following, so it's not like no one knows who they are.

In 2006 or 2007 they started their own label, Great Speckled Dog. They released The Trumpet Child (http://www.overtherhine.com/cd18.php) on this label in 2007, and they've had some small releases, live concerts mostly, including the 20th anniversary concert Christmas 2008. You can hear The Trumpet Child here (http://www.overtherhine.com/recordplayer/recordplayer.html). Start with "The Trumpet Child," "Don't Wait for Tom," "If A Song Could be President," "Nothing is Innocent," "Trouble" and "I'm on a Roll."

So anyway, they're fund raising now to enlist the the Grammy-winning producer Joe Henry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Henry). They've asked their fans to pre-order the album, or if feeling more generous, support it at higher donor levels. Higher-level donors accrue more goodies and invitations to private concerts. But you can also just buy the record for $15:

http://www.overtherhine.com/makearecord.php

I love this model because it's basically what they do in classical music. You ask for donations, and then give people cumulative benefits up the chain. I hope this works for them and I hope other artists are able to do stuff like this.

ETA: tTC is not a typical album for them. For one thing, it's got two overtly [liberal] political songs. And some different instrumentation.