In a time when the lifespan of many bands is less than 20 months, Over the Rhine is about to celebrate a far more rare event its 20th anniversary. In 1989, the band recorded demos that eventually became their debut album, 1991's Till We Have Faces. Now Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler (a resilient songwriting team by any measure) look back on a 12-album discography and hundreds of thousands of road miles traveled. In celebration and as the year 2008 winds down, Over the Rhine hits the road on a five-part tour. From November 7 9, they will steer Southeast to Greensboro, Athens and Charlotte, with a side-trip to Madison on November 15. Come Thanksgiving, it will be off to Seattle on November 29, moving down the West Coast through Portland, San Francisco etc, with a Los Angeles date on December 6. Louisville and Chicago will be visited on December 11 and 12 respectively.
And then, on December 19 and 20, Over the Rhine offers its piece de resistance, a two-night event at Cincinnati's Taft Theater. The first night will feature music from the band's first decade, including such albums as Till We Have Faces, Patience Eve, Good Dog Bad Dog and the first Christmas album. Karin and Linford will be joined onstage by original bandmates Ric Hordinski and Brian Kelley, to revisit many of the early songs. Night number two will highlight the second decade including Films for Radio, OHIO, Drunkard's Prayer, the current release The Trumpet Child, and the more recent Christmas album, Snow Angels. Discounted tickets for those attending both nights are offered at http://www.overtherhine.com .
If that weren't enough, December 21 will bring a Sunday Soiree show at St. Elizabeth's Cathedral in Norwood, Ohio as the band shares music, wine and refreshments at the ragged, sacred old cathedral.
And then they will call it a holiday and a year.
Almost 20 years, it's just sort of hard to take in, says Detweiler on the band's web site. There are days when we feel utterly blessed and charmed. That this labor of love could continue for 20 years, that our audience still continues to grow, that this music continues to get spread around by people who are often in the process of becoming life long friends it all smacks of the miraculous."
What will the next 20 years hold for Over the Rhine? There's no telling. But before they ponder the next two decades, they're going to log some more road miles and then celebrate 1989-2009 in Cincinnati with some of their earliest and most loyal fans.
Karin Bergguist and Linford Detweiler were included in Paste magazine's list of 100 Greatest Living Songwriters. Other 20th Anniversary events include Over the Rhine participating in Cayamo Cruise in Feb 2009 with Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin and others.
For more information contact All About Jazz.