Over The Rhine

October 2007

 

Youíll find Over The Rhine fans the whole world over, around familiar corners and standing in the middle of crowds, with their deep eyes looking at you as youíve never been looked at before or since.

 

The band adopted its name from the neighborhood in Cincinnati where the four musicians began mixing their alchemic powers into their first album in 1989. These days, the core of OTR is just two, Linford Detweiler and Karin Berquist. Love and music swelled intertwined and the two married on a blessed October day in 1996.

 

The thing about OTR is that they donít just make songs so they can talk with rhythm. They donít write jingles in hopes that one will become a hit and make them millions. They arenít interested in throwing out a bunch of musical sound bites to clog up the ears of the masses.

 

Linford and Karin dig in deep. They put feelings to music. They get inside your being and put a voice to it. Their songs gently coax you to identify who you are and what you want, feel, and need. The rhythms reverberate alongside brain waves and become infused inside the cells of your body. The songs open your thoughts and your eyes. You feel drunk with pleasure, understanding, clarity, and hope. Just by listening to a song? These are no ordinary songs.

 

I first heard OTR in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 26, 1992. The band was touring with guitar sensation Adrian Belew. The guy in front of me in the mosh pit knew something I hadnít before then. He swayed back and forth while OTR played as if the music and the movements of his body were perfectly coordinated. I bought a CD after the show and my life was never the same again.

 

Most songs nowadays are separate from us. We listen to them and may enjoy them, sing along, and even sing them later in our heads. But do they speak to us? Do they clarify our lives and purpose and help us become better humans? Do they have any meaning at all?

 

OTR songs are not just listened to; they are breathed in and become woven into our subliminal consciousness. We canít see it or feel it happening. But we know itís there. It happens during that drunken feeling you get from the magical blending of Karinís otherworldly voice and Linfordís sultry rhythms.

 

You can listen to OTRís newly-released masterpiece, The Trumpet Child, by clicking the record player at overtherhine.com. Two greats are Trouble and The Trumpet Child. OTR will play at the Majestic Theater in Madison on November 27. Enjoy the music.