Archive for the Over the Rhine Category

Random Weekend Post: Over the Rhine

Posted in Over the Rhine on May 22, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

Earlier this week, I mentioned that Over the Rhine has ventured into the studio to make their next record with producer Joe Henry… and they need our help.

Today, I thought I’d share a few videos of the band in a live setting.
First, something upbeat to get things cooking… This is “Show Me” from 2003’s Ohio.

Next, something a little darker to even things out… This is “Changes Come.” It’s also from the loaded Ohio discs.

Over the Rhine: Let’s Make a Record

Posted in Over the Rhine on May 20, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

Want to help a great band make their next record?

One of the growing trends in the music industry over the past few years has been artists reaching out to their fans for help in making their music. As more and more artists are going the indie route and making music without record label interference (and funding), it is becoming a more common practice for fans to take an active role in financing recording projects. Bands solicit donations from their fan base in exchange for special perks and privileges when the album is released.
It’s a model that makes sense. The artist has the money to make their record on their terms. The fan gets a feeling of ownership of the music, and usually gets a one of a kind collector’s item from the band itself. Win — Win.
That brings us to the newest project from Cincinnati’s Over the Rhine. The husband and wife songwriting team of Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist have been favorites of mine since I first saw them perform at The Dame in Lexington shortly after the release of their amazing 2003, two-disc album Ohio. They deftly mix elements of folk, jazz, and pop with literate songwriting and Bergquist’s angelic voice to form a sound that completely knocks me out with each new release.
Earlier this week, Over the Rhine went into a Pasadena, CA recording studio with Joe Henry to begin work on their new album… and you can help. Simply go to the band’s website and pre-order a copy of the album to help them out.
There are several different levels of support available. Fifteen dollars gets you an early copy of the record with bonus tracks and an unnamed “surprise” from the band (this is the one I chose). Ten-thousand dollars gets you a private concert and a whole bunch of other stuff. There are, of course, several levels in between as well. I think my favorite is the one-hundred dollar level. It includes tickets to a special (limited seating) concert where the band will perform their classic 1996 album Good Dog, Bad Dog in its entirety.
Over the Rhine is a great band, and Joe Henry is a tremendous producer. I can’t wait to hear what they come up with together, and I’m glad to play a small part in making it happen.
Since the new stuff isn’t here yet… here’s one from Good Dog, Bad Dog to give you a taste of what Over the Rhine is about.
Over the Rhine: All I Need is Everything (Buy Album)

If a Song Could Be President

Posted in Adrienne Young, Billy Bragg and Wilco, Bruce Robison, Emmylou Harris, James McMurtry, John Prine, Neil Young, Over the Rhine, Scott Miller, Steve Earle, Willie Nelson on August 11, 2008 by AmericanaPulse

In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a Presidential election this November. As we get closer and closer to election day, we’ll hear more and more bile and vitriol directed from one party and one pundit to another until most of us are ready for the whole thing to just go away. On the path to election day, and likely on the day itself, television news channels will be filled with talking heads screaming at each other over how the opposing candidate will lead our country to ruin. It will be anything but melodic.

But what if things were different? What if we could hum on election day and vote for a melody? These are the questions asked by Over the Rhine in their song “If a Song Could be President” from their 2007 release The Trumpet Child.

Over the Rhine – If a Song Could Be President (Buy Album)

“If a song could be President,
We’d hum on election day.
The gospel choir would start to sway,
And we’d all have a part to play.
The First Lady would free her hips.
Pull a microphone to her lips.
Break our hearts with rhythm and blues.
Steve Earle would anchor the news.”

I’ve been thinking about this song quite a bit lately. Not so much about a song becoming President… more about what it would sound like if Steve Earle actually anchored the news. Earle is known to be very opinionated and outspoken when it comes to politics. Would he be able to stay objective behind the anchors desk? Would he expose the stories that other news outlets avoid? A few of Earle’s songs already sound like newscasts….

Steve Earle – Amerika v. 6.0 (The Best We Can Do) (Buy Album)
Steve Earle – The Revolution Starts Now (Buy Album)

In addition to Steve Earle, “If a Song Could be President” also name drops a few other prominent Americana figures and casts them in various government positions.

“We’d make Neil Young a Senator…
Even though he came from Canada.
Emmylou would be ambassador.
World leaders would listen to her.
They would show us where our country went wrong.
Strum their guitars on the White House lawn.
John Prine would run the FBI.
All the criminals would laugh and cry.
If a song could be President.”

Again… this has me wondering what it would actually be like if these artists actually held these positions. Neil Young, like Steve Earle, would fight as a Senator to expose the wrongs he sees around him and work to bring those wrongs, such as the massacre at Kent State in 1970, to light. As ambassador, Emmylou would use her voice and her grace to ask world leaders for assistance when needed. John Prine running the FBI is a more curious choice. He could always disarm the criminals with story or a song, but he’d no longer be able to wear his “Illegal Smile.”

Neil Young – Ohio (Buy Album)
Emmylou Harris – If I Needed You (Buy Album)
John Prine – Illegal Smile (Buy Album)

I’ve also been thinking about other aritsts that might do well in certain government positions. We could appoint Adrienne Young to run the Environmental Protection Agency. Adrienne is a strong supporter of several “green” initiatives including sustainable agriculture. He debut album even came with a packet of seeds so the listener could start his or her own garden after buying the CD… and her boyfriend makes his own biofuel.

Adrienne Young & Little Sadie – Hills & Hollers (Buy Album)

James McMurtry might make a pretty good choice for Secretary of Labor. He has shown a great sympathy for the working man with songs like “We Can’t Make it Here.”

James McMurtry – We Can’t Make it Here (Buy Album)

Scott Miller would be Secretary of Education. Miller has degrees in American History and Russian and Soviet Studies from William & Mary. His background in history seeps into several of his songs including this one about an Allied truck convoy from WWII.

Scott Miller – Red Ball Express (Buy Album)

Just for fun… let’s have Willie Nelson run the IRS. I don’t see what harm it could do.

Bruce Robison – What Would Willie Do? (Buy Album)

Or we could forget all of this and follow the advice of this last song. Words by Woody Guthrie… music by Billy Bragg and Wilco.

Billy Bragg & Wilco – Christ for President (Buy Album)