April 24, 2010
Over the Rhine + Joe Henry = Something Amazing
OTR to pair with Grammy-winning producer for next album
Heard some Really Cool News today: The uber-terrific Joe Henry, he of the endless well of creativity, is going to produce the uber-fantastic Over the Rhine's next album. The Ohio husband-wife duo -- Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist -- are headed to LA in mid-May to start the recording process. No release date on the album yet, but I'm already drooling.
Detweiler made the announcement Friday in a long newsletter to fans, which included an appeal to fans to help defray the huge upfront costs of making a record -- in exchange for some goodies in return.
Among Linford's musings: "We are going to make a record that we can’t quite imagine. Hopefully it will be a little bit strange and a little bit wonderful. Hopefully we will, 'Blow the seams out of the songs.' (JH) One thing for sure: We are going to be surprised."
One can't help but appreciate Detweiler's reasons that he and Bergquist want to keep making music. Linford writes:
"One: We believe making music has something to do with what we were put on this earth to do. If we leave our songs alone, they call to us until we come back to where we belong. When we live in the sweet spot of that calling, it gives others (you?) permission to discover the sweet spot of your own calling and live there.
"Two: Both Karin and I have had occasion to bury loved ones. When we put loved ones in the ground, we find that we lose interest in acquiring stuff. We know we can’t take it with us when we go. No, it’s not about acquiring, rather it’s about what we are able to leave behind. That’s what gives life meaning: doing work that you can leave behind, your personal token of gratitude to the world in return for the gift of getting to be alive in it. (We believe the opportunity to make this record with Mr. Henry has everything to do with what we will leave behind.)
"Three: Presence. There is a beautiful passage of scripture that made an impact on me as a child that I have never forgotten. Jesus said that if you help someone in need, someone hungry or naked or thirsty or imprisoned, if you are able to be present with them and soothe them in some way, it’s the same as if God was hungry or naked or thirsty or imprisoned and you found a way to help God.
"There is so much need in this beautiful broken world it can be overwhelming. Maybe the most profoundly satisfying thing about making music for the last 20 years is we have watched people invite our music to be part of the big moments of their lives – a slow dance in the kitchen with someone who changed everything, a walk down the aisle at a wedding, a child being born... Unfortunately, big moments also occur during seasons when it feels like everything is going horribly wrong. We all need music during those dark times too – I know I do. It’s always humbling and amazing to learn that our music can be present in those too-difficult-too-imagine times. In some small way, through our music, it feels like we get to be present too, even when that is
physically impossible. We get to be there in spirit.
"That’s enough to keep us coming back."
And enough to keep OTR fans looking forward to what comes next.