Review by Greg Haymes
With the ever increasing globalization and homogenization of everything from restaurants to pop culture, it’s rare indeed to find American music with a genuine sense of place. But Over the Rhine has it in spades. As keyboardist and co-bandleader Linford Detwiler pointed out in the middle of the band’s concert at The Egg last month, “There’s a lot of Ohio in our new album.” Which is an understatement akin to saying that Bill Gates has some money.
It begins with the name of the band, which is also the name of a historic neighborhood in Cincinnati where Detweiler and vocalist-guitarist Karin Bergquist started the band a quarter century ago. And they never moved. Despite considerable success, they never made the big music industry leap to New York City, Los Angeles or Nashville. Their roots run deep in Ohio, and a few years ago the husband-and-wife duo moved out of the city and into the country in southwestern Ohio to an old nineteenth century farmhouse on the land they call Nowhere Farm. Or “Now Here Farm,” as Bergquist pointed out. And that sense of place resonated throughout their nearly two-hour-long performance, from Ohio’s earth (“Sacred Ground”) to its sky (“Blue Jean Sky”).