With standing-room only, Over the Rhine (Karin Bergquist, Linford Detweiler, Mickey Grimm, Jake Bradley and Kenny Hudson) played to an enthusiastic Monday-night crowd at the Soiled Dove on their “Jukebox to the Moon” tour.
Opening was former local Katie Herzig in an acoustic trio with Claire Indie and Jordan Hamlin.
Taking the stage they started with I Don’t Want To Waste Your Time
“Thank you so much,” Karin said. “It’s interesting when you sing the first song and you feel something rip. I’m not sure what happened, I think I had a wardrobe malfunction. It could be an interesting night if we’re going to start off like that.”
“Let it rip,” Linford said. “Life is short.”
“It’s been awhile,” Karin said. “Thank you for coming, we’re really glad that you all are here and we’re glad it’s not snowing. JP and Greer are really glad because they drove. It’s just nice to be here. Is there anybody here from, we’ve done some workshops in this neck of the woods, some songwriting workshops. There you are.”
“Did we learn you all good?” Linford asked.
“Can you belive somebody in this world would put us in charge? It’s kinda nuts. But anyways, we have a lot of fun. So I know that some of you are here tonight, we hope you have fun. Have you written anything? No, yes, maybe, that’s good… you’ve got your butterfly catcher? That’s not a euphemism, he said he had his butterfly catcher with him.”
“Sometimes people dance discreetly in the aisles to this next one,” Linford said.
“I’m trying to see if there are aisles,” Karin said shielding her eyes from the light. “I made my way to the restroom earlier, Jake and I took out a few ankles.”
“Limited aisle space for discreet dancing.”
“You can chair dance.”
“We’ll see what happens.”
“Just bite your lip, you know.”
Nothing Is Innocent
“That’s Kenny Hudson on the dobro back there, among other things,” Karin said. “We’ll play a few songs from The Trumpet Child… thank you for the four people who bought it…it’s good. Denver, nice. Let’s see what you’ve got.”
I’m On A Roll
“Well thanks again, it’s great to be back,” Linford said. “Thank you for sharing your Monday night with us. It’s been too long. Did anybody catch us at Rocky Folks up there in Lyons? That was a good time, and yeah, thank you for entrusting us with an evening of your life.
“I’ve been thinking this year some about forbidden music because my father grew up on an Amish farm where there were no musical instruments permitted except for the harmonica. I’m not sure why that exception was made, it has something to do with theology and portability, if it can fit in your shirt pocket, how bad can it be? He loved to play the harmonica.
“My uncle Rudy, I was talking to him recently. I asked him if it was true, because I had heard fairly often, he had hidden an acoustic guitar in a hay mound and sneak out after dark to practice in the barn until one unfortunate day when one of his brothers accidentally ran a pitchfork through it and that was the end of the acoustic guitar. But he told me, I didn’t know this, he had also hidden an accordion in a secret compartment under the horses’ manger. ‘Uncle Rudy, an accordion?’ I’d never heard that.
“My mother grew up on a similar farm in Northeast Ohio. She wanted a piano when she was a girl but they weren’t permitted to have pianos in the home, so one of her teachers helped her cut out a cardboard keyboard and they painted black and white keys on it and she took it home to her bedroom and played the music that was only inside of her. Forbidden music.
“When my father turned 21, my grandfather offered him the family farm if he would stay and farm it. 200 pristine acres of Delaware, it would have made him a wealthy man. He said the only thing he knew for sure when he was 21 was that he wasn’t a farmer. So he left the Amish community and went out exploring, met my mother, had six of us children. He brought home a reel-to-reel tape recorder, bought a turn table, a record player and started buying records. He loved to take his little reel-to-reel recording out at night and make field recordings. Point the microphone at the ditch along back roads, hear the insect orchestra, go out to the swamp and record what was happening. He’s play those recordings for us at breakfast. I grew up wondering what I would record someday with my reel-to-reel tape recorder at night.
“I remember the day that my father and three neighbor men carried in the upright piano, right into our living room and set it down. That’s where I went as a boy. And my sister Grace was concerned that my grandmother Rebecca would see it there in the house when she came to visit. She said, ‘Linford, I think if we cover it up with a blanket she’ll just think it’s a furnace.’
“One thing my dad never did bring home was a television so we had to guess sometimes what the neighbors were talking about, we weren’t sure. My sister Grace, she was few years older than me and wiser. When I began taking to the piano and spending a lot of time there she’d say that I had a couple of choices. From what she could tell, I could play the hymns we were growing up with in church or I could be what was called a concert pianist which meant that I would play music for silent movies. ‘Oh, I like the sound of that!’
“My father grew skeptical of the public school system in America and found a good, solid, Canadian private school up there on the prairies of Alberta and I wonder sometimes if it was just an excuse to move the family west because he was really an explorer. We left the farm, we sold the Ohio piano and most of our possessions and packed up a few things and began driving west. We ended up in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana where we lived for awhile, we went to school there on the prairies. I remember sneaking into auditoriums there on campus after dark, most of the kids would go home to their Alberta farms on weekends. I’d sneak in there and play to 4 or 500 empty seats after dark. So I can never take for granted a room like this filled with real people, thank you so much for being here.
“I’d like to send this one out to anyone who’s had to hide a musical instrument, I say, ‘Let the music be heard.'”
“Well, I figured out what ripped,” Karin said. “It was my strap, so you might get more than you paid for tonight. I can’t find a safety pin, so free CD for a safety pin. Just give it to JP if you’ve got one. After that beautiful song that Linford wrote we’re just going to crawl right down into the gutter.”
Who’m I Kidding But Me
During the solos Karin said, “The devil, maybe a week ago, two weeks ago, set the Guinness Book of World Records, honest to God, for the world’s longest drum roll.”
“He did a drum roll for over five hours to save the clock tower of New Harmony, Indiana,” Linford added. “Five and a half hours.”
“There’s not much else to do in New Harmony. Now, I think he’s going to work on that drum solo, maybe get that up there a little bit. He timed it just right tonight, it was long enough for me to receive the safety pin somebody so generously donated and fix myself so thank you Mickey, thank you donor.
“That’s Mickey Grimm on the drums, setting records, causing trouble, taking names. We all celebrate birthdays on the road so we know each others’ true ages. Behind us, who, well I don’t know, back home it would have happened by now but because we have the time change of about an hour or two, is going to have a birthday himself, Mr. Jake Bradley. How’s it feeling? About the same?”
Karin said something about the safety pin and “I’ve never done that before, my Janet Jackson moment. But, I was a little more conservative with mine. So yes, we’re from Ohio, some of us. It’s a beautiful place, I think enough of it to stay there, the seasons are beautiful. I do get a little blue when the leaves finally do fall off the trees and winter sets in. I used to love it, but I’m older now and it means different things to me, so i get the blues and I’ve got them now… I just wanted you to know. So, it’s good to be out on the road and see these beautiful snow covered mountains, it’s lovely.
“I grew up in this little coal mining town, I was born in California, and I lived in Phoenix, Arizona for a few years and then I was transported by the matriarchy to a small town in Ohio. That explains everything you’ll ever need to know about me, it was against my will, I didn’t want to go. But I ended up staying in that very same area, I was intrigued by the stories I think once I was old enough to appreciate them. But up until the age of 17 I just wanted out. Then I looked back, and when I looked back I wasn’t quite as scared as maybe I was at one time and I wrote this song.”
“We call that a hissy fit back home,” Karin said.
“Ok, this requires some participation,” Karin said grabbing her cookie sheet.
Don’t Wait For Tom
“Thank you so much everybody,” Karin said. “I want to thank our crew that we travel with, because they do wonderful things for us and they make our lives bearable. So J.P. Scott is driving and stage teching and guitar teching for me, that’s J.P. Scott that’s back there laughing with me at appropriate and inappropriate times with my wardrobe. And his Mrs. back there, in charge of merchandise, she’s had some time out here some of you might know her. If anybody’s got any stories for Greer for us after the show, I’ll pay, money. I want dirt, I want dirt on Greer. I want to say thanks to Nick for tour managing and helping with the stage and getting things going. And our wonderful, blessed, front-of-house engineer. We really want to say a special thanks to Katie, Claire and Jordan, Katie Herzig, wonderful music and wonderful people. We’re going to leave you with a thought.”
When I Go
After a short encore break, they returned, Linford saying, “I just want to say a quick thank you to everyone here at the Soiled Dove for taking such good care of us, thank you for the hospitality. Thanks again to all of your for giving these songs a life for coming right up on twenty years.”
I Want You To Be My Love
“We have a good smattering of our records with us back there,” Linford said. “And we did a reunion concert where we played a lot of stuff from the first ten years, revisited some of the early songs if you want to check that out it’s called Live from Nowhere: Volume 4. And after twenty years we finally have our first Over the Rhine songbook with all the songs from The Trumpet Child, we’ve been encouraging people to gather the kids around the upright piano on Sunday evening and play Over the Rhine songs, make some popcorn and play through some numbers. It’s got the G cleft in there, sort of a rambling essay I wrote about my family history and more, quite a few photographs from friends, so if you check out the Over the Rhine songbook, it’s a first for us.”
“Now you know what we do at the farm,” Karin quipped.
New Redemption Song
They said thank you one last time, bowed and left the stage.