NEW MUSIC: Over the Rhine – the Trumpet Child

October 12, 2007

I realize that this is a bit late in the game, as this c.d. had come out a couple of months ago, but I can’t pass on commenting on it.

I’m a HUGE Over the Rhine fan. I’ve got ALL of their c.d.’s, plus about 10-15 bootlegged live shows, have seen them live upwards of 50 times, and even helped in booking them twice earlier in their career.

I first heard Over the Rhine in early ’92. I was a metal-head who co-hosted a college hardcore/death metal radio show (as ‘Shrew’ – my co-host was ‘Steelman’). One of my best friends, the president of our local Campus Crusade for Christ – a cool guy with a braided mohawk and a goatee who wore mostly leather – told me about this band who went to his home Church back in Cincinnati. He invited me to see them live at a small club in Columbus, Ohio, but having listened to their first independent c.d. I just wasn’t interested – until he showed me a picture of their supposedly then-single female lead singer. “Okay – I’m in”, I said, being a single, College sophomore.

The room couldn’t have held more than 200 people, I don’t imagine – the stage was covered with 1000+ lit candles, with paths to various stools where the band-members would stand. When the house went dark and the music started, by candlelight the band began their set – spiritual, deep, technically precise music – and when Karen, their vocalist, began to sing I swore to lifted from the stage like a hovering angel. I didn’t clap until the end of the show – I just sat, mouth agape, in wonder. I realize that all I had tried so hard to do – all the emotion I had attempted to convey – through my heavy-metal bombast, unsuccessfully, they succeeded in conveying through subtlety: it was quiet passion – intense peace. I was forever changed: attending this concert was the grounds for me setting aside my futile attempt to keep my old high-school metal band, Masada, together, and to pursue putting together a new band, eventually to be known as Set on Edge. 15 years later, they’re still one of my absolute favorite bands. This new c.d. only deepens my love for their music, and should be an instant ‘classic’.

That’s not to say they haven’t already had their share of classics.  Patience from ’92 was a classic alt-pop c.d., which clearly influenced later artists like Sixpence None the Richer and the like.  Good Dog, Bad Dog, their independent (though later released by Sony/Backporch) demos from ’96 single-handedly inspired Sarah McLaughlin’s c.d. SurfacingFilms for Radio, though not quite a classic, is one incredible pop release in the vein of Dido gone all Sgt.-Pepper’s on ya.  Ohio deserved credit if for not other reason than for it’s scope – a double c.d. that covered the whole gamut of what we Over the Rhine fans love about the band, from Pop, Jazz, Country, and even all-out Gospel.  Drunkard’s Prayer is quite possibly the saddest, yet most beautiful, alt-folk album ever released.  And now comes The Trumpet Child.

For this c.d. Karen & Linford basically studied the ’40s for several months, then recorded their findings – and their findings were GOOD.  Swing, Big-Band, Country, and even some Cabaret influenced tunes are here, and the production absolutely perfectly reflects the songs’ moods and inspirations.  If I had to pick a single favorite it would have to be: “I don’t want to waste your Time” or “Trouble” or “The Trumpet Child” or “Who’m I kidding but Me” or “Don’t wait for Tom”.  That’s just to say, this c.d. is so good that it’s hard to pick favorites.

So, Over the Rhine has done it again.  Don’t believe me?  Just follow the link below and listen to the whole thing for yourself.



One Response to “NEW MUSIC: Over the Rhine – the Trumpet Child”

  1. klampert said

    oh yeah man…awesome…over the rhine are fantastic…I saw them in early 90’s brilliant band. and not given enough credit

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