Detweiler and Bergquist are quite prolific; including a few solo albums by Detweiler, they've released twenty albums since their beginnings in the New Wave scene of the late 1980s. Two new Over the Rhine albums have appeared within the last year, and music from them should be prominent in their current show. One album, Snow Angels, is a Christmas release of a sort that will go straight to the heart of some of us with its very first lines: "Strings of lights above the bed/Curtains drawn and a glass of red/All I ever get for Christmas is blue." The album includes an affectionate piano tribute to cartoonist Charles Schulz and doesn't differ much in theme from the other new album, The Trumpet Child, except that it's generally set in winter. The Trumpet Child has its own tribute, a very funny one to Tom Waits.
As often happens with acts that succeed in creating multifaceted little worlds of their own, Over the Rhine has a devoted following that makes Internet notes on every show. There was a contingent that thought nothing of the five-hour drive from Cincinnati to see a twenty-minute Over the Rhine set at the Ann Arbor Folk Festival last winter. Initiates can join these devotees of persistent optimism when Over the Rhine comes to the Ark on Sunday, December 2.
[Review published December 2007]