October 4, 2013 by Jay Minkin
The husband and wife team of Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist call their beloved 1833 brick homestead “Nowhere Farm” located on the outskirts of the Queen City in southern Ohio. There is something to be said about moving from the city and living off the grid these days with the constant political ineptness making headlines and headaches for the commoners all across the nation. The brand new double Lp Meet Me At The Edge of The World from Over The Rhine is a place we should all visit, and you can get there by vinyl, CD, or digital download.
It’s been over two decades since the pair first started a musical collaboration that has been garnering fans and critics along the path of their journey. As with the brilliant 2011 release The Long Surrender, the new record was once again recorded and produced by Joe Henry at his Garfield House Studio in Pasadena, California over a six day span. The soothing voice of guitarist Bergquist flutters in the wind of Detweiler’s guitar and keyboard work on a collection of 18 original compositions that were inspired by their rural farmhouse landscape. The record was released on their own Great Speckled Dog label with primary financial support from Over The Rhine’s passionate fan base instead of the more popular KickStarter and PledgeMusic avenues.
The album is divided into two parts titled Sacred Ground for disc one and Blue Jean Sky for disc two. There are many references to the names of trees, birds, and flora that surround the Highland County acreage found within the lyrics of the compositions. Just as the couple took time to learn about their new surroundings, Meet Me At The Edge of the World should be referred to as a piece of artistic work that takes time to absorb. Helping Over The Rhine on this particular transitional path is the gorgeous guitar and pedal steel work from Eric Heywood and a rhythm section of Jennifer Condos on bass and Jay Bellerose on drums. Additional guests include Aimee Mann who lends her vocals to the song “Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down”.
From the opening title track, the record is chock full of beautiful songs including a song describing the move from city to countryside “All Of It Was Music”. A rockin’ blues number “Gonna Let My Soul Catch My Body” is as surprising as hearing Linford singing for the very first time on any OTR album with the beautiful duet “All Over Ohio”. The couple pays homage to the everlasting love of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash with “Earthbound Love Song”. The ritual of walking out into the twilight is their “Favorite Time of Light” and a phrase from Linford’s Father to “leave the edges wild” is a metaphor found on the album’s single “Against The Grain”. The lone cover is a gorgeous rendition of The Band’s “It Makes No Difference” which shows off Bergquist’s vocal styling on one of the greatest songs ever written.
Detweiler and Bergquist are beginning the second leg of their tour promoting the new record until Thanksgiving when they change the set list to their traditional holiday shows that this year will be called An Electric Christmas with Over the Rhine. Some of the early shows will have Tift Merritt opening for a sweet double bill, so check the band’s website or Facebook page for the latest news and information.