Dear E-Mail Friends,

It's been an odd Spring, but a memorable one. I hope you are well, that there is a 'yes' burning deep inside somewhere...

I enclosed the press release that our office put together. You folks will be the first to know the news, more-or-less...

Of course, we're having fun rifling through our sock drawers for recordings for our independent record due out June 30. Karin is coming over this afternoon to do some singing in my kitchen, and then we'll begin fitting all the pieces together. This record, like 'Til We Have Faces, and Patience will consist of demo-versions of songs and home recordings, which we were planning on re-recording for I.R.S. this Spring.

But then God came down and changed all that.

These last few months have found us wandering around in the wilderness. (Is there any emotion for waiting?)

And now we're free. Nobody to blame anymore but ourselves. It's good to be walking again.

I guess the final straw came last March. We were all geared up to make a record with a real producer for the first time. (This can be tricky for a band that has self-produced three records.) Pat Moran really pushed us as far as song-writing, and dismissed some songs that were important to us. This wasn't easy but we worked through it until we (the producer and the band) were satisfied.

We had our recording scenario all in place (record in Indiana, mix in Wales). Pat had greatly reduced his fee to keep us within our budget and he went to I.R.S. and said, "O.K., we're ready, let's make this record..." and I.R.S. for one reason and another started hemming and hawing and ended up cancelling everything at the last minute and made a real mess of things. So then I had Pat (an established, successful producer) coming to me saying "This record label is appalling..."

It was one of many clues that it was time to open a new chapter. I.R.S. could have strung us along for a couple of years so we're very grateful to be free to make a fresh start.

Is there anything more boring than hearing a musician ramble about the thorns of the industry? I think not.

The songs on the new record will tell the same story we intended to tell with Pat's help. It will just be a much simpler version of the same story. That's probably not a bad thing. And hopefully we'll still get to make the record we were planning to make someday. This record is for our friends.

In other news, Rhinelanders, look for the first copy of The Northern Spy around the end of June or early July. Your signed photo will arrive shortly after that. We need some input on when you want to have your get-together with the band. Maybe a late Fall gathering? Or Christmas? Remember, you get your very own exclusive recording on CD this December.

Also, Shelly has worked up a simple FAQ, FYI. This does not rule out some individual longer responses from band members, via the discussion group. But it's a handy resource for general information. We're willing to expand the FAQ, so feel free to ask more questions.

I'm going to slip away for the time being. Open up that secret heart of yours, the one you're dying to reveal.


Linford Detweiler
Over the Rhine