To our extended, ragtag musical family strewn about the world, greetings.
The weather has been all over the map here in Ohio this Spring: early last
week it was 75 degrees Farenheit, then it dipped down to the upper 20's, and
we woke one morning to snow that looked like powdered sugar sprinkled on a
cheap birthday cake. I'm a little chilly at the moment in this back corner
bedroom of the Grey Ghost, but it's a stunning Spring day, and I've been
trying to remember what the difference is between a starling and a grackle.
The blackbirds, shall we say, have been roosting in our black walnut tree.
Two squirrels have been hauling mulch up out of Karin's perennials into the
hollow crook of one of the oaks, so we've got our eyes peeled for the arrival
of their young ones, assuming that's what all the fuss is about. The
squirrels keep a watchful eye out for Willow.
Can't remember if we've told the story of the young squirrel that followed me
home from the park one Spring. Willow cornered it, but spared its life, and
by the time I could encourage the dog to break the stare they were both
locked in, something seemed to pass between them, some sort of unspoken
agreement. It was as if the squirrel had made a pact that if he could go
free, he would be "at our service" for the rest of his days.
And sure enough, there he was following after Willow with that textbook
squirrel-trot. She was the new Mama. I was the new chaperone. I was afraid
Willow was going to step on the little fellow after awhile--he was so intent
on staying near her--so I knelt down, and he jumped up into my arms, and I
brought him home.
Karin named him Joe Henry, and we sat out on the porchswing for awhile (I
realize this sounds sickeningly idyllic) and watched as the squirrel would
try to ride around on Willow's back. The dog wasn't too thrilled about her
new sidekick, but was trying more-or-less to maintain a good attitude.
Well, Karin went out and bought a green bird cage that we set up on the
backporch, and Joe Henry slept in there at night. During the day he would go
out tooling around in the oak trees. Sometimes he would take naps in the
sleeve of Karin's flannel shirt next to her smooth forearm. One afternoon,
after he had been getting a little more wary and aloof and squirrel-skeptical
(we hadn't seen him too much for a few days), he must have gotten into his
first squirrel fist fight. I happened to see him easing himself down one of
the oaks with a bloody nose, and he soon hopped back into my lap for comfort
and re-assurance. He seemed to calm down after awhile. Karin called a
"squirrel expert" and of course mothered Joe Henry back to health with
eyedroppers and bags of unsalted mixed nuts and what not. Joe eventually made
his way out into the world for good, and we left for tour, but we're pretty
sure he ended up being the big squirrel that we often saw on the outskirts of
our backyard. Some mornings he would just sit and stare at us from a distance
as if he knew a secret the other squirrels didn't.
Karin named Joe Henry's girlfriend Lucinda Williams, and believe me, there
were plenty of squirrels around for a good while. Our neighbor eventually
trapped about a dozen in a live trap and took them out into a woods and let
them go free. I suppose this new couple we've been watching is getting ready
to take over where Joe and Lucinda left off.
If you'd like to see the young Joe Henry, you can check out this link at
I believe this snapshot was taken soon after he arrived on the scene, when he
was making a fool of himself around the company we had visiting one afternoon.
Well, it's Spring and here's the news.
We're finally going to make up the Lexington and Atlanta shows we had to
cancel back when the flu bug tackled us. (Nashville--we're still working on.)
We have some scattered college dates that we're looking forward to, and we're
excited to be heading back out to the West Coast of the USA in May for a
swing through some of our favorite cities. You can always check out for links and more info, but here's a quick rundown.
Apr 12 Lexington KY, Lynagh's Musiclub, 388 Woodland Avenue
Age Restriction 21+
Apr 14 Atlanta GA, Smith's Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Avenue
Age Restriction 21+, tickets on sale at
Apr 19 Grand Rapids MI, Calvin College
Over the Rhine will perform a 20-minute opening set for Patti Griffin at
tickets $10, 616-957-6282 or
Apr 20 Canton OH, Malone College, Centennial Center
All ages show (Karin and Linford's Alma Mater!)
Apr 26 Gambier OH, Kenyon College, Ross Hall
All ages show (The Kenyon Review was one of the first literary journals to
publish Flannery O'Connor. If you haven't been to Oxford, England, Kenyon
will do. Beautiful!)
*Apr 27 Berwyn IL, FitzGerald's, 6615 Roosevelt Rd.
Age Restriction 21+
*May 03 Seattle WA, Crocodile Cafe, 2200 2nd Avenue
opener Jim & Jennie and the Pinetops, Age Restriction 21+
*May 04 Portland OR, Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie
opener Jim & Jennie and the Pinetops
May 05 Eugene OR, Gutenberg College House Concert, 1883 University St., TWO
opener Jim & Jennie and the Pinetops
*May 08 San Francisco CA, Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell Street
opener Jim & Jennie and the Pinetops
*May 10 San Diego CA, The Casbah, 2501 Kettner Blvd.
Note: This is an early show with doors at 6:30 pm and OtR at 7:00 pm.
*May 11 Los Angeles CA, Knitting Factory, 7021 Hollywood Blvd.
opener Jim & Jennie and the Pinetops
For the dates that are *starred*: We're looking for two volunteers to sell
merchandise for the band. Volunteers get free admission to the show and the
cd of their choice. If you're interested in helping out, please e-mail Blair
Woods at Let him know if you are volunteering solo, or
bringing a friend. Thanks. (If the club specifies an age-restriction,
volunteers must be of age.)
You can hear Karin and Jack and Linford this Friday, April 12 at 2pm EST on
WRVG in Lexington, and on the web at Cue the tape
Jay Bolotin is finishing up the woodcuts for the project which will be
printed into the book directly from the blocks. (I ordered the wood for the
woodcuts (walnut) from a small town in the mountains of Utah.) The complete
text has been type-set by hand and is waiting in the wings. The book should
be ready to go into "production" in May. Your patience has been strong. Than
ks. Please let us know if your address has changed. What was supposed to be a
late summer project last year has grown into a summer project this year.
We're still having fun though and trust that this delay won't prove too
thorny for the early believers in the book. We'll get there.
Virgin/Back Porch have given the go ahead for Over the Rhine to begin work on
new recordings which the band will begin working on soon. The band hopes to
record two full-length albums later this summer and fall. Stay tuned for more.
For those of you who like to take advantage of our secure server at for a little on-line shopping break every once in awhile,
Karin and I are signing all the merchandise this month that's ordered through
the website. So if you've had a hankerin' to fill in a few gaps in your Over
the Rhine catalog, or if your ex-boyfriend ran off with your original copy of
Good Dog Bad Dog, or if you've always wanted to get one of those huge,
collectible Over the Rhine posters autographed, we'll be happy to slap a
Spring signature or two on whatever you happen to order. Just thought you
might like to know.
Check this out:
Well, I should probably go strap on my roller blades and pine for the days
when I was an aspiring 15 year old hockey player attending school north of
Calgary, Alberta.
Rock on and stuff,
Linford Detweiler for Over the Rhine
(Flying the pop music flag high over the Ohio River.)