Hello from OHIO,

We thought we'd send a long overdue update letter your way regarding the 
goings on here in this gently sloping orchard called Over the Rhine.

It's not hard to believe in the idea of Spring these days. Something about 
the way the air smells, the light lingering longer in the evenings, the 
neighborhood mockingbirds reeling oblvious through their borrowed snippets of songs. 
(We enjoy reading that previous sentence aloud in a posh English accent.) 

We hope you're all doing well.

Karin and I are looking around as if for the first time after a much needed 
sabbatical. We've been lying low and in each others arms, basking in the small 
joys and victories of being at home together. We've talked and laughed our way 
through many a late night bottle of red, and Karin even after all these 
years, finally taught me how to make a good cup of coffee, a responsibility I've 
gladly taken on from time to time on cold crisp mornings. 

We've also enjoyed long relaxed hours of reconnecting with family and friends 
that we all too often leave behind when we tour.
  
We adopted a companion for Willow, a Great Dane mix who goes by the name 
Elroy Levon. Elroy and Willow have become fast friends, growling playfully and 
rolling around together on the living room floor. The new boy, Elroy, has heaped 
a 100+ pounds of new love into the Grey Ghost mix. It has quickly become 
difficult to imagine our previous life without him. He's particularly happy in the 
mornings and his version of tail-waggin' is contagious. (And a little bit 
dangerous. He's got a two-foot tiger tail that really gets to whippin'.) The dogs 
get us out of the house for air in the mornings and evenings (a good thing). 
When they run, it reminds us that it is good to do what we were born to do. 
(We'll post some pictures of Elroy soon. We like to describe him as a cross 
between a Holstein and man's best friend.)

Karin and I have been taking a new look at these days and dreaming aloud 
about the years ahead of us. We know we want to love each other real good, to 
truly grow together and put down deep roots. We want to sit on the front porch 
together many years down the road and reminisce about all this and laugh alot. 

We know we want to continue to write and record--our project list is 
criss-crossed with notes and scribbles. 

We know we want to start a family. 

We know we want to continue to perform--it's a part of our lives which 
continues to be mysteriously life-giving. (And we miss all of you when too many days 
go by without making some kind of lovely ruckus together.) 

We know we want to spend more time working together at home. 

We know we want to control the squirrel population in the back yard. (Thank 
God for catch and release traps.) We should never have brought Joe Henry home. 

We know we need to paint the kitchen.

We're a little unsure how to fit all of this together sometimes into a life 
that's deeply nurturing yet spontaneous, rooted in community, yet adventurous. 
We're looking for a rhythm. We long for wisdom and grace.

Our sincere thanks to all of you for your encouragement, your creativity, 
your prayers and thoughts as Karin and I took this much needed time to be 
together, alone. (You sent drawings, cards, flowers, GDBD dog bowls (!), dessert 
wine, notes, letters, many tiny gifts. You sent your prayers. They were heard.)

OHIO, this here double album, our latest, has been a good roller coaster 
ride. It's kicked up a fair bit of dust on the back roads of the music industry. 
We immensely enjoyed seeing all of you last December on our annual Christmas 
Tour. (Check out the MP-3 of the month at overtherhine.com!)

The listeners of our home town AAA station (WNKU 89.7fm) voted OHIO number 
one for 2003, and CityBeat, our arts and entertainment weekly, inducted Over the 
Rhine into the Cincinnati Music Hall of Fame. (Twenty years too early.) But 
most importantly, we feel we made the record we needed to make. We are happy 
that so many of you seem to enjoy these new songs. 

Believe it or not (typical artists) we're thinking a lot about our next 
record already. Stay tuned.

We're planning on many updates to the website this year, and 
(long-time-comin') we've now brought a message board to overtherhine.com. We're not letting go 
of our e-mail discussion list, but we feel the message board is a logical 
progression and will make it easier for Karin and I to participate in this 
on-line community that has grown over the years. There will be a link on the home 
page soon, but if you want to join and participate immediately, go to 
overtherhine.com/orchard, and have at it! We look forward to hearing from you. 

(Thanks to Drew Vogel for getting this up and running for us. And thanks 
again to Eric King for his webmaster ways. Congratulations to the Kings on the 
birth of their fourth (leap year) child, Anton Michael, on February 29th!)

As for touring, we were planning on heading out to the West Coast for a few 
weeks of dates this Spring, but we've decided to hold off for a number of 
reasons. (And sorry about the February Los Angeles concert. We were supposed to be 
part of the filming of a pilot television show, but that was postponed, so we 
had to lay low.) If we don't get to the West Coast soon, maybe we can do some 
Christmas shows in December and get caught up with all of you. It's been too 
long.

Look for a few intimate concerts mostly close to home in coming months, (we 
may ask you to do most of the traveling for awhile) and a few festival 
appearances when the weather gets a bit warmer. (As per usual, stay tuned for 
specifics at overtherhine.com.)

I have a new instrumental record completed that we'll be making available 
through the website soon. It's called, Unspoken Requests.

(Nursing mothers, loosen your blouses...)

Well, we think of you all often. We thank you for giving this music a home, 
for listening so well for so long.

Keep in touch,

Linford and Karin