November 13th, 2006

Over The Rhine

Musical/Personal: Wherein Mike Enthuses About New "Over The Rhine" Offerings

Because I cannot say enough about the quality of their writing, and the beauty that they craft together, I am here going to enthuse about the announcement of two newly-available collections of music by the Cincinnati couple known as Over The Rhine. First they are offering a new "Christmas" album, in the tradition of their own The Darkest Night of the Year from some years ago. I am almost reluctant to label it a "Christmas" album, given that there is so much poorly-produced material that fits into that genre as well. (Although I can think of great works, too, like Bruce Cockburn's Christmas, Russ Taff's A Christmas Song, Handel's Messiah: A Soulful Celebration, or the classic Vince Guaraldi Trio's A Charlie Brown Christmas.) The Darkest Night of the Year is the moodiest of that lot of favourites, but one that a collection should not be without, and thus that's been one of the titles I've often given away as timely stocking-stuffers. The new collection, Snow Angels can now be pre-ordered, and comes with a bonus: as the blurb puts it,
"Everyone who pre-orders the Snow Angels CD will also receive (via e-mail, within 48 hours of purchasing) access to a secret downloadable archive of Karin's Nowhere Farm sketches--her earliest outlines of many of the songs that became Snow Angels. Pre-order your copy and start listening to these intimate performances right away!"
I also note that the first two songs for this collection are available as mp3s, if you want to see if you believe me. Just click on the Snow Angels image. Over The Rhine has tended to be rather generous with freebies like that: look around their website for others scattered like Easter eggs.

Also available for pre-order is the second volume of a new Over The Rhine tradition, a limited-series of annual "best of" collections, entitled Live From Nowhere. The first one was well worth it, and did nothing to undermine my commitment to patronize these independent artists. After over a dozen discs, my trust in their quality has become implicit, and there's very few recording artists I'd say that of.

So that's it. The end of my evangelizing. But I would hardly hawk anything with such enthusiasm that I didn't first sell to myself, so forgive me for trying to capture your eyes and imagination with all this....