Over the Rhine Overwhelms at the Variety Playhouse!

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After a few opening songs, Linford Detweiler, half of Over the Rhine, stated “Its one of those mysteries … sad songs make me feel so good … our songs make sad people happy and vice-versa.” This sums up the music of Over the Rhine (OtR) precisely. Linford and his giant voiced wife, Karin Bergquist, form what is the OtR songwriting team.

Reminiscent of the Cowboy Junkies, OtR plays sultry melancholy songs. This is not formulaic melodies or trite lyrics … this is thoughtful and eloquent music with excellent complexity. Founded over twenty years ago, OtR has a strong fan base that flies just under the mainstream.

With a full compliment of excellent musicians, OtR put on quite a show playing predominantly from their new album ‘The Long Surrender’. Throughout the show Karin and Linford spoke as though we were old friends who had been invited into their home to enjoy their music. This is the type of connection that OtR fans have with this band. They closed the show with ‘No Kill Shelter’ a song written for all the stray dogs in all of us that was inspired by a true story of a stray that was eventually adopted by the couple. A good show for all the Over the Rhine fans in the house.

Lucy Wainwright opened the show. A folk singer with an extraordinarily clear and strong voice, many at the show were talking of her set afterwards. Lucy has deep musical roots, being the daughter of Loudon Wainwright, II and Suzzy Roche. I look forward to Ms. Roche returning to play a more extensive set of her music.

During the first encore, Lucy joined Linford and Karin of OtR for a sweet and poignant version of Bruce Springsteen’s Hungry Heart. Little did we know that long time E Street Band member Clarence Clemons was passing into that rock-n-roll heaven as they were singing.

Lucy Wainwright Roche Setlist
Statesville
Next Best Western
The Worst Part
Accident & Emergency
Wild Mountain Thyme (Francis McPeake cover) with audience sing-a-long
Chicago

Over the Rhine Setlist
The Laugh of Recognition
Rave On
The King Knows How
Undamned
I’m on a Roll
Oh Yeah by the Way
Infamous Love Song
Only God Can Save Us Now
Days Like This (Lim Taylor cover)
Trouble
Entertaining Thoughts
Don’t Wait for Tom
All My Favorite People
-Encore
Hungry heart (Bruce Springsteen over) Karin, Linford & Lucy Wainwright Roche
Drunkards Prayer
No Kill Shelter

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