Over the Rhine: The Long Surrender

RIYL: Lucinda Williams, Joni Mitchell

“The Laugh of Recognition” is the pretty, mellow song that begins the new Over the Rhine album, The Long Surrender. With layers of piano, echoed guitar and the drummer chugging along with brushes on the snare, the song sets the mood for this collection of lovely music from the underground folk rock band.

The songs of The Long Surrender are country-based, atmospheric treasures full of passion and featuring nothing but the finest musicianship from Karen Bergquist, her husband and band mate, Linford Detweiler, their producer Joe Henry, and the fine musicians he’s helped assemble for this album. Upon first listen, you may think the album could use a rocker or two, something a little upbeat, but repeated listens reveal that the album doesn’t need it. Bergquist sings with such conviction and the lyrics are so intricate that the songs demand attention rather than too much foot tapping.

What separates Over the Rhine’s music from so many of the singer/songwriter “Grey’s Anatomy” soundtrack crowd is Bergquist’s unique vocals.  With a slight slur in her voice, it recalls a little bit of Rickie Lee Jones and a touch of Lucinda Williams, who also duets with Bergquist on the track “Undamned.”

If you’ve never heard of or listened to Over the Rhine, The Long Surrender is an excellent starting point. After 15 years of albums and touring, it would be nice if these critical darlings would wider attention from the general public. (Great Speckled Dog 2011)

Over the Rhine MySpace page


Bonnaroo announces ’09 lineup

EW.com’s PopWatch summarizes the Bonnaroo headliners, but you can see the full lineup here.

You’ve got your classic-rock powerhouses (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Elvis Costello), your reunited jam-band institution (Phish), your ’90s-survivor cult act (Nine Inch Nails), your rap elders (Snoop Dogg, the Beastie Boys), your old soul legend (Al Green), your new funk goddess (Erykah Badu), your country icons (Merle Haggard, Lucinda Williams) — and, of course, dozens of your top-tier indie rockers (Animal Collective, the Decemberists, TV on the Radio, Grizzly Bear)

The article didn’t even mention Wilco or David Byrne. That’s a nice lineup.

The festival runs from June 11th to the 14th. Tickets go on sale this Saturday.


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