When Over the Rhine's new album, The Long Surrender, comes out early next year, it will have been 20 years since the beloved Cincinnati outfit released Till We Have Faces, OTR’s 1991 debut. In that time, OTR’s husband/wife braintrust — multi-instrumentalists and vocalists Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist — carved out one of the more impressive careers in Cincinnati music history, amassing a dedicated worldwide fanbase of passionate supporters. OTR’s unusually close-knit relationship with those fans has kept their base intact. It’s also how the duo was able to make The Long Surrender. —-
(Check out CityBeat’s special Over the Rhine page, with our coverage of the group over the years, here.)
To be released Feb. 8 on the band’s own Great Speckled Dog label, Over the Rhine’s eleventh album was financed by the fans. Along with direct donations, the duo also sold music and recording equipment and played shows to raise funds. While “We wouldn’t be here without you” is a performer's favorite cliché to use when pandering to fans in concert and at awards shows, it’s a heartening, genuine reality for Over the Rhine.
Dubbed an “intimate epic” by the band’s press agents, The Long Surrender was created with critically-acclaimed singer/songwriter Joe Henry, who produced the album at his Garfield House studio in South Pasadena, Calif. Along with a handful of top-notch studio musicians and singers, the group was assisted in the studio by Lucinda Williams, who duets with Bergquist on the track “Undamned.”
The band’s devoted followers will get to hear the songs from The Long Surrender a couple of months before the release date if they can make it to Cincinnati next month and have a few extra bucks. The day before their annual, holidays-timed “Homecoming Show” at the Taft Theatre — Dec. 17, with Henry opening — OTR will perform the new album from start to finish at the Aronoff Center with some of people who helped them record it (including Henry). The Friday show and a special Sunday “meet and greet”-type party at Norwood’s St. Elizabeth’s are only open to those who buy a special VIP package (which also includes admission to the Taft show). Click here to purchase VIP tickets.