The autumnal Over the Rhine enchants a World Cafe Live crowd - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

All photos by Chris Sikich |

Cincinnati’s Americana powerhouse Over the Rhine showcased their 15th studio album, Meet Me at the Edge of the World, on Tuesday night to an enchanted World Café Live audience. Following the country and folk aesthetic of standout opener Tift Merritt, Over the Rhine took the crowd on a journey through their home state of Ohio and beyond.

The rich, jazz-like vocals of Karin Bergquist and the multi-instrumental talents of Linford Detweiler drive Over the Rhine’s sound, complementing each other with such precision that their matrimonial link is certainly no surprise. At the forefront of the show was Over the Rhine’s expert songcraft. Narratives, like the one about Detweiler’s father in “Against the Grain,” unspool like aural masterpieces in miniature. And their four-piece backing band certainly adds to the epic nature. Solidifying Over the Rhine’s success is the mixture of many facets of the musical spectrum – rock, folk, country, bluegrass, blues, gospel, and jazz – to arrive at a finely woven pastiche of sound.

The crowd’s obvious adoration for the show was evident in their reverent silence, which allowed for a moment of seemingly unintended humor early when the only sound other than Bergquist’s voice on “Drunkard’s Prayer” was the sound of a bartender shaking a drink. And as Bergquist joked about desiring a martini, the strong rapport her and Detweiler had with the crowd became evident. This is no surprise considering their crowdfunding success for their newest record, resulting in inviting 1,000 of their fans to their farm for a show earlier this year. One fan had even placed a bouquet of wildflowers on the stage before the show and they stayed up for the duration and became a great prop for one of the last songs of the night, “Wildflower Bouquet.”

As a band that Bergquist herself said is inspired by the changing of colors, it could not have been a more appropriate evening to spend with Over the Rhine. After drinking in the intoxicating harmonies and textures of such songs as “Cruel and Pretty,” listeners exited the venue with the music still wafting into a crisp October night.

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