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Story and photos by Andrea Dawn GoforthIt was story night at Lincoln Hall on Friday night as sultry songstress Karin Bergquist and her husband Linford Detweiler took the stage with their band Over The Rhine. Hailing from southern Ohio, OTR is out on the road promoting their new album The Long Surrender.
The group's set up Friday night was as interesting looking as it was sounding. Karin and Lin took their usual places at the piano and acoustic guitar, but the stage was also decorated with a marching band bass drum, a pedal steel, an upright bass, and a plethora of chimes and bells. Opening with a cut off the new album called "The Laugh of Recognition," the crowd hushed and Karin's voice sailed over the crowd "Come on Boys, it's time to settle down."
While the music was haunting and skillfully executed, it was the stories and atmosphere that made the night special. The obvious love shared between the husband and wife duo would push anyone bitter of heart over the edge, and make anyone in love hold their lover a little closer. Leading into "Infamous Love Song," Lin described his desire to write a song to really show off Karin's voice, but also to chronicle their now 20 year journey playing music. They exchanged loving glances throughout most of the show.
Bergquist also shared the emotional tale of her mother's recent string of strokes that left her unable to care for herself, and ultimately landed her in a nursing home. Explaining that she tries to see the comedy in all things in life, Bergquist details the characteristics of her mother's eccentric nursing home roommates. Cataloged in the song "Only God Can Save Us Now" she sings "Margie struck Geneva with her baby doll/Barb knocked off the medcart comin' down the hall/Bob leads the congregation when he sings How Now Brown Cow/Only God can save us now."
It's clear why OTR travels with their own sound engineer. Highly reverbed micrphones picked up little hand chimes played by almost every member of the band, and an old hand held radio mic picked up a subtle and sweet sound from the harmonica. All the instruments and vocals sailed through the hall dripping with reverb and echo.
OTR closed with "All My Favorite People" and dedicated it to the Chicagoans attending the show, which probably happens in every city. Either way, the song was a delicate close to the set. After returning to the stage for an encore of "Drunkard's Prayer" and "No Kill Shelter," the band took a bow and thus ended story night at Lincoln Hall.
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