Musical Odyssey (Pt. 3)
So then last November, another issue of Paste Magazine (seeing a common thread here?) arrives at my doorstep. But as I read through, I was struck by one article. Linford Detweiler, pianist and songwriter for Over the Rhine (a band I had never heard of), wrote this incredibly articulate, moving piece detailing the genesis of their most recent album. A brief glimpse:
"Since there is all this music that could only have happened in America, are we foolhardy enough to believe that the music of Over the Rhine—our music—is, at its heart, an only-in-America tale of some kind as well? And if our music isn’t deeply connected to who we are and where we’ve come from, if we don’t believe our songs have the potential to be an authentic footnote of some kind in this larger unique story of American music, aren’t we just wasting everyone’s time, including our own?
Let’s assume for the sake of argument that this music we are about to make will be our life’s work. Let’s pan way back (even farther back than backstage). What if we were brave enough to actually tell the story of how we got here, our very own only-in-America tale? Where would we start?"
He goes on to detail the intersection of faith, instrumentation, and jazz that have marked his own career trajectory, and quotes the lyrics to "The Trumpet Child" to where my heart is pounding. Later that night I sit in front of my laptop perusing their webpage and listening to the webplayer for the new album over and over and over again; I listen to that one song about seventeen times in a row, reading the lyrics and emailing it to as many friends as I think will care in the least. It is jazz, it is hymn, it is Spirit, it is America.
But don't take my word for it. Listen for yourself: