Over The Rhine Christmas Show with Gossamer Strings

Event Date/Doors Open: 
Sunday, December 2, 2018 - 7:00pm
Event Time: 
$20 Advance, $25 Day of Show

On Sunday, December 2, the Community Center for the Performing Arts proudly welcome’s Over The Rhine’s Christmas Show to the WOW Hall with special guests Gossamer Strings.

"There may be no more soothing voice in music than Karin Bergquist's," observed Entertainment Weekly.  "She could be interpreting jazz standards, but fortunately she applies that balm to her and husband Linford Detweiler's beautifully languid originals, which invoke hard times and celebrate the survival of the least fit."

Over the Rhine will return to the WOW Hall this December with their highly acclaimed Christmas Show.  They last played the WOW Hall in December 2016. 

Says Linford:

“One December, not long after Over the Rhine began recording and touring, we were invited to perform some seasonal songs on a public radio station in Cincinnati. It was Christmastime and apparently they thought we were up to the task. We worked up a few carols and traditional tunes and Karin even read a poem by Thomas Hardy called, The Oxen.  It actually felt really good and conjured up an unusual mix of feelings from childhood: innocence, loss, wonder, joy, sadness. I think we were surprised.

“People must have tuned into the radio broadcast, because we began receiving inquiries as to whether we had recorded any of our Christmas songs. I don’t think we had considered it at the time, but any young, struggling songwriter is open to the suggestions of the marketplace, and people were persistent.

“In December of 1996 – can it really be over 20 years ago? – we recorded and released our first song cycle of some of the Christmas carols that still haunted us. We included a few original tunes and called our wintry mix The Darkest Night Of The Year. We played a special “darkest night” release concert on winter solstice in an old theater in Cincinnati. Folks began snatching up copies and seemed to agree that they hadn’t heard anything quite like it.

“We began playing concerts around the Midwest every December and found that the rooms were usually packed full of people who had bundled in out of the cold with prized compatriots. Hats and scarves abounded. If you stepped outside during intermission, you could make ghosts with your breath in the crisp night air. And it was dark – oh so dark: a time of year with its own music.

“A decade later, in 2006, we released our first full collection of original Christmas/holiday songs called Snow Angels. What is it about Christmas music and the undeniable gravitational pull it exerts on some songwriters? So many Christmas songs had already been written. I think we were genuinely curious about the ones that hadn’t yet been written.

“We continued to tour every December and these special year-winding-down concerts began to feel like an annual tradition – gatherings of extended musical family, without whom, we’d be homeless.

“By the time we released our third holiday album of original songs, Blood Oranges In The Snow, in December of 2014, Karin suggested we had discovered a new genre of music: Reality Christmas.

“It’s true: if you’ve buried a loved one, or lost a job, or battled a chronic illness, that stuff doesn’t go away during the holidays. It can be a complicated season for many of us.

“And then there’s family.  When Karin and I make the annual holiday pilgrimage home to visit family and pull into the driveway and turn off the car, one of us inevitably looks over at the other and says, ‘Tie a rope around my waist, I’m goin’ in.’

“In 2018, more than twenty years after releasing our first holiday CD, we are still at it. This year, we will be performing as a trio, leaning into three-part harmonies and making an intimate but hopefully holy ruckus. It won’t be all Christmas music: we’ll certainly mix in tunes from many of our records along the way. But hopefully it’s still true: hopefully you haven’t heard anything quite like it.

“Maybe a midnight snow will fall and turn each streetlight into its own private snow globe. Maybe, regardless of whatever reality Christmas brings, we’ll hear a faint echo of a song once rumored to have been sung by angels, a song of peace on earth, goodwill toward all…  We hope you’ll join us.”

Native Ohioans Detweiler and Bergquist launched Over the Rhine as a quartet in the spring of 1989, naming the ensemble after the historic, bohemian Cincinnati neighborhood Over-the-Rhine, where they lived and first wrote and recorded together.  Their early demos and performances quickly struck a chord with listeners, and they already had a solid local following by the time they launched their recording career with a pair of well-received, independently released albums, Till We Have Faces (1991) and Patience (1992).

Over the decades, Over the Rhine continued to build a musically and emotionally potent catalogue.

"We are blessed with an incredibly devoted audience who've assured us that they have invited our music into many of the significant milestones a human can experience," Detweiler states, adding, "People have told us that they fell in love, or walked down the aisle, or conceived, or went off to war, or buried loved ones, or gave birth to our music. And so forth.  At the end of the day, what more can a songwriter ask for?"

Eugene’s Gossamer Strings is a lyrical old-timey duo featuring tight harmonies and strong instrumentation melded into a unique and intimate experience. Band members are Kyle McGonegle (guitar, mandolin, vocals) and Liat Tova Lis (banjo, guitar, vocals).

            Come prepared for a night of both traditional and original holiday music.  Doors open at 7:00 pm and showtime is 8:00.   Seating is first come, first served.  Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day of show.