The Gospel according to Over the Rhine

On Friday night Cheryl and I went to see Over the Rhine at the Highline Ballroom in New York City. We were blessed to watch the show with our good friends Tim & Sarah Binkele, as well as Cheryl’s cousin Brick and her husband Gianni. (We made a convert of Brick, who was experiencing OTR for the first time.) Good friends, loved ones and a phenomenal set of music. It was quite possibly the perfect night, even if two pints of Guinness set me back $14 (I love NY!).

The highlight of the evening for me was when they played their tune “The Trumpet Child.” It’s by far my favorite song from their latest record. It’s a tune that communicates wonderfully the gospel story with a brilliance, beauty and grace that could only come from Linford’s fingers and Karin’s vocal chords. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a little choked up by the end of the song.

You can listen to a performance of “The Trumpet Child” below. It’s not from Friday’s performance, but it was recorded within the past few weeks and is very similar in arrangement to how they performed it this weekend. And if you want to better understand our Over the Rhine addiction, you can download a great bootleg of a recent show here.

The Trumpet Child

The trumpet child will blow his horn
Will blast the sky till it’s reborn
With Gabriel’s power and Satchmo’s grace
He will surprise the human race

The trumpet he will use to blow
Is being fashioned out of fire
The mouthpiece is a glowing coal
The bell a burst of wild desire

The trumpet child will riff on love
Thelonious notes from up above
He’ll improvise a kingdom come
Accompanied by a different drum

The trumpet child will banquet here
Until the lost are truly found
A thousand days, a thousand years
Nobody knows for sure how long

The rich forget about their gold
The meek and mild are strangely bold
A lion lies beside a lamb
And licks a murderer’s outstretched hand

The trumpet child will lift a glass
His bride now leaning in at last
His final aim to fill with joy
The earth that man all but destroyed


5 thoughts on “The Gospel according to Over the Rhine

  1. Gah! I’m kicking myself that I missed it, but family obligations came up. I’ve been listening to The Trumpet Child on repeat, though, all weekend. How was Rosie? I love her, too.

  2. You definitely missed a great show! They played The Trumpet Child in its entirety with “Ohio,” “Orphan Girl,” “Fever,” “North Pole Man,” and “Born” sprinkled in for good measure. Great room, the sound was fantastic.

    If you listen to that bootleg I linked, you’ll get a pretty good feel for the show. Nearly identical setlist and their between song banter was pretty much identical.

    Rosie Thomas was alright. I might dig her CD if I ever heard it, but her music seemed pretty one dimensional. She has a great singing voice (with a speaking voice that just doesn’t match). She was good.

    Over the Rhine comes to NYC quite a bit. You won’t have to wait long for another chance to see them!

  3. Shane, I listened to the Rosie Thomas album and it’s pretty good. You were right, it’s good porch music. I think we were just really distracted by what was coming out of her mouth when she wasn’t singing.

  4. i’m so bummed i didn’t go to the show. i’d like to have given a little hello to bink and other slackers who were there. perhaps next time ……..

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