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Review: New album celebrates Over the Rhine’s milestone

March 11, 2019 GMT
This album cover image released by Great Speckled Dog shows "Love & Revelation” a release by Over The Rhine. (Great Speckled Dog via AP)
This album cover image released by Great Speckled Dog shows "Love & Revelation” a release by Over The Rhine. (Great Speckled Dog via AP)

Over the Rhine, “Love & Revelation” (Great Speckled Dog)

Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler share a marriage and the stage as the duo Over the Rhine, but often write separately, and so far that approach seems to work. For their latest album, Detweiler composed “Let You Down” — a pledge of commitment — and the Ohio couple sing it together, their partnership still harmonious after 30 years.

“Love & Revelation” is a subdued but lovely celebration of the milestone. It won’t surprise longtime fans that the topics are often sad and the tempos mostly slow, all the better to showcase Bergquist’s warm, wise, honest alto. She sounds better than ever, with a depth and richness that makes her voice resonate like a prayer.

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The songs are strong, whether written by him or her. They address heartache, hope and the push and pull of the road and relationships. Bergquist and Detweiler co-produced, and a crack supporting cast includes Greg Leisz and Bradley Meinerding, who shine on electric guitar, and drummer Jay Bellerose, who makes sure the leisurely beat doesn’t stall.

In the liner notes Bergquist and Detweiler cite poetry as inspiration, but tunes are at the foundation of the couple’s collaboration. The closing “An American in Belfast” is a wordless benediction written by Detweiler, with humming by Bergquist. Good? Uh-huh.