Over the Rhine: Finding Our Tribe

Over the RhineGuest post by Linford Detweiler

The following post is adapted from a talk given at the Glen Workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico, August 7, 2014.

Hello. I’m Linford Detweiler. I’m one half of the band Over the Rhine, and my wife and I are leading the songwriting workshop this week.

I asked Greg when I saw first saw him here a few days ago—I was just thinking out loud—if there was any significance to the fact that both Over the Rhine and Image were celebrating 25th anniversaries this year. Neither of us could pinpoint anything immediate, but Greg did remind us that we would be getting together in October at his alma mater up in Michigan. You see, Hillsdale College is welcoming Greg Wolfe back to campus to recognize his contributions to the world of art and faith and the conversation that continues to evolve around the two—a dialogue and a dance that Greg has made his life’s work and passion.

Greg joked and said, Yeah, the prodigal son returns. And I said, Yeah right. What could possibly be prodigal about your achievements? [Read more...]

The Regrettably Pretty Shoes: A St. Louis Story

st louis policeGuest post by Linda Wendling

 I love St. Louis. I love Ferguson.

My whole family grew up loving this burg. Two kids went to school there; my friends and I ate girly tea-party fare at The Thyme Table. And we all hit The Ferguson Bakery (famous for its chewy anise cookies). Ferguson and St. Louis proper are rich in historic homes, multicultural communities, and a long tradition of block parties (can you say “toasted ravioli?”). Two of my children still live in St. Louis. We still belong to the St. Louis Mennonites. It’s home.

This is the story of a young St. Louis mother who has to walk in far more deliberate grace and patience and with a cooler head than most of us—to not let her little girl catch the rage disease. Jaimie* is the child who came to us as a young single adult. Jaimie is the daughter who (gently) muzzles me now and then.

Jaimie muzzles herself. [Read more...]

Angel Trades a Shotgun for a Shovel: An Interview with Terry Scott Taylor, Part 2

IMG_3926-BW-flareGuest Post by Chad Thomas Johnston

Photo taken by Phillip G Brown Fine Art Photography

Continued from yesterday.

Chad Thomas Johnston: Can you talk about the circumstances under which you wrote the new Daniel Amos album, Dig Here Said the Angel? What factors influenced its creation?

Terry Scott Taylor: I suppose the simplest answer to your question is that life itself is the circumstance that most influenced the record. I’m in my sixties now, and when I first sat down to write the tunes for Dig Here it occurred to me that, in a genre like rock ’n’ roll, you’re not going to find a lot of songs that honestly explore the inner life of those of us who have fewer days ahead of us than behind us. That being the case, I decided to write as honestly from my perspective as I could.

In writing about issues such as aging and lost youth, life’s disappointments and regrets, and even death itself, the challenge was to avoid morbidity, which I think we did quite successfully. Many fans and critics seem to agree that Dig Here is addictive, enjoyable, and anything but dark and depressing, which I think it easily could have been.

[Read more...]

Angel Trades a Shotgun for a Shovel: An Interview with Terry Scott Taylor, Part 1

cac478d3771789c8a2d5556cc3720aecGuest Post by Chad Thomas Johnston

Most bands with lifespans of forty years or more have—at some point, and with a certain sort of gracelessness—rolled downhill from the summits of their celebrated careers like stones in search of more peaceful musical pastures where they can gather moss. Not so with Daniel Amos.

In 2013, thirty-nine years after forming, the band also known as D. A. released an album as good as—maybe even better than—anything it had ever unleashed upon the world before. With frontman Terry Scott Taylor baring his soul and sometimes his teeth, and wisecracks and wisdom never far from one another, the record found Daniel Amos at the peak of its powers once again.

The title? Dig Here Said the Angel. The second album in the band’s catalog to reference a celestial being after 1977’s seminal Shotgun Angel. Sometime after reviewing the album for “Good Letters” last November, I resolved to interview Taylor in 2014 in hopes of understanding more of the Daniel Amos story. Here is the result of that opportunity.

[Read more...]

Epic Tales: an Interview with Amit Majmudar, part 2

Claude_Lorrain_024Guest post by Sarah Arthur

Continued from yesterday. 

SA:  In your essay “Me and the Monotheists,” you say that even though you are a Hindu, many Christians seem to warmly welcome your poetry (e.g., I’ve included your poem “Incarnation” in the anthology Light Upon Light). You say this is primarily about “aesthetic resonance”—particularly with imagery—but you also point to the English language itself as being encoded with biblical influence.

And yet not every contemporary English-speaking poet writes this way. Can you elaborate?

[Read more...]


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