Music News & Reviews

Walter Tunis: Over the Rhine in Louisville, bluegrass takes a holiday, Lexington jazz honored

Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist are Over the Rhine, based in Cincinnati.
Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist are Over the Rhine, based in Cincinnati.

Over The Rhine

8 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Bomhard Theatre of the Kentucky Center for the Arts, 502 West Main in Louisville. $25, $35. 1-800-775-7777. Kentuckycenter.org.

“We’re going out on the road in search of Christmas this December.” That’s the holiday equivalent of a “gone fishing” sign that greets fans at Over the Rhine’s website.

If any pop-infused folk troupe can seek out the holiday spirit, the Cincinnati husband-and-wife team of Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist can. The couple, who started Over the Rhine in 1989, have issued three holiday albums — 1996’s The Darkest Night of the Year, 2006’s Snow Angels and 2014’s Blood Oranges in the Snow — with songs that shift from the serenely lyrical to the ghostly ambient.

Once a frequent visitor to Lexington venues, Over the Rhine has been absent from local stages of late. But Friday night, as its touring calendar winds down to its annual hometown finale next weekend, the band brings its holiday-themed tour to one of the region’s most inviting concert halls, the intimate Bomhard Theatre in Louisville.

Over the Rhine fans should also know that the trio of Christmas records are available this year as a boxed set.

Last call for 2015 bluegrass

The last train for live bluegrass in 2015 departs this weekend. The annual autumn-to-spring series of weekly concerts at Meadowgreen Park Music Hall, 303 Bluegrass Lane in Clay City, will take a holiday break after a Saturday performance by the McKee band The Kirby Knob Boys: Anthony Miller, Rick Miller, Danny Caldwell, Larry Miller and Doug Miller (7 p.m., $12). The Williamsburg quintet Dixie Ryders will open.

The hiatus will be brief, though. The series resumes Jan. 2 and will continue through late April. Scheduled for 2016 are Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers (Jan. 9), Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out (Jan. 16), Marty Rabon and Full Circle (Feb. 6), and Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers (March 5).

For additional information, call 606-663-9008 or go to Kyfriends.com.

Downbeat honors Lexington jazz

Looks as if 2015 will go down as a great year for Lexington jazz artists. In its current issue, Downbeat magazine honors a pair of recordings by locally tied performers as part of its extensive Best Albums of 2015 list. Zach Brock’s Serendipity and Wycliffe Gordon and the DiMartino/Osland Jazz Orchestra’s Somebody New were included in the 4 1/2 (out of five) star category.

Currently based in Brooklyn and a veteran of a performance tenure in Chicago, violinist Brock is a Lexington native who has collaborated with jazz luminaries including bassist Stanley Clarke and guitarist Frank Vignola. Serendipity is his third album as a leader for the Criss Cross label.

Gordon is a relatively recent transfer to Lexington. A Georgia native, he performed for many years in the celebrated Wynton Marsalis Sextet. Gordon also has been honored in Downbeat’s annual awards in the Best Trombone category three times in as many years (2012 to 14).

Fronted by two longstanding jazz educators, trumpeter Vince DiMartino and saxophonist Miles Osland, the DiMartino/Osland Jazz Orchestra has been a jazz fixture in Lexington for years through monthly gigs at Comedy Off Broadway.

How big a deal are the Downbeat honors? Well, to place all this in a more recognizable context, Downbeat is to jazz and selected forms of blues and pop what Sports Illustrated is to sports. Other artists recognized in the 4 1/2 -star category this year are Keith Jarrett, Annie Lennox, Christian McBride, Henry Threadgill and Matthew Shipp.

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