I just received the new Over the Rhine live album, Changes Come, and I can't stop playing it. This self described "Christ-haunted" band has a large cult following and is one of my favorites currently making music. They'll probably never be sold in my Christian bookstore because they're on a secular label (Virgin Backporch), they don't say, "Jesus loves you" in every song, and they play in bars. That's a shame because I think it's beautiful music.
Changes Come was recorded live during their Fall 2003 tour to promote their critically acclaimed album Ohio. Seeing Over the Rhine in concert is always a highlight of my life, and this album comes the closest to capturing the feelings of those concerts. After I saw them last fall, I wrote in my journal, "Seeing Over the Rhine play is like going out for a couple of beers and a smoke with your best friend. You spend the night talking about everything and nothing at the same time. And for that moment, in that bar, on that corner, life makes sense." (I believe now would be an appropriate time to quote the musical Rent, "That's poetic; that's pathetic.")
But seriously, those of you who are fans know what my melodramatic prose are attempting to say. In a world where sub-par singers like Ashlee Simpson sell 398,000 albums in their debut week, bands like Over the Rhine are a message from God reminding us that the entire music industry has not gone to hell.
You can only order Changes Come through the band's website, where you can also pick up Ohio or other Over the Rhine projects (Good Dog, Bad Dog is another personal favorite).