eTown Live Radio Show Holiday Taping w/ Over The Rhine & Max Gomez
- When: November 24, 2014 Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
- Where: eTOWN HALL / 1535 Spruce Street, Boulder, CO 80302
- Cost: $20 Plus Applicable Service Fees
Join us at eTown Hall for a very special Holiday themed Live Recording of our 23-year production, eTown. If you are particularly fond of snowy scenes, gift-giving, and time spent with loved ones during that special time of year, you won't want to miss eTown's (early) celebration of the Holiday season!
eTown is a unique live experience that combines the excitement of live musical performances with one-of-a-kind interview segments with our visiting artists. Each eTown show also highlights an individual who is committed to doing the right thing in their community by honoring them with an eChievement Award.
Show Start: 7:00pm
Show End: 9:00pm
Over The Rhine
Photo Credit: Dave King
Over The Rhine is the Ohio-based husband/wife duo of Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist who have been collaborating for well over two decades. Though the couple writes most of their own material they also have a talent for beautiful and original interpretation, which is very evident on this collection. Blood Oranges In The Snow continues the tradition of holiday-inspired music from the band, following up their two previous holiday releases The Darkest Night Of The Year (1996) and Snow Angels (2006). Over The Rhine’s work has been praised by Entertainment Weekly, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, NPR, and American Songwriter who wrote “Detweiler and Bergquist have exquisitely crafted songs with no wasted notes or unneeded embellishment...gems that should last until the end of the world”.
The songs on Blood Oranges In The Snow are filled with emotionally nuanced textures and expansive lyrics. The bittersweet "Another Christmas" explores a desire to find joy in the original meaning and spirit of Christmas while acknowledging the realities of ongoing violence throughout the world. "Bethlehem" echoes that sentiment with a cry for peace, and a message that is both timeless and timely. The duo's arrangement of the Merle Haggard classic "If We Make It Through December," which is slower and has more breathing room than the original version, helps to draw attention to the lyrics and the fact that the pressure to spend money during the holidays falls at a difficult time for many families. But as serious as this all seems, Over The Rhine has peppered the album with gems like "First Snowfall" and "Snowbirds" which bring the collection full circle with dashes of humor and hopefulness.
During the commercialized and overly hyped holiday season, Over The Rhine's Blood Oranges In The Snow stands out as an album that is beautiful, touching and very relatable.
The most northern of the New Mexico pueblos, the hamlet of Taos, sits approximately 7,000 feet above sea level. It is an hour and half drive north of Santa Fe, or rather, just remote enough to stave off the casually curious person. Fiercely independent, the town, steeped in natural beauty, has long attracted artists and freethinkers of every stripe. It is within this bouillabaisse of nature, art and spirituality that we encounter Max Gomez. A young singer-songwriter in the seasoned vein of Jackson Browne and John Prine, Gomez grew up splitting his time between the sloping mountains of Taos and, for a period, the rolling plains of Kansas. On his family’s ranch in Kansas, Gomez still lends a hand with chores but relishes the time he can spend out on the lake practicing the art of fly-fishing. But it is in Taos, where he was ultimately inspired to explore his art and the ethos behind it.
The son of an artisanal furniture craftsman, Gomez grew up watching his father, learning the tools of the trade while simultaneously learning his way around the frets of his guitar. The workmanlike quality of his songwriting carries over from his days spent in the woodshed through an economy of words, phrase and narrative. A blues enthusiast from an early age, the young Gomez immersed himself in the primordial Delta and traditional folk blues of Lead Belly, Big Bill Broonzy and, of course, Robert Johnson. Though 1,200 miles and decades removed from his Mississippi heroes, Gomez had his imagination to fill in the gaps. Having honed his chops on the blues, Max turned his interest to traditional American folk music; “I’m influenced by the old stuff,” Max admits. “To me, that’s the best music.” As the Harry Smith anthology gave way to contemporary masters Townes Van Zandt, Kris Kristofferson, Guy Clark and John Hiatt, so did Gomez’s songwriting. “The songs I write are not real straightforward. You have to decode them. I like when the listener has to create their own story, rather than be told what’s happening.” In short, storytelling that oscillates between everyman poetics and enigma.
In the span of its ten songs, the Jeff Trott (Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow) produced Rule The World traverses varying themes of heartbreak, regret, young love, desperation and, ultimately redemption. “Run From You”, the album’s first single and co-written with Trott, reveals Max’s story telling skills. Gomez explains, “Sometimes I refer to this one as an anti-love song. We all come across trouble and often take the wrong road even when we know we should turn back.” With his smoky voice, Gomez sings of desperation for change on “Rule The World” and on “Never Say Never”, young love is likened to a “cool kiss in the August summer heat,” as the protagonist laments its fleeting nature. While the LP’s pop instincts are evident, Rule The World is balanced by Gomez’s love of roots music; see the blues-driven “Ball And Chain.”
While many young artists write songs with the mere intention of entertaining the masses, Max’s songs are filled with the raw emotion and capture the spirit of those who came before him. In an age of ever increasing false fronts and posturing, it’s rare to catch a glimpse of a soul bared. But that is exactly what Gomez has done.