Back Porch - 2001 – 57 minutes

Named after an Ohio neighbourhood where singer Karin Bergquist and pianist Linford Detweiler have played and dreamt since their 1990 inception, Over the Rhine are one of America's best kept secrets - but on this evidence not for very long. And when, four tracks in, Bergquist sings "everybody's story is more interesting than mine" you can't but gasp at the injustice she's committed against herself because - hands down and mouths open - this is a last minute contender for treasure of the year.

Paced like a long sigh and with a title that says more than 1,000 words, 'Films for Radio' takes the concept of sad songs and brings them to a deeper, darker level. Crossing both country and singer/songwriter territory on the way to their own brave land, there's a grace and humility to the likes of 'The World Can Wait' and the eight minute 'Little Blue River' which ensures that they're never epic for epic's sake - the sound is big but the sentiments small enough for you.

Like the memories and regrets that visit every day, you'll wear yourself out thinking to this record and when Bergquist cries "Will it make a difference when I go?" as it closes, the answer is that you'll be ready to live it all over again.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: The World Can Wait - If Nothing Else - Give Me Strength - Fairpoint Diary - I Radio Heaven - Little Blue River / In The Garden - Goodbye (This is Not Goodbye) - Whatever You Say - The Body is a Stairway of Skin - Moth - When I Go