Linford Detweiler

I Don't Think There's No Need To Bring Nothin' (Music For First Kind Sight)

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Linford Detweiler took time out from his duties as the primary songwriter for Over the Rhine to record these original piano compositions for photographer Michael Wilson as a supplement to a collection of landscape shots called First Kind Sight. He subsequently made the recordings available through his band's Cincinnati-based mail order store. The album could hardly have come as a complete surprise to his fans. Ever since 1996 when he first traded in his status as Over the Rhine's full-time bass player to become their full-time keyboardist, Detweiler has seemed like a man rediscovering his first love. In the liner notes, he recalls his feelings as a toddler discovering the piano for the first time: "This machine was calling me. I was now not only awake and alive, I had a reason to live." I Don't Think There's No Need to Bring Nothin' is somewhat ironically titled in that Detweiler has clearly brought much of himself to the project. "These songs without words take me back," he says. "Way back to the beginning to a pure resonant place deep within." The tone is reflective, quiet, sanguine -- music for a snowy evening spent reading by the fireplace. Played on an Emerson Upright Patented October 26, 1888, the songs seem to reach into the past, sometimes drawing from the hymns and sacred music of Detweiler's Amish church-going background (e.g., "First Kind Sight," "Weak in the Knees Across the Sky"). In style, the album bears much in common with the music of George Winston, though it's hard to imagine anyone but Detweiler employing amusingly cryptic titles like "I Said Something Yesterday That I Liked" and "OK as Long as You Don't Squeak or Bark or Make Other Animal Noises." Running just over 29 minutes, the record is too short and leaves the listener wanting more. Given Detweiler's continuing love affair with his instrument of choice, however, more very well might be on its way.