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No Depression

No Depression

No Depression was a bi-monthly magazine, published between 1995 and 2008 that covered a broad range of roots music, including alternative country and Americana. It is now available in an online edition.

65 articles

Whigfield: Whigfield (Systematic/All formats)

Review by Johnny Cigarettes, No Depression, 24 June 1995

FIRST RULE of kitsch: Have some standards, please. Otherwise you'll end up looking like Bonnie Langford auditioning for Godspell and sounding like Jive Bunny's PR ...

John Fahey: Age Against the Machine: John Fahey reinvents his own creation

Retrospective by Matt Hanks, No Depression, March 1997

"I had heard such sounds before, heard them as a little boy lying in bed in the wiregrass country of south Georgia, heard the sounds ...

Ron Sexsmith: Westbeth Theater, New York City

Live Review by Jeff Apter, No Depression, 25 September 1997

WHILE THE REAL world is tough on outsiders, they'll always be welcomed in the land of thinking-person's music. Toronto troubadour Ron Sexsmith has perfected the ...

Townes Van Zandt: A Gentleman and a Shaman: The Last Days and Sad Death of Townes Van Zandt

Retrospective by Matt Hanks, No Depression, January 1999

IF YOU CAN see through the hangover haze and black-eyed pea tradition that ties one First Day to another, January 1st can serve as a ...

Gram Parsons: The Long Way Around: Gram Parsons

Retrospective and Interview by Holly George-Warren, No Depression, July 1999

I keep my love for variations, even tho I've some sort of "rep" for starting what (I think) has turned out t'be pretty much of ...

Townes Van Zandt: A Far Cry From Dead

Review by Matt Hanks, No Depression, July 1999

LIKE DOCK BOGGS, Townes Van Zandt was obsessed with death. Both men were shadowed by their own mortality, obsessing over it and collapsing under ...

Richard Buckner: Bloomed (Slow River/Rykodisc)

Retrospective by Matt Hanks, No Depression, Summer 1999

RICHARD BUCKNER'S 1994 debut album, Bloomed, heralded the arrival of a uniquely expressive and honest songwriter and reaped Buckner tomes of critical praise, a deal ...

Vic Chesnutt and Mr & Mrs Keneipp: Merriment

Review by Fred Mills, No Depression, September 2000

EVERYONE'S FAVOURITE Georgia-based Paralympian once deadpanned to a Spin interviewer that "Vic Chesnutt is an autodidactically pretentious writer of pseudo-symbolic, text-centred dirge-ballads…singing in a distinctive ...

Jeb Loy Nichols: Just What Time It Is

Review by uncredited writer, No Depression, 28 February 2001

JEB LOY NICHOLS'S first release since his acclaimed 1997 disc Lovers Knot is so laid-back, it should come packaged in a hammock. And while there's ...

Gram Parsons: Sacred Hearts And Fallen Angels (Rhino)

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, May 2001

EXCEPT FOR A brief period in the early '80s, when I now believe I was trying so hard I put a clothespin over my crap ...

Fred Neil, 1936-2001

Obituary by Richie Unterberger, No Depression, September 2001

FRED NEIL, one of the most influential singer-songwriters of the early folk-rock era, died in his sleep on July 7 at the age of 65. ...

George Jones: The Rock: Stone Cold Country 2001 (Bandit)

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, November 2001

IN MOST WAYS, this is a textbook follow-up to George Jones' eerie, surprisingly substantial 1999 album Cold Hard Truth – same basic song ideas only ...

Augie Meyers, Doug Sahm, Sir Douglas Quintet: Doug Sahm Day at Camargo Park/Tribute To Augie Meyers at Guadalupe Cultural Arts Centre, San Antonio

Live Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 13 October 2002

YOU'D NEVER KNOW it from the history books, but San Antonio had an incredibly vital rock scene in the late 1950s and early '60s. ...

Dwight Yoakam: Reprise Please Baby: The Warner Bros. Years

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 31 December 2002

I GOTTA HAND it to Dwight Yoakam, even if I'm turned off sometimes by what I see as his self-defeating posturing and pretensions (and relax, ...

Wanda Jackson: She's About a Mover

Retrospective and Interview by Holly George-Warren, No Depression, 31 October 2003

WANDA JACKSON is in trouble with the law. It was only a matter of time until the gal who's always done things her own way, ...

The Flatlanders: Wheels Of Fortune

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 31 December 2003

MUCH AS I LIKED Now Again, the reunited Flatlanders' 2002 album, it was also a somewhat frustrating set that in the long run seems a ...

Various Artists: Night Train To Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues, 1945-1976

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 29 February 2004

Nashville really jumps, really jumps all night long I'd rather be in Nashville than to be way back down at home – Cecil Gant, 'Nashville Jumps' ...

Chris Smither: Honeysuckle Dog

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 30 April 2004

RECORDED WITH producer Michael Cuscuna in two sessions – Woodstock, December 1972, and New York City, Spring 1973 – this was to be Smither's third ...

Johnny Paycheck: The Little Darlin' Sound Of Johnny Paycheck: The Beginning (Koch)

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, July 2004

SOMETIMES I THINK the Johnny Paycheck cultists are so enamoured of the sensational goth of stuff like '(Pardon Me) I've Got Someone To Kill' and ...

Mark Lanegan: Bubblegum

Review by Fred Mills, No Depression, September 2004

IF YOU HAVE no tolerance for revolving-door "recovering" addicts who feel compelled to chronicle, on record after record, every opium-drenched near-death vision and every groveling ...

Peter Stampfel & The Bottlecaps: The Jig Is Up

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 31 October 2004

TWO NEW CDS document the ongoing education of Peter Stampfel, crown prince of the old-timey anarcho-psychofolkadelic American songster tradition at its most contemporary and extreme. ...

Michael Hurley: Down In Dublin

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 31 December 2004

WITH HIS SIMPLE three-chord songs, unadorned voice and delivery, and straightforward lyrics, Michael Hurley makes it sound so effortless; his music feels like it has ...

Andrew Bird: The Mysterious Production Of Eggs (Righteous Babe)

Review by Fred Mills, No Depression, March 2005

VIOLIN VIRTUOSO (and whistler extraordinaire) Andrew Bird never really goes easy on you, but on a purely musical level, The Mysterious Production Of Eggs is ...

Shannon McNally: No Bones About It

Profile and Interview by John Morthland, No Depression, 30 June 2005

THIS IS A STORY about new beginnings, or at least about keepin' on keepin' on. Or maybe it's about, as some really pissed-off wit once ...

Ray Charles: Pure Genius – The Complete Atlantic Recordings, 1952-1959 (Atlantic/Rhino)

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, January 2006

LIKE THE TITLE SAYS, here's everything Ray Charles recorded for Atlantic — six CDs containing 119 tracks (including one LP he produced for his tenor ...

James Talley: Got No Bread, No Milk, No Money, But We Sure Got A Lot Of Love

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 28 February 2006

FIRST RELEASED in 1975, at a time when the Outlaw movement was opening Nashville up to all manner of previously unimaginable sounds, James Talley's debut ...

The Swan Silvertones: Various Artists: Gospel Music

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 28 February 2006

COMPILED BY veteran producer Joel Dorn and veteran photographer Lee Friedlander, this is the kind of album every music fan fantasizes about producing, just as ...

Jim Dickinson: James Luther Dickinson: Jungle Jim And The Voodoo Tiger

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 30 April 2006

IF 2002's Free Beer Tomorrow – Jim Dickinson's "follow-up" to his 1971 solo debut Dixie Fried – sounded like a well-conceived showcase for his favourite ...

Loudon Wainwright III: Loudon Wainwright III

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 30 April 2006

WHEN HIS FIRST two virtually interchangeable albums were released in 1970 and '71, Loudon Wainwright III was touted as one of the many Next Dylans ...

Otis Rush: All Your Love I Miss Loving – Live at the Wise Fools Pub, Chicago

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 30 April 2006

FOR A VARIETY of reasons, ranging from producer/label interference to his own notorious mood swings, Otis Rush has probably made fewer great recordings than any ...

Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys: Legends Of Country Music (Bear Family)

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 31 August 2006

YOU'D THINK THAT when it comes to Bob Wills' music, there'd be no surprises left. Oh, sure, somebody's bound to turn up another live set ...

Marvin Sease: Candy Licker – The Sex And Soul Of Marvin Sease

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 31 August 2006

YOU'VE PROBABLY never heard of Marvin Sease, but from 'Candy Licker' in 1986 until 2005, he was the only artist in the contemporary southern soul-blues ...

Blaze Foley: The Fall and Rise of Blaze Foley

Retrospective by Joe Nick Patoski, No Depression, September 2006

THE BLACK GRANITE headstone is lost among the other markers in the Live Oak Cemetery in deep South Austin. Several small objects including a small ...

Thee Midniters: In Thee Midnite Hour

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 31 October 2006

THEE MIDNITERS were best-known as kings of East Los Angeles rock in the '60s, but this collection of uptempo material will hopefully change that: They ...

Tim Hardin: Hang On To A Dream: The Verve Recordings

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, Summer 2006

THE PAIN was palpable in nearly every word Tim Hardin sang, and the pleasure didn't feel all that much better. ...

Junior Wells: Live At Theresa's 1975

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 28 February 2007

IN A SENSE, blues harpist Junior Wells wanted across-the-board stardom so bad after he left Muddy Waters to go solo that it undermined his music, ...

The Insect Trust: Hoboken Saturday Night

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 28 February 2007

SAY WHAT YOU will about the 1960s, the era spawned a lot of good ideas before things went wrong. Musically, the communal band Insect Trust ...

Koko Taylor: Old School

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 30 April 2007

SEVEN YEARS SINCE her last album, three and a half years after a life-threatening illness, Koko Taylor comes roaring back with an album meant to ...

Guy Clark, Joe Ely, John Hiatt, Lyle Lovett: Lyle Lovett/Joe Ely/Guy Clark/John Hiatt: State Theatre, Cleveland

Live Review by Holly Gleason, No Depression, 30 April 2007

YOU HAVE TO start at the end – where they paid respects to Townes Van Zandt, the songwriter/compadre who captured the essence of life after ...

Mickey Gilley: Too Good To Stop: Greatest Hits 1974-1985

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 30 April 2007

RARELY HAS A single disc better traced one career's rise and fall. In fifteen pre-stardom years of recording, Gilley could best be described as "like ...

Steve Forbert: Strange Names & New Sensations

Review by Holly Gleason, No Depression, 31 May 2007

WHEN 'ROMEO'S TUNE' bubbled out of late '70s car radios, it was a wide-eyed kid from the small-town south trying to get the girl with ...

Buck Owens: The Warner Bros. Recordings (Rhino Handmade)

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, July 2007

BUCK WAS ALWAYS the first to put down his Warners output, but you almost have to hear it all in one place to comprehend how ...

Lori McKenna: Dreams of an Everyday Housewife

Profile and Interview by Holly Gleason, No Depression, 31 August 2007

LORI MCKENNA has always loved the same boy. She first laid eyes on him in third grade. They started dating in their junior year, married ...

Various Artists: Vee-Jay – The Definitive Collection

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 31 August 2007

VEE-JAY RECORDS of Chicago was not the first successful black-owned label – Duke-Peacock of Houston stakes a better claim to that title – but until ...

Various Artists: The Cosimo Matassa Story

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 31 October 2007

YES, YET ANOTHER New Orleans box. But this one's a little different. ...

Brave Combo: Polka's Revenge

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 31 December 2007

HERE'S A MUSICAL manifesto for you: "We live our lives wild and free/Visualize the world we want to see/We never settle for second best/No, no, ...

Eli Paperboy Reed: Eli "Paperboy" Reed & The True Loves: Roll With You

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 29 February 2008

HERE'S THE MAIN thing separating Eli Reed from all those other blue-eyed soul (and blues) poseurs: even though he's so obviously working a black musical ...

John Anderson: Just Came Home To Count The Memories/All The People Are Talkin'/Eye Of A Hurricane/Tokyo, Oklahoma/Countrified

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 29 February 2008

FIRST CHARTING in 1977 and coming on strong by 1980, John Anderson was a harbinger of the New Traditionalist movement that hit Nashville in the ...

Willie Nelson: One Hell Of A Ride

Review by John Morthland, No Depression, 30 April 2008

SOMEDAY, SOMEBODY with great taste, and no desire to be all things to all markets, is going to put together a Best Of Willie Nelson ...

Nashville Cats: David Briggs Reflects at the Country Music Hall of Fame

Report by Holly Gleason, No Depression, 26 March 2011

Nashville Cats: David Briggs at Ford Theatre, Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville, TN ...

Bobby Keys: The Bobby Keys Band: Mercy Lounge, Nashville

Live Review by Holly Gleason, No Depression, 3 May 2011

THERE ARE FEW musicians synonymous with an oeuvre or a sound, yet Bobby Keys pretty much defines rock & roll saxophone, especially of the Rolling ...

Matraca Berg: Dreaming Fields

Review by Holly Gleason, No Depression, 13 May 2011

I SHOULDN'T be writing this. It's not right. ...

Earl Scruggs Passes On: Three Fingers, Hippie Kids + A Grace That's Felt 'Round The World

Memoir by Holly Gleason, No Depression, 28 March 2012

I'LL NEVER LOOK at the Waffle House the same way. The one out by the Assault & Battery Lane exit, 65 South out of Nashville, ...

Richard Thompson Goes to Camp

Report and Interview by Charles Bermant, No Depression, 6 April 2012

RICHARD THOMPSON is messing with the standard performer/audience equation in two ways this year. There was his participation in the Cayamo Songwriters' cruise in February, ...

Alan Jackson: 30 Miles West, and Movin'

Profile and Interview by Holly Gleason, No Depression, 30 May 2012

"So here I am on my stool tonight Yeah, I'm practicing for the afterlife, Cause when I'm nothing but a pile of bones I'm gonna ...

Jackson Browne: Cain Park, Cleveland

Live Review by Holly Gleason, No Depression, 20 August 2012

FOR JACKSON BROWNE, like James Taylor, a summer stop in Cleveland, Ohio is like the swallows returning to Capistrano. Throughout the '70s, the socially conscious ...

Chely Wright's Rediscovered Country

Profile by Charles Bermant, No Depression, 24 September 2012

WE ALL HOLD our own set of prejudices and preconceptions, with clear ideas about politics and religion, tolerance and hatred for country music singers and ...

Connie Smith: Honoring Connie Smith: 45 RPM at Douglas Corner, Nashville

Live Review by Holly Gleason, No Depression, 7 November 2012

FOR THOSE WHO believe real country music has fled Nashville, the recent CMA Awards would do little to ease your notion. Bombast, smoke, lasers and ...

Ben Bullington, Rodney Crowell: Rodney Crowell, Ben Bullington and More: Station Inn, Nashville

Live Review by Holly Gleason, No Depression, 7 December 2012

BEN BULLINGTON had never played Nashville. The Montana doctor who'd lovingly crafted three albums thick with simple details and a voice that has a warm ...

Richard Thompson: Electric

Review by Charles Bermant, No Depression, 29 January 2013

YOU GOTTA FEEL for someone who doesn't own any Bob Dylan or Neil Young albums and hasn't a clue where to start. There are too ...

Jim Lauderdale, Buddy Miller: Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale: Mercy Lounge, Nashville

Live Review by Holly Gleason, No Depression, 7 March 2013

BUDDY MILLER and Jim Lauderdale have been friends so long, making a record seemed almost beside the point. They've played in each other's band, recorded ...

Barry McGuire's Living Room Anthems

Profile and Interview by Charles Bermant, No Depression, 23 March 2013

BARRY MCGUIRE was around in the 1960s, and remembers them well enough to present a historical narrative of songs and stories for the benefit of ...

Alison Krauss: Crossing County Lines: Jerry Douglas + Alison Krauss Call Their Friends for Americana Night

Live Review by Holly Gleason, No Depression, 3 June 2013

AMERICANA – as the big tent pitched by the Americana Music Association – is its own conundrum. Drawing an audience that's decidedly 30+, it embraces ...

John Prine: Songs from the Gut: A Conversation with John Prine

Interview by Holly Gleason, No Depression, Fall 2016

JOHN PRINE, the original "new Dylan", has always written songs with a deep heart and a strong empathy for the people who go unseen. ...

The Dixie Chicks: There's Your Trouble: Considering the Dixie Chicks controversy, with hindsight 20/20

Retrospective and Interview by Holly Gleason, No Depression, 23 May 2017

IT WAS EARLY 2003. The Dixie Chicks were easily the biggest girl group in history — and also the biggest act in country music post–Garth ...

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