Jump to Content

Welcome! You’re browsing the No Depression Archives

No Depression has been the foremost journalistic authority on roots music for well over a decade, publishing 75 issues from 1995 to 2008. No Depression ceased publishing magazines in 2008 and took to the web. We have made the contents of those issues accessible online via this extensive archive and also feature a robust community website with blogs, photos, videos, music, news, discussion and more.

Close This

Waxed - Record Review from Issue #15 May-June 1998

Kieran Kane

Six Months, No Sun (Dead Reckoning)

Nothing good can come of a middle-aged man writing from the perspective of a young stripper. On too many levels it is simply a place he should not visit; that’s not a moral judgment, just an observation about the chasms one’s imagination should not seek to jump. Kieran Kane’s opening “Table Top Dancer” isn’t quite the horrifying misadventure of John Hiatt’s “Little Head”, but it’s perilously close.

From his partnership with Jamie O’Hara in the O’Kanes through formation of the capitalist-collective Dead Reckoning (with Kevin Welch et al.), Kane has written and played remarkably poignant and precise songs, equal parts pop, bluegrass, and inspiration. Six Months, No Sun is not up to those standards.

One would guess from the songs — and it’s only a guess — that somewhere in the three years following Dead Reckoning Kane has gone through a particularly acrimonious divorce. Why else the petulant “(You’re Just) Takin’ Up Space”, about an indolent but attractive ex? Or “Physical Thing”, about, well, mad attraction. Or “In A Town This Size”, a lowercase “Don’t Cheat In Our Hometown”. The standard “What A Wonderful World” (one of two covers in thirteen tracks) seems sung to absent children. Even so, it somehow lacks the heart of, say, Victoria Williams’ version.

Perhaps Six Months, No Sun is intended as a concept album, a Hallmark card to the midlife crisis. Regardless, for the first time in a fine career Kane has lost his touch. The songs are flat and clichéd, and miss the attention to detail that makes his earlier work such a timeless pleasure. Indeed, they feel like the kind of journal entries one makes late at night and tears up the next morning. The music, despite the presence of the Dead Reckoning A-team, is simply ordinary, and rarely swings.

Enjoy the ND archives? Consider making a donation with PayPal or send a check to:
No Depression, 460 Bush St., San Francisco, CA 94108


Did you enjoy this article? Start a discussion about it, or find out what others are saying in the No Depression Community forum.

Join the Discussion »

Find out what's going on in roots music. Share concert photos and videos, learn about new artists, blog about the music you love.

Join the No Depression Community »

Originally Featured in Issue #15 May-June 1998

Buy our history before it’s gone!

Each issue is artfully designed and packed full of great photos that you don‘t get online. Visit the No Depression store to own a piece of history.

Visit the No Depression Store »

From the Blogs

  • The Post-Newport Earthquake: Watkins Family Hour
    Did you feel it? That's what everybody in Los Angeles asks each other whenever a shake or quake rattles and rolls through the valleys and flatlands. Sometimes there's just a release of pressure beneath the crust, and other times it's an up and down jolt that lasts only a second. And then you forget about it. Until the next time.  Sunday night […]
  • Chris Isaak's Life Beyond the Sun
    In 2011, Chris Isaak took the long overdue step of recording an album at Sun Studios in Memphis, Tenn. It wasn't just any album, it was faithful interpretations of classic songs by his musical mentors and heroes: Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins. It didn’t take much of a leap of imagination to predict that the album would be […]
  • Celebrating 40 Years of Schoolkids Records: An Interview with Owner Stephen Judge
    This year marks the 40th anniversary of Watergate. That's not really anything to celebrate, it's not an accomplishment, and what's that got to do with music? Nothing. It simply marks the inevitable passage of time. But, 2014 also marks the 40th anniversary of Raleigh, N.C.'s Schoolkids Records, which is an accomplishment and is definitely […]
  • Ray LaMontagne at the Woods at Fontanel (Nashville, Tenn. – July 25, 2014)
    Ray LaMontagne writes great songs and makes great records. And that's certainly no small feat. His live shows, though, while being technically and musically superlative, really don't leave the audience with a whole lot to hang on to other than the technique and the music. There's no personal engagement on LaMontagne's part. It's as i […]
  • Vancouver International Folk Festival Day Two (Jericho Beach, Vancouver, BC - July 19th, 2014)
    While Friday night at the Vancouver Folk Festival focuses on main stage performances, the rest of the weekend on the sprawling festival grounds of Jericho Beach is as notable for its smaller workshop performances. This was especially true this year. This particular Saturday started with the official public announcement of Joan Baez's cancellation. Perha […]
  • Freight Train Boogie Show #264 features new music from Old Crow Medicine Show, Carolina Story, Yvette Landry and The Sweet Potatoes
    FTB Show #264 features the new album by Old Crow Medicine Show called Remedy.  Also new music from Carolina Story, Yvette Landry and The Sweet Potatoes. Here's the iTunes link to subscribe to the FTB podcasts.  Here's the direct link to … […]

Shop Amazon by clicking through this logo to support NoDepression.com. We get a percentage of every purchase you make!

Subscribe To the No Depression Newsletter

Subscribe to the No Depression Newsletter