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

A Place to be - About a Place from Issue #22 July-Aug 1999

American Tunes

U.S. (AOL No Depression bulletin board)

Editor’s note: As many of you are aware, this magazine was partly inspired by a message board on America Online titled “No Depression – Alt.Country”, which began in summer 1994 as an Uncle Tupelo fan board but soon grew into a forum for a much broader range of topics — usually musical, but often detouring down other avenues as well. Occasionally, the board will bloom forth with spontaneous bursts of memorable prose, as was the case on the morning of April 24, when the following three posts appeared within a few hours of each other. Though they addressed different topics, taken together they seemed to paint a picture of the American community, from neighborhood to county to country. Those three posts are presented here largely as they appeared on the board, with minor editing for matters of space, style and such. Our thanks to the authors, and to the board itself, which celebrates its fifth anniversary on July 13.

Subject: Hollywood & Vine
Date: Sat, Apr 24, 1999 9:37 AM
From: Hut234

While in Hollowayville (pop. 100), in north-central Illinois off Route 89 about two miles east on Route 6 (which parallels I-80), I strongly recommend you stop and have a beer at Hollywood & Vine Tap. It’s at the southwest corner at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine streets. Seriously. There are only a few streets in Hollowayville, so you can’t get lost. If you do, don’t look for the police to help you — there are none. Actually, the county sheriff serves small towns like Hollowayville. Just outside of Hollowayville, and almost a twin city, is Seatonville (pop. 300). Nothing there but people and dogs and cats, and a couple of bars playing country jukebox favorites. Another village outside of Seatonville is Ottville (pop. 26), which my childhood friends and I renamed Hooterville in our own juvenile minds.

For something to do besides drink beer, go northeast about three miles to Ladd (Pop. 1,300) and eat at Lanutti’s. Ladd is my hometown; I left when I was 18. My folks are still there and I still love going home. Also in Ladd is the largest and highest coal slag pile in the United States. It’s mostly covered with trees that I helped plant while in grade school way back when, but you can still easily see the mountain for miles and miles. The peak was leveled in the ’60s when an entrepreneur decided he was going to build a nightclub on top. Unfortunately, the slag pile was not suitable for elevator shafts, and rain seemed to take slag with it all the time. Not good for a structure that high up.

Besides the slag piles, you’ll know you’re in Ladd when the WWII tank greets you at the south entrance on Main Street. Yeah, Main Street, USA. Once in Ladd, most people there will recommend Rips for their legendary fried chicken on paper plates, but I’m a Lanutti’s fan. Both restaurants are on Main Street (so is the post office, four bars, a pizza parlor, one general store, a gas station, the city park, Torri’s Ice Cream Parlor, and the bowling alley).

Spend another day in the area (note: locals avoid recommending the motel at the intersection of Route 89 and I-80 since Ladd’s only homicide happened there in 1980), and visit Cherry, about three miles north. Just take Main Street north out of Ladd. My mom works in Cherry, but once there you can visit the monument to the Cherry Mine Disaster, one of the worst in the nation’s history.

If you backtrack to Ladd and continue south to Spring Valley, ask the locals to show you the location of the Les Buz Ballroom, where my mother saw Bill Haley & the Comets and other pioneering rockers play in the ’50s. (Les Buz was the next scheduled stop for Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper before that fateful plane crash in Iowa in 1959.) I went to high school in Spring Valley — big town (pop. 5,600). Heading west through the corn and bean fields of Bureau County, you’ll eventually come upon the towns of Sheffield, Tiskilwa, and Buda. Lots of Ringenbergs still live there, though Jason moved away a long time ago. In Princeton you’ll find lots of antique stores, a monument to the Underground Railroad, and lots of beautiful turn-of-the-century architecture in many large homes.

All this is just a two-hour drive from Chicago!
– Dave Klug
Chicago, Illinois

Subject: Update on the ND Midwest Hostel
Date: Sat, Apr 24, 1999 8:58 AM
From: LindaRay64

So the roofer finally came by this a.m. — the one who persuaded me I didn’t have to replace the roof last summer, that I could just patch it and get another couple years out of it, after two roofers had told me I needed to spend nine grand on a whole new one. He walked around on the roof a while, then came down and said, “You didn’t get somebody up there to shovel snow last winter, didja?” I had to fess up.…He said in these old houses, the beams are so close together you can have quite a few broken ones without the roof caving in. I asked about the cracks in the ceiling and walls, and he just shrugged and smiled: “It’s an old house.”

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 #22 July-Aug 1999

Cover of Issue #22 July-Aug 1999

Sorry, this issue is SOLD OUT

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

  • Matt Woods – With Love From Brushy Mountain (Album Review)
    Ever-bearded Tennessean troubadour Matt Woods’ second full length studio record, With Love From Brushy Mountain, is slated for a May 13, 2014 release.  This comes as a follow up to his first full length, The Matt Woods Manifesto, a trying task in and of itself.  Woods is hands down one of the hardest working singer/songwriters I’ve ever come across.  He eats […]
  • Rod Kennedy (1930-2014) and the Kerrville Folk Festival - Interview & Remembrance
    Rod Kennedy’s legacy is incalculable for those who truly love music, he departed this earthly plane on Monday 14th April 2014. R.I.P. The following “warts and all” late May 1986 interview with Mr. Kennedy, the founder of the Kerrville Folk Festival, was the lead feature in the debut issue of the Kerrville Kronikle fanzine sometime around 1988. No serendipity […]
  • Simone Felice - King Tuts Wah Wah Hut (Glasgow - 4/11/2014)
    With his second solo album safely under his belt Simone Felice is rapidly conforming his status as one of the finest purveyors of Americana around these days. Fortunately (for us) he remains somewhat under the mass radar allowing audiences to see him in intimate settings such as the hallowed King Tuts, a perfect space to see and hear his shamanistic offering […]
  • First Seldom Scene Album in Seven Years: Exclusive Look
    Seldom Scene issues its first Smithsonian Folkways album next week with guests including Emmylou Harris. Mike Auldridge passed away in 2012, but the group includes founding member Ben Eldridge as well as Lou Reid, Dudley Connell, Ronnie Simpkins, and Fred Travers. Here is a look at "My Better Years" the Hazel Dickens' tune from the album,  […]
  • MerleFest - Wilkesboro, North Carolina - April 24-27 2014
    While there are quite a few notable festivals that begin earlier than late April, many of us kick off the festival season by trekking to not your normal community college, the Wilkes Community College in the rolling hills of north central North Carolina where MerleFest has been held every year since 1988. Named in honor of Merle Watson who lived nearby, 2014 […]
  • Americana Boogie new releases for the week of April 15th... Rodney Crowell, Bobby Bare Jr, Moot Davis, Secret Sisters, Ray Bonneville and more
    BOBBY BARE JR. Undefeated (Bloodshot) Bobby Bare, Jr. could've phoned in a career. He could've exploited the fact that he s the son of Country Music Hall of Famer Bobby Bare, instead, he blazed a path of unique songwriting… […]

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