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

Town and Country - Shorter Artist Feature from Issue #22 July-Aug 1999

Forever Goldrush

Music in them thar hills


Back in 1848, Amador County was the place to be; something to do with a coveted metallic element called gold. Word got out, of course, and 80,000 folk bum-rushed this sleepy patch of land nestled in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. It was the original wild, wild West.

Today, Cabernet and Zinfindel grapes are the new gold. And while there have been plenty of concessions to modernism, in some ways the Old West has simply evolved into the New West. Forever Goldrush — three drinkin’, swearin’, smokin’ country boys who call the Mother Lode home — are products of the latter, but with a firm grasp on the heritage of their surroundings.

Two years ago, singer Damon Wyckoff and guitarist Josh Lacey — friends since grade-school days and bandmates shortly thereafter before going their separate ways for awhile — reconnected in Sacramento and started playing music together again. Mason DeMusey, who spent many summers hanging at the river with Wyckoff and Lacey, caught wind of the rekindled relationship, bought a bass and began joining the living-room sessions. (The band is still searching for a full-time drummer; local mainstay Grub Dog, who also fronts his own band, the Amazing Sweethearts, has been filling the seat recently.)

Over a year or so of playing whenever and wherever they could, they’ve gradually become the talk of the town, and are now sporting a self-released debut disc, Unknown Territory. Wyckoff is the word guy, and possessor of a deep, dusty baritone that demands attention as waves of metaphor rife with Old West romanticism fill the room. Lacey is the sound guy, whether he’s ripping through some full-tilt Crazy Horse chaos or coaxing sweet sounds out of pedal steel. It’s roots-rock meets cowboy poetry.

“I’ve written a lot of poems,” Wyckoff acknowledges, noting that the occasionally unsettling imagery of the title track and “Still In The Water” are examples of intact poems that were set to music. “They’re not verse poems or anything, but I did the whole submit-to-literary-magazines thing, got published nationwide; did all that. But I got really soured on the whole poetry vibe.

“Music is similar in that you play your song, and what you’re trying to say is encompassed in this music. Some people hear it and some people don’t.”

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

  • 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 faith 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 so […]
  • 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 […]
  • 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 … […]
  • 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 […]
  • Chris O’Connell - Be Right Back (Album Review)
    The art of feeling a song’s essence  -- color, range, control, and style -- and giving it all to you is the domain of the great jazz singers, like Betty Carter, Abbey Lincoln, Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughan; and the great pop singers, like Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt. Chris O’Connell has a voice that carries you up with her when i […]

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