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

44 Long

Suit makes the man


Onstage at the Tonic Lounge, the four members of 44 Long are ripping it up, rocketing their way through another blistering set of Stratocaster-driven rock ‘n’ roll. “We have lift-off again/Just in time for the end!” hollers animated frontman and guitarist Brian Berg, kicking into “Colonize Paradise”, a new song with a hooky guitar riff that could snag the most elusive listener.

The occasion is the CD release party for the band’s second album, Inside The Horse’s Head, a 14-track collection of classic roots-rock and hook-laden pop. “I wanted this record to sound like a 1973 playlist from an alternative universe,” says Berg, name-checking a few of his growing-up-in-the-’70s influences: Neil Young, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Harry Nilsson.

The new hard-driving rockers fare well onstage, propelled by guitarist Andy Ricker, bassist Eric Furlong and drummer Cory Burden. On the album, however, the standouts are the more melodic, introspective tunes. Musically, Berg’s songs range from melodic pop layered with harmonies to country-flavored rockers to acoustic ballads; lyrically, he wrestles with inner demons and searches for the heart of the matter, with threads of wry humor and optimism woven throughout.

Berg’s rock ‘n’ roll sensibilities were firmly grounded from growing up in a musical household. His father, a music professor, always had instruments around the house; then there were his older brother and sister’s record collections of ’60s music — Motown, Mitch Ryder, the Raiders, the Beatles. “Always the Beatles,” he muses, relating how he ran home from playing baseball at the age of six to see the Beatles on “The Ed Sullivan Show”.

After being involved in a variety of bands, from the requisite fire-breathing Kiss-like combo in high school to late-’80s/early-’90s Portland faves the Oblivion Seekers, Berg finally assembled a band of his own, 44 Long (named after his suit size), in 1997. “I was about to turn 40, might as well document this thing,” Berg explains.

Collect Them All, 44 Long’s first disc, was recorded in Berg’s basement studio and self-released in the fall of 1997. Inside The Horse’s Head, also recorded at Berg’s home studio, came out in April on local label Sideburn, an offshoot of Burnside Records.

Back at the Tonic Room, after shaking down the rafters, Berg closes 44 Long’s celebratory set with a solo rendition of “Concussion Be Your Guide”, one of those more introspective standouts from the new record. “Concussion be your guide/You take shotgun and I’ll drive.” Here’s to the open road ahead.

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

  • Willie Sugarcapps and The Mulligan Brothers Together for the First Time at Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm
    April 20, 2014 was the last Sunday Social in the third season at The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm in Silverhill, Alabama. If the season had to end, Cathe Steele closed it out the right way with The Mulligan Brothers and Willie Sugarcapps playing together for the first time.  It was a… […]
  • Neil Young Surprises Fans and Sends A Letter Home
    "It's better to burn out than to fade away," Neil Young so memorably sang in his "Hey Hey, My, My (Into the Black)," the song that famously provides the counterpart to his "My, My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)" on his Rust Never Sleeps album (1979). Well, Young himself will neither burn out nor fade away nor rust nor sleep. Th […]
  • John Nemeth - Memphis Grease (Album Review)
    You could have just as well called John Nemeth's latest release Soul from Spudsville. No matter what the location, everything the Boise, Idaho native touches turns to soul. This one he calls Memphis Grease because it was recorded there in his new adopted homebase, slathered with boilin' Memphis guitar and punched up with Stax style fatback horns, b […]
  • Dan Amor - Rainhill Trials (Album Review)
    Subtle and Sweet folk music from Wales              Most people reading this review will probably be of an age where they have pretty defined music tastes and don’t have the time or inclination to readily discover anything too radically new. I too am a bit like that; but as a music reviewer I can still discover new genres that can spin my preconceptions 359 […]
  • Jimbo Mathus on Americana Music Show #188
    On episode 188 of the Americana Music Show, Jimbo Mathus plays tracks from Dark Night Of The Soul, talks about going from "sepia tones to ultrachrome" and the "crazy Mississippi white boy chain."  Also in this episode, indie rock from Bobby Bare Jr., heartland rock from Jonny Two Bags, country rock from Rodney Crowell, road tripo music fr […]
  • The War on Drugs: From Dylan to Dire Straits, By Way of Attrition
    Whether on the basketball court or onstage, when two supreme talents join forces, it tends to make things better. Michael Jordan needed Scottie Pippen, LeBron James needs Dwyane Wade, McCartney clearly needed Lennon, and Salt would be a run-of-the mill condiment without Pepa. But there are exceptions to such… […]

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