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 #32 March-April 2001

Jerry Joseph

Everything Was Beautiful (Ulftone)

Reputations can be hard to shake. Jerry Joseph, now based in Portland, Oregon, after bouncing around various western cities, sometimes is written off as a “hippie rocker” stemming from his days with jam band Little Women, or dismissed as noisy and raw from his more recent work with power trio the Jackmormons. The common problem has been that the songs, clearly Joseph’s strength, often were buried beneath either the noodling or the raucous intensity.

Enter Pete Droge, who set out to present the Jerry Joseph he knew and admired, a remarkable songwriter and fascinating spirit. Everything Was Beautiful, produced by Droge, is a great record that slows Joseph’s attack down a bit and strips the songs back to their roots-rock essentials.

The standout opening cut, “Good Sunday”, sets the tone. Structured around a mile-wide groove and the layered guitar work of Joseph, Droge and Peter Stroud (of Sheryl Crow’s band), the track bears a classic soulful feel but with a thoroughly modern sense, liberally using drum loops (as do most tracks here).

Joseph’s Catholic upbringing begets oodles of symbolism in these songs, which explore themes of faith, sex, redemption and death (“1936 Jesus”, “Joan Of Arc”, “Mary Star Of The Sea”). In the hands of a less capable writer, such material could backfire, but this record works as Joseph bares his soul with soul. Most affecting of all is the stunning ballad “Beautiful Child Of God”, which closes the album. At age 39, Joseph has finally found his voice by relying on his best weapon — his own songs.

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

Discuss

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 #32 March-April 2001

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

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