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

Red Meat

Alameda County Line (Ranchero)

Although the six members of Red Meat live in and around San Francisco, they don’t seem to have settled in there. Made up mostly of displaced Midwesterners, the band emphasizes the sense of home, of indelible place, that traditional country music holds onto, the way a drifter keeps an old sweetheart’s photograph in his wallet.

Few musicians in similar circumstances carry off this theme as though they both understand and feel it. Alameda County Line proves Red Meat never pulls up its roots, no matter how far the branches reach. In note-perfect evocations of homesickness such as “Midwest Blues” and the title track, the ache of wanderlust guides the musicians; they know where they want to go, and create excellent music for the journey.

Yet Alameda County Line brings the best of country experience wherever it travels. Red Meat parties and pines with equal vigor. The two-step swing of “Catfish Fry” and the slow-burning, forbidden love of “Sweet Song” promise as much joy as the steel guitar laments of “Mr. Heartache” and “Lolita” promise misery. In between sits “Under The Wrench”, an automotive tale that fills in the wryly mocking woe-is-me angle without which no honky-tonk could be complete.

Produced by Dave Alvin with modern clarity — no samples of vinyl crackle or slapback echoes of classic eras — Alameda County Line recalls Bakersfield and Opry-glory Nashville without copying either. By the time a fine pair of unlisted live tracks cue up, Red Meat has long since found its heart, and thus its home.

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

  • 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 […]
  • Lydia Loveless - Somewhere Else (Album Review)
    I’ve heard a lot of really unique descriptions of Lydia Loveless's new album, "Somewhere Else".  It’s always X + Y that supposedly equals a new sound.  None of them seem to capture the essence of the record for me.  On Loveless’s Facebook page, her sound is described as “Loretta Lynn and Patti Smith slamming shots at a Midwestern dive bar whil […]
  • Q and A with Miss Tess and the Talkbacks
    Miss Tess and the Talkbacks are an edgy band.  Edgy in a good way.  From song to song you never know what kind of potion the band will cook up for the listener.  They are masters at so many different styles and when all is said and done, they’re just plain awesome.  Grooving modern vintage music is what they sometimes call their genre and that’s perfect.  It […]
  • Bridie Jackson and the Arbour - New Skin (Album Review)
    Who knew that Choral flavoured Folk music could be this cool? When I first encountered Bridie Jackson and the Arbour three years ago they were like a breath of fresh air blowing across a very stale and dusty Folk music scene; and nothing has changed in the intervening years; apart from them getting better. For once it is genuinely difficult to point you to i […]
  • Blair Dunlop - House of Jacks (Album Review)
    Young folksinger finds a voice to match his impressive words Even at the tender age of 22, Blair Dunlop already has all the hallmarks of a seasoned pro: fronting the reformed and regenerated Albion Band, touring solo virtually non-stop, winning plaudits and awards for his debut album in 2012; all of which all brings us to what they call ‘the difficult second […]
  • Katie Herzig - Walk Through Walls (Album Review)
    Once upon a time, Katie Herzig wore her heart on her sleeve and wielded an acoustic guitar, both apropos of being a singer/songwriter. These days, though, she keeps company with synthesizers and drum loops. Yeah, the heart is still right there on the sleeve, but now you can groove to its beat. Herzig's new collection, Walk Through Walls, is a song cycle […]

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