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

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