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

  • 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… […]
  • Dylan, "Desire" and the (other) Story of Hurricane: A Lesson In Fatherhood
    Reading of the death of former pro boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter today awoke an old memory which reminded me how lucky I was to have, what in retrospect, was a pretty cool father.  I should add by "cool" I do not mean some kind of "over the hill hipster" who, in a desperate attempt at trying to stay relevant smokes pot or acts […]
  • Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes – Black Coffee (Album Review)
    After a successful solo outing, Aussie country singer Lachlan Bryan got his old band back into the studio and came up with this cracker of an album. It was released in the autumn of last year in Australia and subsequently picked up a major award as “Alternative Country” album of the year. Such acclaim means any belated praise from me is superfluous, but I’m […]
  • Album Reviews: Gord Downie & The Sadies, Bruce Springsteen, Lost & Nameless, The Annie Ford Band
    Gord Downie, The Sadies, and the Conquering Sun The lead singer of one of Canada’s most influential rock bands gets together with one of the best live bands ever for a collaborative effort and the expected results could range anywhere from confusion to straight ahead awesomeness. Thankfully (and not surprisingly, given the players involved) the semi-eponymou […]
  • Blackberry Smoke Is the Goddamn Truth
    Southern rock is a stylistic hodgepodge--a musical mutt.  Yet in this gumbo pot of a country, its impurities and cross-breeding make it the most American genre of all. And with the Allman Brothers drawing down, southern rock's current standard bearer is Blackberry Smoke, a lofty perch they hardly jeopardized during a lively set last night at Seattle […]

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