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

Not Fade Away - Reissue Review from Issue #35 Sept-Oct 2001

Area Code 615

Self-Titled / A Trip In The Country (Koch)

Nashville musical eras are defined as much by dominant session players as they are by producers or labels. These musical mercenaries are as much part of the continuing country tradition as is the Opry. Players love to play, and they love to listen to whatever is out there, be it Hank Williams or the Beatles. And when Bob Dylan traveled to Nashville to record in the late 1960s, Music City musicians were ready for a shake-up.

Dylan took Robbie Robertson and a few others with him to Nashville and recorded Blonde On Blonde with a select group of session men: Charlie McCoy, Kenny Buttrey and Wayne Moss. In addition to their generational differences, these Nashville players also had strong R&B experience that contrasted with the musical backgrounds of Chet Atkins and Floyd Cramer.

When producer Elliot Mazer (Neil Young, etc.) put together a Nashville session for Ian & Sylvia, he noticed the power of these same session players, and suggested a collaborative project. Recorded at Moss’ studio, the album included Moss, Buttrey, McCoy, banjoist Bobby Thompson, guitarist Mac Gayden, David Briggs on piano, Buddy Spicher on fiddle, Norbert Putnam on bass, and Weldon Myrick on steel. The group was dubbed Area Code 615 to signify its Nashville base.

They recorded only two albums, both reproduced here in their entirety, along with two bonus cuts. Songs range from the Beatles to Dylan to Otis Redding, with some originals thrown in for good measure. Most tracks are instrumentals, but they are fascinating in the way they synthesize country, pop and R&B elements into a seamless sound.

Area Code 615′s roots and influence were somewhere between the establishment and the outsider music culture. The band’s interplay not only foreshadowed the New Grass movement in bluegrass, but also enticed artists such as Neil Young (Harvest) and Linda Ronstadt (Silk Purse) to come to Music City to record with members of the group.

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 #35 Sept-Oct 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 […]
  • Simone Felice - King Tuts Wah Wah Hut (Glasgow - 4/11/2014)
    With his second solo album safely under his belt Simone Felice is rapidly conforming his status as one of the finest purveyors of Americana around these days. Fortunately (for us) he remains somewhat under the mass radar allowing audiences to see him in intimate settings such as the hallowed King Tuts, a perfect space to see and hear his shamanistic offering […]
  • First Seldom Scene Album in Seven Years: Exclusive Look
    Seldom Scene issues its first Smithsonian Folkways album next week with guests including Emmylou Harris. Mike Auldridge passed away in 2012, but the group includes founding member Ben Eldridge as well as Lou Reid, Dudley Connell, Ronnie Simpkins, and Fred Travers. Here is a look at "My Better Years" the Hazel Dickens' tune from the album,  […]
  • MerleFest - Wilkesboro, North Carolina - April 24-27 2014
    While there are quite a few notable festivals that begin earlier than late April, many of us kick off the festival season by trekking to not your normal community college, the Wilkes Community College in the rolling hills of north central North Carolina where MerleFest has been held every year since 1988. Named in honor of Merle Watson who lived nearby, 2014 […]
  • Americana Boogie new releases for the week of April 15th... Rodney Crowell, Bobby Bare Jr, Moot Davis, Secret Sisters, Ray Bonneville and more
    BOBBY BARE JR. Undefeated (Bloodshot) Bobby Bare, Jr. could've phoned in a career. He could've exploited the fact that he s the son of Country Music Hall of Famer Bobby Bare, instead, he blazed a path of unique songwriting… […]
  • Five Questions: Kris Orlowski
    With his new album, Believer, Seattle's Kris Orlowski steps forward in two new directions. First, it's a full-length record (after three EPs) and, second, he's a band (not just a singer/songwriter). Listening to the depth and breadth of Believer, both points ring out loud and clear -- it's a solid collection of songs rendered in big sonic […]

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