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

Miked - Live Reviews from Issue #35 Sept-Oct 2001

Buck Off

Downtime (New York City, NY), July 19, 2001

Buck Owens has put his mixed feelings about the Big Apple right out there. He called the city’s residents the best live audience he’d ever seen on that famous Carnegie Hall show record, but only a few years later informed us that “I Wouldn’t Live In New York City If They Gave Me The Whole Dang Town”. He would have had nothing at all to be ambivalent about at this rousing and fast-moving salute to his music by dozens of the area’s best country performers.

Staged at Downtime, a club in the Recording and Rehearsal Arts Building a few blocks south of Madison Square Garden, home to both impromptu performances by varied musicians recording upstairs and to regular late-night Goth shows, “Buck Off” was the second in a new, ongoing series of vaudeville (or Opry!) styled country-star salutes called the Chelsea Mountain Jamboree. Organized by downtown band the Chelsea Mountain Boys — leader Chal Pivik on guitar, Ethan Hein on funky harmonica, and young whiz Roland Satterwhite, out of British Columbia, on fiddle — with their producer Steve Halsey, the shows are aided and abetted by musical director Buddy Woodward, formerly of the Ghost Rockets and now a solo honky-tonk artist and bluegrass performer.

The initial Jamboree outing May 17 celebrated Dolly Parton, with such gusto and finesse that Parton sent her own producer to the scene to check it out, obtained a videotape of the performances, and sent back her appreciation. Owens gave the unofficial nod to this set, and Sundazed Records, which has brought back into circulation many of his key recordings, was a sponsor.

A packed house was offered over 30 Buck songs at Buckaroo-like speed, most in straightforward renditions, some with their own idiosyncratic turns. The basic Chelsea Mountain house gang was expanded onstage to include Mark Spencer in the Don Rich guitar role, Mark Boquist (brother of the Son Volt Boquists) on drums, Beat Rodeo’s Jon Graboff on pedal steel, Woodward (resplendent in his near-Nudie suit) and the Maudlins’ Rob Meador on guitars, and Ann Benkowitz (of the Monicats) on base. That’s a classy start, and the music they delivered was utterly lively while also seeming to have been practiced for years. Which it wasn’t.

Into the microphone spotlight came the Demolition String Band’s Elena Skye for spine-tingling duets with Mary Lee Kortes (of Mary Lee’s Corvette) on “Under Your Spell Again” and “Cryin’ Time”; the close harmonizing of brothers Rob and Ray Nissen of the Big Galoots on “Above And Beyond” and “Sam’s Place”; Amy Allison cooing slowly through “Only You” and “In The Palm Of Your Hand”; Spencer shuffling through “Foolin’ Around” and “Layin’ It On The Line”; and Laura Cantrell, appearing as a new sort of Teamster on “Truck Drivin’ Man”.

Particularly notable were rockin’ singer-songwriter Neil Cleary’s traditional but sly take on “Waitin’ In Your Welfare Line”; a rambunctious version of “Ruby Are Your Mad?” by the promising Courtney Lee Adams Jr. (of Courtney & Western); and the guest Texas-will-show-’em-how version of “Act Naturally” by Austin’s Matt Putman, a veteran of Buck salute shows down there.

Buck Off will be followed by new Jamborees every other month, including a salute to Loretta Lynn on October 4, with celebrations of Johnny Paycheck and the Stanley Brothers planned to follow.

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

  • Ray LaMontagne at the Woods at Fontanel (Nashville, Tenn. – July 25, 2014)
    Ray LaMontagne writes great songs and makes great records. And that's certainly no small feat. His live shows, though, while being technically and musically superlative, really don't leave the audience with a whole lot to hang on to other than the technique and the music. There's no personal engagement on LaMontagne's part. It's as i […]
  • Freight Train Boogie Show #264 features new music from Old Crow Medicine Show, Carolina Story, Yvette Landry and The Sweet Potatoes
    FTB Show #264 features the new album by Old Crow Medicine Show called Remedy.  Also new music from Carolina Story, Yvette Landry and The Sweet Potatoes. Here's the iTunes link to subscribe to the FTB podcasts.  Here's the direct link to … […]
  • Vancouver International Folk Festival Day Two (Jericho Beach, Vancouver, BC - July 19th, 2014)
    While Friday night at the Vancouver Folk Festival focuses on main stage performances, the rest of the weekend on the sprawling festival grounds of Jericho Beach is as notable for its smaller workshop performances. This was especially true this year. This particular Saturday started with the official public announcement of Joan Baez's cancellation. Perha […]
  • Joshua Powell & the Great Train Robbery - Man Is Born for Trouble (Album Review)
    The origin story of Joshua Powell & the Great Train Robbery is pivotal for an appreciation of Powell’s music. The name, inspired by the 1903 film The Great Train Robbery, the first silent western committed to celluloid, evokes Powell’s affinity for history, American aestheticism, and art that has passed through generations and endured technological revol […]
  • By the Time You Read This, It'll Be Over: A Pre-Newport Ramble
    Missing the first night -- likely the best of the three, given my taste and interest -- is sort of a bummer. But, on the other hand there's still two more days and nights to wander around the festival site, to hopefully discover a new act or the reinvention of something old. And, to be completely honest, the music and performances will run second to jus […]
  • Well Crafted, The “Not To Be Missed” Music Festival of 2014
    Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill located in pristine Harrodsburg, Kentucky plays host to what is shaping up to be the best Americana music festival of 2014.  Well Crafted, August 8-9 2014, couples some of the best musical talent in our beloved scene with the fine frothy libations of Kentucky’s local Craft Beer creators.  Shaker Steps Productions’ Derek Feldma […]

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