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 #49 Jan-Feb 2004

Paula Frazer

A Place Where I Knew: 4-track Songs 1992-2002 (Birdman)

Blame Springsteen, maybe, for Nebraska suggested anew the possibilities of raw home recordings. Paula Frazer’s soaring vocals (it’s tempting to call her the country Kate Bush, and doubtless many have) were the focal point of Tarnation, a band that eventually became a foil simply for her work, and so she has more recently recorded under her own name.

Regardless, Frazer’s music has always seemed to depend on a modern studio environment, for pristine and highly controlled sound has been integral to its beauty. Nebraska and assorted subsequent lo-fi impulses have all argued for the power of a moment’s unpolished emotion. Frazer’s music has always had an emotional reticence about it.

So what is to be revealed by four-track bedroom demos of her songs? Not much, and that shouldn’t be a surprise. This is pretty raw stuff, complete with the sound of crinkling tape, and the sound is muffled. Because these tapes were presumably meant for songwriting demos and as a sketch of how each track might evolve in a proper studio, they’re not performed with unguarded emotion. All these tracks argue for is the importance of a good studio and a first-rate engineer to capture Frazer’s gossamer vocals.

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 #49 Jan-Feb 2004

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

  • 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 […]
  • Five Questions: Bry Webb
    After years of blasting it out as a member of the Constantines, singer/songwriter Bry Webb turned it all down a few notches for his new solo effort, Free Will. Written as a something of a meditation on his new role as a father to a son, the set is quieter, to be sure, but it's not without some edge. After all, you can take the boy out of the rock, but y […]
  • Your Interview with the Jayhawks' Gary Louris
    A couple of weeks ago, we announced a contest to give away some copies of the Jayhawks' remastered and reissued editions of Sound of Lies, Smile, and Rainy Day Music. In the process, we asked you to pose questions you'd like to see Jayhawks founding member Gary Louris answer. Fifty folks entered and Jayhawk Gary Louris… […]
  • Dan Blakeslee - Owed to the Tanglin’ Wind (Album Review)
    Dan Blakeslee’s new record Owed to the Tanglin’ Wind was recorded in the eaves of an old, beautiful theatre in Providence, R.I. I don’t think any record could genuinely illustrate that fact quite as well as this one. The songs on this record bring you to that place. The environment that these songs were birthed from seeps through the sounds and textures, and […]
  • Bill Frisell and “The Great Flood”
    I feel late to the game with Bill Frisell, discovering him around the time of East/West and just after The Intercontinentals.  We all have those moments of discovering something that is so beautiful and so complete (and even  quite popular), but… […]

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