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

Record Review from web archive April 17, 2009

Scott Miller

For Crying Out Loud (F.A.Y.)

After three studio albums plus a live disc on Sugar Hill, Scott Miller embraces the full-on indie way forward with For Crying Out Loud – but without any dramatic changes to his musical approach. Fans of his previous records under the banner of Scott Miller & the Commonwealth, as well as his 1990s efforts as frontman of the V-Roys, should follow quite easily to this latest baker’s dozen of songs.

For Miller, the modus operandi is generally no-nonsense rootsy rock & roll, sometimes quieter and more reflective acoustic balladry, and almost always a way with words that few other Americana songwriters can match. Although he’s dropped the suffix of “& the Commonwealth” from the album cover, they’re still with him: guitarist/keyboardist Jeremy Pennebaker, bassist Chris Autry and drummer Shawn McWilliams all are on board here, boosted in a couple spots by cameos from Patty Griffin and Tim O’Brien.

Griffin’s call-and-response duet vocal helps turn the gentle waltz “I’m Right Here My Love” into one of the disc’s most enchanting moments; along with the humble love song “She’s Still Mine” and the sublimely sweet album-closer “Appalachian Refugee”, it’s continued proof of Miller’s ability to excel with acoustic songcraft, even as he’s generally made his name with more rambunctious stuff. That said, For Crying Out Loud features plenty of rootsy rock numbers to further solidify his rockin’ reputation, from the sneering opener “Cheap Ain’t Cheap (For Crying Out Loud)” to the fast-paced power-poppish “Iron Gate” to a terrifically upbeat and sure-handed cover of Gram Parsons’ “I Can’t Dance” (written by Tom T. Hall).

Best of all are two cuts that sonically fall somewhere inbetween the hard and the soft, but most vividly represent Miller’s considerable talents as a wordsmith. “Sin In Indiana” shuffles along to a bluesy backdrop as Miller spins out line after hilarious line about its title’s condition. (Example: “Magnolia Hempstead could not stop/Eatin’ popcorn when she’s high on pot/She kept on chewin’ till her teeth were gone/The dentist made some outta cut limestone.”) Better still is “Let You Down”, which Miller delivers tongue-in-cheekily as an unbreakable vow: “I will let you down, believe me.” Yeah, he says that…but really, he won’t.

Enjoy the ND archives? Consider making a donation with PayPal or send a check to:
No Depression, 460 Bush St., San Francisco, CA 94108


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 »

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 […]
  • Lydia Loveless - Somewhere Else (Album Review)
    I’ve heard a lot of really unique descriptions of Lydia Loveless's new album, "Somewhere Else".  It’s always X + Y that supposedly equals a new sound.  None of them seem to capture the essence of the record for me.  On Loveless’s Facebook page, her sound is described as “Loretta Lynn and Patti Smith slamming shots at a Midwestern dive bar whil […]
  • Q and A with Miss Tess and the Talkbacks
    Miss Tess and the Talkbacks are an edgy band.  Edgy in a good way.  From song to song you never know what kind of potion the band will cook up for the listener.  They are masters at so many different styles and when all is said and done, they’re just plain awesome.  Grooving modern vintage music is what they sometimes call their genre and that’s perfect.  It […]
  • Bridie Jackson and the Arbour - New Skin (Album Review)
    Who knew that Choral flavoured Folk music could be this cool? When I first encountered Bridie Jackson and the Arbour three years ago they were like a breath of fresh air blowing across a very stale and dusty Folk music scene; and nothing has changed in the intervening years; apart from them getting better. For once it is genuinely difficult to point you to i […]
  • Blair Dunlop - House of Jacks (Album Review)
    Young folksinger finds a voice to match his impressive words Even at the tender age of 22, Blair Dunlop already has all the hallmarks of a seasoned pro: fronting the reformed and regenerated Albion Band, touring solo virtually non-stop, winning plaudits and awards for his debut album in 2012; all of which all brings us to what they call ‘the difficult second […]
  • Katie Herzig - Walk Through Walls (Album Review)
    Once upon a time, Katie Herzig wore her heart on her sleeve and wielded an acoustic guitar, both apropos of being a singer/songwriter. These days, though, she keeps company with synthesizers and drum loops. Yeah, the heart is still right there on the sleeve, but now you can groove to its beat. Herzig's new collection, Walk Through Walls, is a song cycle […]

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