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

  • 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 […]
  • Goldie and the Gingerbreads: The First All-Female Guitar Band
    It could only happen in America: In 1947, a 7-year-old Polish-Jewish girl named Genyusha "Genya" Zelkovicz arrived in New York City's Lower East Side with her parents and a sister, speaking not a word of English. They were the only ones in their family to survive the Holocaust. Genya's mother nicknamed her Goldie, and thus began her Ameri […]
  • Wayne Kramer - Lexington (Album Review)
    Wayne Kramer is someone who's life story I'd very much like to read. From lead guitar in the Mighty MC5 to prison inmate to social activist (he recently interviewed Pussy Riot, and is constantly active in speaking out against such injustices) to new father, Kramer's life has an interesting story in every chapter. His latest record release (and […]

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