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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.

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Author: Bobby Reed

Waxed - Record Review from Issue #17 Sept-Oct 1998

Split Lip Rayfield – Self-Titled

Although the closing track, “Tiger in My Tank”, includes a few bars of “Dueling Banjos”, there’s not much about Split Lip Rayfield’s debut that one normally associates with traditional bluegrass. The Wichita trio’s name, lyrics and instrumentation all push the envelope of the genre. Former Scroat Belly members Kirk Rundstrom (acoustic guitar, vocals) and Eric [...]

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The Long Way Around - Feature from Issue #15 May-June 1998

Handsome Family – Wildwood flowers

You’re against me. You’re all against me! You’ll never get my money! Or my Titanic necklace! –Rennie Sparks “Even when we couldn’t play our fucking instruments, and we sucked, and we were stupid live, we were entertaining — I’ll give you that,” Brett Sparks says, recalling the early days of the Handsome Family. Much of [...]

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Miked - Live Reviews from Issue #15 May-June 1998

Slaid Cleaves – Schubas (Chicago, IL)

As evidenced by this entertaining but sparsely attended show, Slaid Cleaves is a songwriter’s songwriter. For this solo acoustic gig, the Maine native interspersed covers and older material with several songs from his recent Philo/Rounder disc No Angel Knows. Cleaves opened the show with the album’s title cut and then headed into the land of [...]

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Miked - Live Reviews from Issue #14 March-April 1998

Slaid Cleaves – Schubas (Chicago, IL)

As evidenced by this entertaining but sparsely attended show, Slaid Cleaves is a songwriter’s songwriter. For this solo acoustic gig, the Maine native interspersed covers and older material with several songs from his recent Philo/Rounder disc No Angel Knows. Cleaves opened the show with the album’s title cut and then headed into the land of [...]

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Screen Door - Last Page Essay from Issue #14 March-April 1998

One man’s trailer is a radio treasure

A friend had told me about the radio station, but I had to see it for myself. That’s why, last December, I was driving through a snowstorm in the Cumberland Mountains. About 40 miles outside Knoxville, Tennessee, I ejected my Loretta tape and began scanning the lower end of the FM dial. After passing over [...]

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Waxed - Record Review from Issue #14 March-April 1998

Free Dirt – Self-Titled

The protagonist in “Rude Pets”, a particularly catchy tune on Free Dirt’s self-titled debut, has a common complaint: “There ain’t nothin’ on the radio/Nothin’ to call my own/Overdosed on classic rock again.” Free Dirt plays solid, melodic grain-belt rock ‘n’ roll — the kind of music rarely heard on the radio nowadays. Falling somewhere between [...]

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Town and Country - Shorter Artist Feature from Issue #13 Jan-Feb 1998

Highway Matrons – Mother of all roads

As any aficionado of Americana can tell you, St. Louis was the largest city between Chicago and Los Angeles along historic Route 66. It is fitting, then, that trivia about the “Main Street of America” would provide inspiration for the name of St. Louis band the Highway Matrons. Around mid-century, when Route 66 was bustling [...]

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Field Reportings - News from Issue #13 Jan-Feb 1998

Field Reportings from Issue #13

FAREWELL, ANASTASIA: It was an emotional evening at a packed Schubas Tavern on October 21 as Chicago’s alternative country community bid farewell to the club’s talent buyer, Anastasia Davies. During her five-year stint, Davies booked hundreds of great bands, including Blue Mountain, Richard Buckner, Buick MacKane, Calexico, Hammell On Trial, the Honeydogs, Gillian Welch and [...]

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Miked - Live Reviews from Issue #12 Nov-Dec 1997

Mike Ireland & Holler – Schubas (Chicago, IL)

Some people claim that size doesn’t matter. If you’re talking about live music, however, audience size is usually considered a key factor. When Mike Ireland & Holler stepped onto the hallowed Schubas stage, there were 10 people in the crowd (not counting the club’s employees). Since its debut album (on Sub Pop) won’t be out [...]

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Waxed - Record Review from Issue #11 Sept-Oct 1997

Kacy Crowley – Anchorless

Austin-based Kacy Crowley’s debut, Anchorless, features the same brand of straight-ahead pop-rock purveyed by Sheryl Crow and Joan Osborne. Except that Crowley lacks the melodiousness of the former and the pipes of the latter. The album, which was produced, recorded, and mixed by Dave McNair, contains some nice moments and a few catchy melodies, but [...]

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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 […]

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