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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

  • 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 […]
  • 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… […]

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