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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: Geoffrey Himes

The Long Way Around - Feature from Issue #37 Jan-Feb 2002

Kasey Chambers – Sweet Emotion

“This is a song,” Kasey Chambers tells the audience at Wolf Trap, “that I wrote about all the radio stations around the world who play Britney Spears and not me.” She chuckles at her own joke. The very idea of this Australian singer-songwriter competing for airplay and audience with the Pepsi commercial icon is amusing [...]

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The Long Way Around - Feature from Issue #33 May-June 2001

The Blind Boys Of Alabama – H A L L E L U J A H ! Yeah Yeah Yeah !

Clarence Fountain knows just how thin the line is between gospel and rock ‘n’ roll. A word here and a word there, and a song can leap from one field to the other. He and his group, the Five Blind Boys Of Alabama, were there when gospel first turned into rock ‘n’ roll. They were [...]

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The Long Way Around - Feature from Issue #31 Jan-Feb 2001

Rodney Crowell – Born on the Bayou

One morning in the summer of 1956, when Rodney Crowell was not quite six years old, his father rousted him from bed before dawn and hustled him into the back seat of a borrowed 1949 Ford. Three cane fishing poles leaned out the window of the jet-black, white-walled roadster, and with his chin resting on [...]

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The Long Way Around - Feature from Issue #30 Nov-Dec 2000

Los Lobos – Not Just Another Band from East L.A.

I’m going to write about East L.A. I’m going to write about the fruit vendors, the sewing women in the sweatshops, the smell of the tortilleria, the sounds that waft through the air on Saturdays from backyard parties, the Mexican music that was played, the dresser-top altars in Catholic homes. – Louie Perez, Los Lobos [...]

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The Long Way Around - Feature from Issue #29 Sept-Oct 2000

Amy Rigby – Just like a woman

There have been approximately 111,000 rock ‘n’ roll songs written about 17-year-old girls. Their names are “Michelle”, “Maybellene”, “Sheena”, “Sherry”, “Wendy”, “Amie”, “Carrie-Ann”, “Bernadette”, “Georgy Girl”, “Gloria”, “Little Sister”, and “Ruby Tuesday”. These girls are always pretty and eager for fun. They are unencumbered by jobs, children, or any challenge more severe than algebra. They [...]

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The Long Way Around - Feature from Issue #28 July-Aug 2000

John Doe – Border X-ing

X was the American Clash. During a brief window between 1976 and 1981, when the definitions of punk rock were still up for grabs, X and the Clash took the broadest possible approach. They didn’t accept the narrow view that only the new, the angry, the fast and the hard qualified. For John Doe and [...]

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The Long Way Around - Feature from Issue #25 Jan-Feb 2000

Marah – Street Smarts

Marah’s fans are not multitudinous yet, but the fans this Philadelphia group does have include some of the most respected figures in roots-rock. When Cary Hudson and Laurie Stirratt of Blue Mountain, for example, heard a tape of Marah’s first album-in-progress, the Mississippi couple insisted on releasing it on their own label, Black Dog Records. [...]

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The Long Way Around - Feature from Issue #24 Nov-Dec 1999

Sacred Steel – A joyful noise

It was a sunny Memorial Day, and as boats cruised up the river toward the spires of Georgetown University, a stiff breeze whipped across a temporary stage, perched on an outdoor balcony overlooking the Potomac River. Phil Campbell, a portly black man in glasses and neat gray slacks, stepped to the microphone, and said, “We’d [...]

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The Long Way Around - Feature from Issue #23 Sept-Oct 1999

David Ball – For the sake of the single

Just like St. Paul, David Ball had his life changed by a sudden revelation. Ball, though, wasn’t riding a donkey on the road to Damascus when the epiphany arrived. He was driving his car through South Carolina. “I was at a stop light on the Isle of Palms,” the singer recalls, “and Randy Travis’ ‘On [...]

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The Long Way Around - Feature from Issue #19 Jan-Feb 1999

Don Williams – Hank, Tennessee, and Don

In most cases, when you drain all the energy and tension from a song, you end up with easy-listening, middle-of-the-road pabulum, or perhaps pretentious, artsy twaddle. When Don Williams removes all the strain from a song, however, you get something else entirely. When Williams strips away the “look-at-me, see-how-hard-I’m-working” ego from the vocal, the song [...]

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From the Blogs

  • The Post-Newport Earthquake: Watkins Family Hour
    Did you feel it? That's what everybody in Los Angeles asks each other whenever a shake or quake rattles and rolls through the valleys and flatlands. Sometimes there's just a release of pressure beneath the crust, and other times it's an up and down jolt that lasts only a second. And then you forget about it. Until the next time.  Sunday night […]
  • Chris Isaak's Life Beyond the Sun
    In 2011, Chris Isaak took the long overdue step of recording an album at Sun Studios in Memphis, Tenn. It wasn't just any album, it was faithful interpretations of classic songs by his musical mentors and heroes: Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins. It didn’t take much of a leap of imagination to predict that the album would be […]
  • Carolina Story – Chapter Two (Album Review)
    Strong country duets from Nashville husband and wife The empathy shared by great duet singers can take your breath away. The ways in which a duo's voices complement, compete and provoke one another, the weaving of a harmony line above, below and around a melody, and the connection of two voices as they race around banked curves make listeners eavesdropp […]
  • Waylon, John Prine, Kinky, Gram Parsons ... Come Together
    Preface: This began as a foreword for a small collection of pictures and articles I am assembling for a book I plan to self-publish. As the memories piled on, the words accumulated into a short memoir and loose chronology of what happened in my life and on paper between 1967 and 1979. All of my No Depression offerings are referenced throughout this brief bio […]
  • Dave & Phil Alvin & the Guilty Ones – Dakota Jazz Club (Minneapolis, Minn. – July 26, 2014)
    “My brother Dave is a triple threat and I’m so proud of him – singer, songwriter, and guitar player.” That’s what Phil Alvin told a July 26 sellout crowd at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis, Minn. The show was winding down but fans were totally pumped as the Alvin brothers exchanged pleasantries and showed no sign of their famed sibling rivalry after Dave […]
  • Celebrating 40 Years of Schoolkids Records: An Interview with Owner Stephen Judge
    This year marks the 40th anniversary of Watergate. That's not really anything to celebrate, it's not an accomplishment, and what's that got to do with music? Nothing. It simply marks the inevitable passage of time. But, 2014 also marks the 40th anniversary of Raleigh, N.C.'s Schoolkids Records, which is an accomplishment and is definitely […]

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