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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: Jim Desmond

Waxed - Record Review from Issue #13 Jan-Feb 1998

Harvester – Camper Van Landingham

Harvester doesn’t have as much standard Americana in their sound as their name might imply. While perhaps the best thing about their second record is its broad reach, most of it falls somewhere into the alternative-rock heap — melodic, noisy guitar songs intelligently put together. This disc was recorded for Geffen, but the band was [...]

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Waxed - Record Review from Issue #12 Nov-Dec 1997

Reckless Kelly – Millican

Reckless Kelly are so perfect that if they didn’t exist, some record company would invent them. Early 20s, fine players, soap opera attractive, terrific lead singer, excellent sense of song structure, hooks galore and very commercial country-rock sound. Ready for Nashville right now, but just “alt” enough to seem cool. At their best, as on [...]

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Town and Country - Shorter Artist Feature from Issue #11 Sept-Oct 1997

Flatirons – Raw talent, raw fish

I was sold on the Flatirons in the amount of time it took for the first sound to move from singer Wendy Pate’s mouth to my ear. She has the gift — one of those strong, true voices that commands your attention. And the band, led by guitarists Jason Okamoto and Scott Weddle, is young [...]

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Miked - Live Reviews from Issue #9 May-June 1997

Shawn Colvin / Patty Griffin / Freedy Johnson – Roseland Theater (Portland, OR)

It struck me during this fine three and a half hours of music by three compatible folk-rock artists how the connection between musician and audience can be made in very distinct manners. Shawn Colvin won the crowd over with her charm and beautiful singing. Freedy Johnston connected with his songs, which are among the most [...]

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Waxed - Record Review from Issue #9 May-June 1997

Fernando – Widows

Fernando Viciconte is a true believer. Like Hank Sr., Springsteen, David Hidalgo and his other heroes, he sees a bleak world out there but clings to the romantic notion that letting it out in the passion of song can ease the pain, redeem the soul or at least help make a little sense of it [...]

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Town and Country - Shorter Artist Feature from Issue #7 Jan-Feb 1997

Golden Delicious – How ’bout them apples?

While they were far too cordial to admit it, the members of Golden Delicious seemed a bit uncomfortable sitting down for an interview with No Depression. Not that they mind a little attention. Just don’t try to tag this band of Portland all-stars with a trendy label like “alt-country” or “Americana”. Fiddle player Marilee Hord [...]

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Miked - Live Reviews from Issue #5 Sept-Oct 1996

Gillian Welch & David Rawlings – Aladdin Theater (Portland, OR)

Gillian Welch’s debut album Revival is such a marvelous recording that expecting her to improve upon it in concert would be asking a lot of even a seasoned performer. But the fact that she could carry it off live without producer T Bone Burnett and the ace session musicians from the record (James Burton, Jim [...]

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Waxed - Record Review from Issue #5 Sept-Oct 1996

Various Artists – Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation the Songs of Vic Chesnutt

The story goes that on the day Vic Chesnutt recorded the song “Guilty By Association” for his 1995 album Is The Actor Happy?, he asked his pal Michael Stipe to stop by the studio to add backing vocals. The song tells the tale of a struggling artist obscured by the shadow of his famous friend [...]

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Miked - Live Reviews from Issue #4 Summer 1996

Emmylou Harris – Aladdin Theater (Portland, OR)

Understand from the top that I’d pay money to hear Emmylou Harris sing the phone book. Her voice never fails to take me to a better place. But her recent stop at Portland’s cozy, 500-seat Aladdin Theater was a special evening where artist, audience and venue came together in a near-flawless performance. Musically, this tour [...]

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Waxed - Record Review from Issue #4 Summer 1996

Grant Lee Buffalo – Copperopolis

I took me six or seven listens to get there, but there is plenty to recommend about Grant Lee Buffalo’s third album. More melodic but much less rocking than its predecessors, Copperopolis finds the band digging deep and taking some chances in its best moments. But the listener has to dig a bit, too — [...]

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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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