No Depression

No Depression

What It Sounds Like (Vol. 1)


When No Depression magazine began publishing in 1995 — taking its name from either the Carter Family’s “No Depression in Heaven” or the Uncle Tupelo album, take your pick — it didn’t exactly champion the mainstream. Covering those artists whose feet are planted in both country and rock and roll, they were singing to a very small choir. Now, almost a decade later, it’s an entirely different story. From Ryan Adams and Whiskeytown to the Def American releases of Johnny Cash, “alt-country” has been embraced by listeners and scenesters far and wide. This collection amply shows why. Starting off with Cash’s “The Time of the Preacher,” recorded with members of Nirvana, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains, to the closing Carter Family song from which they got their name, this collection serves as a welcome grouping of the genres elites. Well known names such as the magical Alejandro Escovedo and Doug Sahm share space with folks such as Hayseed (with Emmylou Harris) and newcomer Kasey Chambers. It all works. While the artists here display an ample reverence for the history that comes before them, they aren’t museum keepers. This is music that lives and breathes as much as anything else currently out there. If you are a newcomer to the sound, this is a good introduction. If you’ve been listening to this stuff forever, it’s a good sampling of familiar moments.

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