Issue 74 of No Depression magazine (March/April 2008)
|First issue||September 1995|
No Depression is a quarterly roots music journal with a concurrent online publication at nodepression.com.
In print, No Depression is a ~150-page ad-free publication focused on longform music reporting and deep analysis that ties contemporary artists with the long chain of American roots music. Its content is exclusive to print and its contributors include popular roots music artists as well as professional critics and reporters, photographers, illustrators, and fine artists.
No Depression online is largely crowd-sourced by professional writers and roots music fans alike, and it also employs a handful of regular columnists and staff reviewers.
Since 1995, No Depression has helped to preserve and define the evolution of American roots music and all its forms: alt-country, Americana, folk, bluegrass, blues, and roots-rock and roll.
No Depression was launched in September 1995 (as a quarterly) by co-editors/co-founders Grant Alden and Peter Blackstock. Kyla Fairchild, who handled the business functions of the magazine from the beginning, became a co-publisher with Alden and Blackstock in 1998. The magazine was named for the Carter Family song "No Depression in Heaven," the 1990 album No Depression by the band Uncle Tupelo, and an early AOL online discussion group on alternative country called The No Depression Folder.
Over the course of thirteen years, No Depression gradually grew into one of the nation's most prominent and broad-ranging bimonthly music publications[peacock term] until it ceased its initial print operations in June 2008. Along the way, No Depression received Utne Reader Independent Press Awards for Arts & Literature coverage, and was cited as one of the nation's Top 20 magazines of any kind in 2004 by the Chicago Tribune.
Other ventures during the company's print history included a No Depression Tour (featuring Whiskeytown, the Old 97's, Hazeldine, and the Picketts) in 1997; two best-of anthologies published by Dowling Press (1998) and University of Texas Press (2005); and the No Depression Radio Show, which aired on dozens of stations across the United States in 2002 and 2003.
Two No Depression music festivals took place at Marymoore Park, just outside Seattle. The first was on July 11, 2009 and featured Gillian Welch, Iron and Wine, Patterson Hood and the Screwtopians, Jesse Sykes, Justin Townes Earle, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Zee Avi, and Seattle roots music all-stars. The second was August 21, 2010 and featured The Swell Season, Lucinda Williams, The Cave Singers, Alejandro Escovedo, Chuck Prophet, Sera Cahoone, and The Maldives.
The publishers announced in February 2008 that the May-June 2008 issue would be their last.Buddy Miller was featured on the cover of the final issue, with No Depression declaring him Artist of the Decade. Soon after, co-founders Alden and Blackstock sold their ownership stakes to Fairchild in 2008 and 2010, respectively. In the wake of the magazine going out of print, No Depression launched a community website (NoDepression.com) on the Ning platform in February 2009. That site was a community of bloggers, videographers, photographers, artists, labels, DJs, venues, and fans around the world.
Fairchild sold her ownership of No Depression to FreshGrass LLC in 2014. In 2016, the FreshGrass Foundation - a nonprofit organization that supports roots musicians and music scenes around the United States - took over No Depression and the FreshGrass Festival which it operates in conjunction with Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA). Proceeds from both sales of the No Depression print journal and tickets to the FreshGrass Festival support the FreshGrass Foundation's giving programs, which include awards for up-and-coming artists, a music commission, and a No Depression Writing Fellowship.
No Depression published three "bookazines" with University of Texas Press; the debut edition of the bookazine was released fall 2008, the second edition March 2009, and the last in September 2009.
In May 2015, No Depression announced it would be returning to print after seven years of being an online-only publication. According to an article by Kim Ruehl, "we're opening up pre-orders via Kickstarter for what will be a truly unique magazine - there will be no advertisements. Instead, the articles will be accompanied only by stunning photography and original illustrations. The paper will be larger and thicker than you might remember from the original incarnation, printed by the one of the only carbon-neutral printers in North America."
Following the success of No Depression's return-to-print Kickstarter campaign and reception of the Fall 2015 issue, the FreshGrass Foundation decided to bring the journal back to quarterly, with subscriptions available beginning in Spring 2016.
Features from the No Depression print journal (2015-present)
|Return to Print||Fall 2015||Punch Brothers, I'm With Her, Jason Isbell, Lucinda Williams, the Mavericks, and more|
|Roots & Branches||Spring 2016||Mavis Staples, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, David Grisman, Robert Burns, Bluegrass in Japan, and more|
|Homegrown||Summer 2016||Sibling duos, Kill Rock Stars, English folk, Candi Staton, The Ash Grove, Levon Helm, the Ardoin Family, and more|
|Speak Up!||Fall 2016||The Weavers, the Dixie Chicks, Jail Guitar Doors USA, John Prine, Race in Country Music, and more|
Cover features from the original print magazine (1995-2008)