News of the demise of No Depression, the magazine synonymous with the alt.-country music movement, came as quite a shock around here.
Though No Depression was a competitor, I, for one, viewed the publication as a giant within the music magazine industry and will miss it greatly, as I know others will as well.
After putting to bed its 75th issue, the May-June 2008 edition, No Depression will turn out the lights for good. A lengthy letter explaining the reasons for the abrupt ending can be found at www.nodepression.net.
Take a moment to read them. The factors they discuss as reasons for its departure speak to the fragile state of the music industry and the challenges print publications like No Depression, and Goldmine for that matter, face in trying to survive in this brave new world of digital downloads, declining CD sales and the disappearance of brick-and-mortor record stores from the retail landscape.
The first issue of No Depression arrived in September 1995 and it trumpeted a roots-rock revolution. Son Volt was on the cover — no surprise really considering Jay Farrar's old group, Uncle Tupelo, released an album called No Depression in 1990 that put alt.-country on the map.
Over time, a number of huge artists have appeared on its covering, including Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Wilco, the Drive-By Truckers and Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint. Its music coverage was beyond reproach. The writing was amazing and it worked tirelessly to champion the cause of alt.-country, one of the only genres around that truly respects traditional music while offering a whole new take on it.
No Depression ... you will be missed. R.I.P.