A little more than a year ago, I met Kyla in a bar. It was a bar I'd never been to, on a strange little stretch of road in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle. It was a community bar - the kind of place where, if you take a passing glance at the building, you might wonder why they don't just let it fall down. Inside, though, there were three or four regulars and a bartender. It was, after all, the middle of the afternoon - a time when only die hard locals and journalists go to… Continue
There was a great moment at Pickathon last year. It was early, I was groggy - maybe 1pm on Sunday - and the sound board crashed. Onstage were eight people who had been prepared to plug in their guitars, fiddles and keyboards. There was some murmuring and sound guys walking back and forth futzing with wires and cords. Finally, after about 20 minutes, Richie Young stepped in front of the microphones and led his band into a full set of completely unplugged music. The crowd pulled closer, everyone… Continue
You may have noticed that little chat function at the bottom of the page, and you may have noticed it doesn't get a whole lot of action. We're looking to change that by hosting some live chats with great artists. The first one is postponed to today, May 17, at 3:45pm Pacific time. You are cordially invited to join us right here on this site to chat with Justin Townes Earle. Please feel free to help us spread the word, tell your friends, random strangers you meet at shows,… Continue
You may have noticed a little box on this site's main page has been allotted for reviews ever since we launched the community a couple of months ago. It's featured reviews by our No Depression writers, which have been posted on NoDepression.com. Soon, we're going to switch lanes and turn the critic's box over to you folks.
I'm pretty confident you pick up new CDs or download MP3s all the time by artists you know and love, or folks you've just discovered. I know you like the music,… Continue
Phosphorescent will be appearing on Willie Nelson's Sirius Radio show, "Willie's Place," tonight as part of Nelson's 76th birthday celebration. A full press release about the appearance is below this video of Phosphorescent doing "It's Not Supposed to Be This Way" from their album To Willie, which pays tribute to the country legend:
Earlier this year Phosphorescent released his new album To Willie, a tribute to the music of Willie Nelson. Styled…Continue
Added by Kim Ruehl on April 30, 2009 at 8:00am —
One thing I've heard a lot about since ND went out of print was that people were sorry to see it go, since the magazine was responsible for introducing so many great artists to readers. So, in that spirit, I handed it to our Twitter followers this afternoon (and, by extension, Facebook) and asked you guys to share with us names of unknown artists we all need to check out. I gave you bonus points for linking… Continue
I came to Greg Brown through unconventional means. I was in my "What is this folk music stuff people are telling me I play?" phase, to which I've alluded here before. I was maybe 19 and the phrase "folk music" made me nervous, lest it destroy any cool cred I'd amassed up until that point. I was buying up CDs from the folk music section at the record store, choosing artists based on two very hard and fast credentials:
1) They looked like someone I might want to hang out with.
I have to say first off that, while it cracked me up, I didn't really believe Beyonce could possibly sing that bad, unless her monitors were out of wack or the sound in the Today Show plaza was so absurdly unbalanced that she couldn't hear her accompanists, etc. If there is any pop star in whose talent I have total faith, it's Beyonce.
But I don't want to talk about Beyonce. I want to talk about… Continue
I dragged myself out of the house this morning to work in a coffee shop, thinking that would help me focus. In the last half-hour, the background music has given me some new song by U2, which was just good enough to pull me out of my determined-to-be-productive-after-all mindframe. I emerged in time to hear Jill Sobule do "Where is Bobbie Gentry" (I get it, but when I realized it was Jill Sobule, I felt disappointed - like she could do better than that), followed by some mediocre cover of… Continue
When I was in college, I was half of a singer-songwriter duo. People called what we did "folk music," and I'd never considered that phrase before. It was 1995 - incidentally the same year No Depression printed its first issue. There was an internet and a Yahoo! search function, but it wasn't where you went to find information. The internet, at the time, to me, was essentially a tool for chatting with strangers and emailing the couple of people I knew who regularly checked… Continue
A few weeks ago, I told you I'd be doing these random Top 5 lists from time to time. Perhaps you recall my first subject was Dolly Parton. I've been looking at that Willie & the Wheel ad from the corner of my eye on this page for days now, and it's needled its way so far into my brain that I have no other option at the moment than to share my favorite Willie Nelson songs of all time. Feel free to… Continue
Just got a bit of news from Rounder Records in ye olde email today, announcing a new disc forthcoming from bluegrass superqueen extraordinaire Rhonda Vincent. The album, due June 16, is to be called Destination Life and will feature the multi-award-winning touring line-up for her band the Rage. Vincent co-wrote three of the tunes herself, including the album opener.
She also pulls out traditionals like "Eighth of January," which I happen to love. Thinking it would be great to… Continue
Just a quick public service announcement here, y'all.
You may have noticed there's a new music player on this site - it's in the left column between latest activity and photos from the community. You may have also noticed that there are only four tracks in there right now. That's because it would take days to go through the entire community and check everyone's profile to determine who has used the Quick Add music player to put their songs on their member page.
I recently went to my first Telluride music festival. I left with my wife from San Diego in our little Toyota Prius; the original model which felt like you were driving in a tin can and when you passed (or were passed) by semis, the car would buck and shake from the wind vortex. It was a two day trip and by the time we arrived my ass was completely sore (the seats felt like they were wood covered by a thin cushion).
Of course, the music was great but the atmosphere was even better.… Continue
The first time I saw Justin Townes Earle live was here in Seattle at the Tractor Tavern two years ago. He was opening for someone else, although I don't remember whom. As was true of his return to the storied Ballard bar last night, Earle easily out-shined the headliner. Since then, he's probably played a couple hundred dates at bars, clubs and festivals. I caught him at least four or five times at Pickathon last summer, where each performance was a little better than the last. Once again, last… Continue
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. The winners were Arley Ann Laman (LA) and Joe G (Bakersfield). Congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone who entered! Keep your eyes here for more contests, as well as other info from the roots and Americana music community.
Here's a quick and easy contest for you.
We're giving away a pair of tickets to see John Prine in Los Angeles on April 17 and another pair to see him in Bakersfield, Calif., on the 21st. Rules of… Continue
If you haven't tapped in yet, Leonard Cohen's Live in London album is streaming for free all this week on NPR.org. What follows here is by no means my official review of the disc, whatever that is. It's simply my first impressions as I stream it this morning. Typically, when reviewing an album, I'll listen to it many, many times to make sure I hear everything, get everything, make sure it has a… Continue
It was billed as the Dave Rawling's Machine with special guest Gillian Welch and it took a few weeks surprisingly to sell out. The show was held at SF's famed Great American Music Hall which served as a bordello back in the day.
The show included lots of new material not unlike that which we've come to expect and enjoy in the past. Some highlights included "Monkey and the Engineer" made famous by the Grateful Dead's 1980 acoustic incarnation, "This Land is Your Land" including the… Continue