On the Occasion of Our Fifth Anniversary...

Every year for the past five years, we have taken some time at the end of February to thank you all for showing up; to give shouts out to our bloggers and the people who post videos, comment, subscribe to our newsletters, follow us on various other social media outlets, support us with advertising, and so on. This year, we decided to wait a few days before sharing our gratitude and marking the special occasion of our fifth anniversary as a community-focused website, because we have some exciting news to share about a new phase of No Depression.

You may know that No Depression has been through many evolutions through the years. We started as an AOL message board back in the early 1990s, before founding Editors Grant Alden and Peter Blackstock spun the concept of an alt-country community into the pages of a print magazine. ND spent 13 years in print, from 1995-2008, before evolving yet again into an online entity. First, we gave it a go as a full-throttle e-magazine. But, in February 2009, we launched this site and opened the gate for anyone anywhere to populate our “pages” with their reviews, interviews, analysis, recommendations, and articles about the history and stylization of Americana music, whatever that is.

For five years now, you have helped us prove there is life after print. The articles and blogs you’ve written, the videos you’ve shared, the discussions you’ve begun in our forum, have kept the ND bar high. You’ve proven that an international community of music fans can sustain intelligent discourse around music, almost never devolving into personal attacks or petty disagreements. When debates have arisen, you’ve almost always kept it to the music – smart and civil – with an omnipresent understanding for what we all have in common. We are continuously impressed and invigorated by what takes place on this website, and are incredibly grateful for your ongoing participation.

Now for the news: After five years overseeing the ND Community website – eighteen total years as co-Publisher and Publisher of No Depression – Kyla Fairchild has decided to step back as ND heads into its latest evolution.

Taking over the reins will be Chris Wadsworth, founder of Freshgrass and co-producer of the Freshgrass Festival in North Adams, Mass. He will be assisted by husband-and-wife duo, Dave and Shelley Champine, who built and maintain their own grassroots music platform, Local Music Vibe. The San Francisco-based Freshgrass team will join forces with Kyla, Kim and Stacy to ensure No Depression remains the definitive roots music authority.

Chris is a lifelong bluegrass musician and avid fan of roots music. He took a turn into the world of finance and, after enjoying nearly two decades of that, decided to return to his first love and see what he could do in the grassroots music industry. Four years ago, Chris teamed up with the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (www.massmoca.org) in North Adams, Mass., to start the annual Freshgrass festival, which could have just as well taken its various lineups straight from the pages of No Depression.

Though the music is his main focus, after a couple years of exciting growth of the festival (the 2014 lineup  to be announced later this month), Chris started thinking that it would be nice to give the growing  Freshgrass community a place to congregate throughout the rest of the year. He started looking at the possibility of creating a community online where Freshgrass fans could connect with other kindred spirits around the world. When he and Kyla started talking last year, the connection between his desire to develop an online community for roots/alt/country/Americana/indie/folk/rock fans and the direction ND has been headed these past five years, was pretty obvious.

So, On Friday, February 28th, five years to the day since we launched the ND community site here on the Ning platform, Freshgrass officially acquired No Depression.

Over the next couple of months, Kyla, Kim and Stacy will be working with them to get them oriented with how everything works. Though she will not be deeply entwined with the day-to-day activities, Kyla will remain involved and Kim will continue managing a good part of ND’s editorial side. Once she is up to speed, Shelley Champine will be your new Community Manager. Freshgrass will continue to be an entity unto itself, as will No Depression, though we expect there will be some great opportunities for the brands and their communities to mingle and grow together.

Chris and the Freshgrass team are committed to making this transition as seamless as possible so that you can continue reading, writing, and posting to ND the same way you have for the past five years. And, just as important this site will continue the legacy established years ago by Grant and Peter focusing on intelligent discourse about the music, the people who make it, and those who have been touched by it.

We’re excited about this next phase and know that our ongoing evolution will continue to make your time here enjoyable. After all, we could very certainly not have gotten this far without you. Nearly two decades after the print magazine launched, there is still no other place like No Depression for this kind of music, whatever you call it.

We hope you’ll continue to join us, sharing your thoughts and observations about this incredible music we all love. Thanks for five great years online, and here’s to many more!

~ Kyla, Kim, Stacy, Chris, Dave and Shelley

Views: 2871

Comment by Harrisonaphotos on March 7, 2014 at 3:38am

as a naturally cautious person (and mildly paranoid) can I welcome any new financial input to No Depression but temper my excitement and enthusiasm towards the new owners, for a later date when I can make a considered judgement?


Comment by Jim Moulton on March 7, 2014 at 4:11am

WELCOME freshgrass,  


Comment by The Backyard Harmonica Teacher on March 7, 2014 at 4:15am

Congrats! Looking forward to see where this goes.

Comment by jim reinhart on March 7, 2014 at 4:35am

I too am mildly paranoid….. but I love MassMoca

so welcome and good luck.

Comment by Easy Ed on March 7, 2014 at 4:37am

First off I'd like to say thank you to Kyla for working hard, fast and furiously in keeping No Depression not only alive, but vibrant and vital. In the past five years it's been a blessing to be part of a music community such as this, and as someone who has worn a couple different hats here, I know the blood, sweat and tears she's endured. While it was the early vision of Peter and Grant that began this journey, long after they exited it has been Kyla footing the bill for all if us to stay together in order to have a place to gather and discuss this music we love. I know that this decision was not made lightly, and I'm encouraged and excited that she has chosen a man who also has a heart and passion for the tradition and history of No Depression. Kyla...thank you dearly for the opportunity you've given me and all my fellow community members. You've been and will remain a great friend.

To Kim...I don't even know where to begin. Five years ago I began posting a couple of stories, and you encouraged me to do it consistently so that you could make me a featured writer...whatever that is. A few hundred stories later, you've given me a voice and rekindled my passion for both writing and music. You too have become a friend, one who've I virtually traveled along with through a move, relationships, highs, lows, books, politics, songs, shared jokes and most recently motherhood. (How's that sleep thing goin'?) Thank you forever and always. You've been the heartbeat of this site.
Lastly to Chris and his team, I'll leave you with the words that were said to me some 25 years ago when I was promoted to a new position at Capitol-EMI from a man named Vyto: Don't fuck it up.

Comment by Steve Ford on March 7, 2014 at 4:49am

As is often the case, Ed has found the right words for what we all feel. Heartfelt thanks and congratulations, Kyla, on such a great job over a long time.  You're one of the nicest people I've never met :) and you'l be missed. Welcome Chris, Dave and Shelley, and all the best.

Comment by Kim Ruehl on March 7, 2014 at 5:22am

Thank you, as always, for your kind words, Ed. (And everyone else, too.) Sleep is happening, intermittently. I actually managed to get six unfettered hours last night, which could prove revolutionary. At this rate, I might actually be able to write something meaningful again, soonish.

Comment by Henry Jasen on March 7, 2014 at 5:26am

This is very exciting news.  I have been a fan of ND since it started (I've only been a fan of Kyla's since she was 10). I have also been a fan of Freshgrass for the last couple of years.  It is my favorite festival.  I feel like I have good reason to believe this will be a success for all involved.

Comment by Allan Sizemore on March 7, 2014 at 5:40am

I have been here since the beginning, will continue to be here til the end. I miss the magazine, but that is because I grew up in a tactile world. I enjoy the ezine, or whatever you want to call it. Over the years, No Depression, from the internet chatboard of the 90s, to the magazine (of which I still have every copy) to the ezine and blogs, I have watched the medium change, the people come and go and the bands that were launched through the portal and into the mainstream, such as it is. I am looking forward to this new thing ,also, whatever it may be and however it may happen. If there is one constant, it's change. Thanks ladies and gentlemen, for being there through most of my life and helping to get me through the rough patches. God Bless.

Comment by Jack on March 7, 2014 at 5:57am

Can we still make wisecracks about Donovan?

I remember sending a few bucks to ND when Kyla was trying to fund the website, it was (not as much as I'd have liked) money exceptionally well spent. Like many I read the magazine from the first issue to the last and still lament it's absence. On the other hand, this website took the spirit of the magazine and has managed to become in it's own way, as rewarding as was the magazine.  There are excellent writers here, and the interaction via the comments to blogs and in the forum section is both fun and very educational.  Unquestionably, Kyla and Kim have managed this website with a kind and deft touch that I think we all hope will be maintained going forward.  If they feel this change works best for them and for the site, then fine by me.  Looking forward to the next chapter.


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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.