Box Full of Letters from Issue #35
A little bit under a year ago, I got hold of my first-ever issue of ND, and it impressed the heck out of me. Now that some time has passed, and I’m familiar with the magazine and its ways, I thought I would write just to let you know that…well, I’m still impressed. ND is the only magazine I subscribe to (music or otherwise), and it’s always a treat to find in the mailbox.
It’s not easy to describe music in words, but your writers have a way of bringing their subjects into three dimensions, whether it’s reviews, articles, etc. ND isn’t merely an informative read; it’s a “good” read.
I want to thank you for introducing me to some fine artists who have become personal favorites — folks like Trailer Bride, Nathan Hamilton, Gloria Deluxe, etc. I really don’t think I would have made their acquaintance if not for No Depression. I also appreciate the book and film reviews. What can you say about a publication that’s enjoyable from cover to cover?
Needless to say, I’ll be renewing my subscription…with pleasure! Keep up the good work.
— Mark Alessio
Point Lookout, New York
Take her out to the ball game
“Who knew that Emmylou Harris was a baseball junkie?” you asked in your review of Down From The Mountain [ND #34, July-Aug. ’01]. I didn’t know for sure, but I had a clue: one of my favorite clippings, posted near my desk. It’s from one of those “quote of the day” things in USA Today, circa the early ’90s. Emmylou, speaking of life on the road, says, “The only thing on television that isn’t going to give you a headache is baseball.”
But I did learn a lot from the July-August issue of No Depression, the first I had ever seen. I stumbled across the magazine’s existence on the internet a few weeks ago, excitedly divined that it was speaking my language, and almost immediately sent in my subscription check.
I just finish reading that issue today and I thought I’d let you know that I like what you folks are doing.
It dawned on me that I haven’t regularly read or subscribed to a music magazine in a long time. I started reading Rolling Stone in high school; when the bylines got to be as big as the headlines, I quit. In the ’70s and ’80s, I subscribed to Downbeat.
Both those publications taught me a lot about music, and I trusted them. The proof was that, on more than one occasion, I bought albums by people based on what I’d read about them — without having heard their work — and was happy with my purchases. I can see the same thing happening with No Depression. Already, I feel the urge to run out and grab something by Blood Oranges and Rhonda Vincent — neither of whom I’ve heard, to my knowledge.
Well, enough gushing. Just wanted to pass along my compliments. Keep it up. And thank you.
— Kirk Arnott
The genuine article
I was overwhelmingly pleased with the extended feature about the sensational Patty Loveless which was written by Bill Friskics-Warren [ND #34, July-Aug. ’01]. This was the reason I ordered that specific issue of your magazine, but now I am looking forward to perusing the rest of the periodical. That article was one of, if not the most, accurate I have ever read about Patty! Nicely crafted and in-depth, too. And real pictures and not just all rehashes.
Congratulations on a wonderful magazine!
— Cindy Haskell
Don’t forget the outsiders
I’ve been reading ND for a number of years now but I can’t help but feel that it has lost its way somewhat.
It seems to be moving more and more towards authentic, competent music. There’s nothing wrong with that as such. I love a lot of that music as well. I just feel that if ND advertises itself as alternative country, it should strive to include more of the left-field stuff as well.
Am I being cynical in suggesting that some of the older artists the magazine has covered (e.g. Dolly Parton) only reverted to “real” music after sustained periods of commercial decline? Perhaps. If Uncle Tupelo were just starting out, how much coverage would they receive?
What I want to see is more adventure. Put Richard Buckner on the front or a new band such as the Guthries. If you don’t champion them, who will? I’ll still continue to buy ND because it’s one of the best magazines around, but I’d be lying if I said it still excited me as much as it used to.
— Robert Foley
‘N Sync & Claire O.:
A match made in ND
Just wanted to let you folks know how much I enjoy your publication. I stumbled across an issue on the newsstand about four years ago and have been hooked ever since. As an amateur songwriter myself, it’s great to find a magazine that covers great writers like Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, et al. and never have to worry about turning the page to find a story about ‘N Sync or Marilyn Manson!
I only have two complaints: I sure hope that someday my No Depression will come monthly because two months is just too long to wait. My other complaint is more serious. In an otherwise magnificent publication, I find the reviews by Claire O. to be utterly unreadable. Her sophomoric attempts at a ‘style’ make no sense whatsoever and the space could be better utilized by someone who actually uses English in their reviews.
Thanks for letting me speak my mind. Keep up the excellent job you are doing on No Depression.
— Steve Bernhard
Send him some Visine
I recently requested a sample copy of No Depression. I read it last night cover to cover and never blinked! Wow. As a fan of roots-based music, especially acoustic music, I loved the magazine. Even the ads were thrilling! I definitely want to subscribe, and will send an e-mail about that to the appropriate folks. Just wanted to say thanks.
— Roderick Harrington
El Dorado, Arkansas