Box Full of Letters from Issue #75
Goin’ where there’s no depression:
Thanks, to all of you…
I found No Depression magazine several years ago. It was a magazine that was written for me. Every two months I would look forward with great anticipation to the next issue. My favorite artists like Solomon Burke, Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham, Buddy Miller, Johnny Cash, Van Morrison, Charlie Louvin and others were treated with respect and admiration.
I received this month’s issue and my heartbeat raised in excitement. The pages were quickly turned to find reviews, articles, and new CDs on the horizon to purchase. My thought was — I need to e-mail No Depression to publish on a monthly basis. I wanted to continue reading the magazine. Then…I read the editor’s note that this issue will be the next-to-last. Complete sadness overcame me. I would pay much more for a subscription to continue. This does not seem to be an option, though.
Thank you No Depression for your quality of work. Thank you for giving time for past, current, and upcoming artists from Americana, country, bluegrass, soul, blues, and everything else in between. Thank you for your reviews, cover features, and articles. Thank you for being an original. Thank you for your excellence. Thank you for bringing me happiness for the past several years. I wish I had found you earlier and hope, one day, I will find you again.
— Joseph Greget
Well, shit. Thanks for what you were able to do.
— Quinn Martin
Silver City, New Mexico
Losing ND is like losing a family member….From a listener, programmer, promoter and all-around fan, all I can do is simply thank you from the bottom of my heart.
— Chris Aaland
I have subscribed to many mags over my 50+ years, but think I may have been most faithful to ND. I’m sure you’ll get a flood of letters and e-mails trying to cute their way into the final edition. This is not for that purpose. It is an honest attempt to put into words the sense of loss and gratitude. Thanks to all of you for the effort.
— Jim Schmotzer
I have deeply enjoyed your magazine and have kept all of them. Will give them to my children and grandchildren when I’m gone. Thank you for all the articles on my family members — A.P., Sara, Maybelle, Helen, June, Anita, Johnny Cash & etc. I am A.P. & Sara’s oldest grandchild; will be 70 years old in August.
Once when June & John were visiting their homeplace here in Hiltons, I went up to visit. John said, “Flo, do you have anything to read at your house?” I took him a stack of my No Depression magazines to read. He was so impressed. Said they were different. I even subscribed to the magazine for him.
Once again — thanks. May God always bless you.
— Flo Wolfe
When I picked #74 up from my mail pile I had a passing premonition: “Hmm…feels kinda thin…reminds me of a computer mag just after the dot-com bubble burst…”
I fully realize that all things must pass, nothing lasts forever, etc., but the news that my favorite hard-copy music chronicle is forced to close up shop is a thorough bummer. As a 50-something African-American musician who works mostly on the jazz side of the tracks, I shudder at the loss of a platform for spreading awareness of other “niche” genres at the core of our collective music culture. I’ve drawn inspiration from the engaged, insightful, open-minded and graceful writing — and, of course, from the recordings I’ve purchased, spurred by your articles. Where else will I be able to find out about such stuff? Also, your coverage of post-Katrina New Orleans has been some of the best I’ve seen anywhere.
As if we needed more proof that the “wisdom” of the “free” market is in fact heartless and blind to many human values, especially artistic and cultural ones…I could put on my media-studies cap and talk about the endangered status of quality curatorial voices in our present-day atomized infoscape, but instead I’ll go check my bank account and order some back issues.
— Jerome Harris
Brooklyn, New York
It was with much sadness that I read about your decision to discontinue the publication of your magazine. There have been a number of times when I have felt compelled to write to you and tell you how much I appreciate No Depression. Not until now have I done so.
I have been a reader of No Depression for a long time. You made my life better. Honest. It always brought me joy when I opened my mailbox and your magazine was there. I read it from cover to cover.
There will a void now. All good things come to an end, and, evidently, it is time for you to quit. Thank you and best of luck to you.
— Mike Doll
Dodge City, Kansas
Since the notice of foreclosure on hope arrived, I’ve been sitting here in melancholy marinade… Without an issue or subscription of No Depression magazine, I feel like Charlie Brown waiting at his mailbox on Valentine’s Day, wondering why at this point, I even need a mailbox.
I thank you for not just a beautiful magazine, but for all the hard work that you and the No Depression staff put into each issue. It is art, it is knowledge, it is trust, not just an impulse magazine, or part of a store shelf space riddle, or a business formula equation.
I thank you for letting my thoughts and writing grace your issues of No Depression. While some see it as “Letters to the Editor,” I view it as a privilege. It is nice to feel respected somewhere, and I am eternally grateful for your compliment.
— Scott Michael Anderson
Windsor, New York
Sorry to hear the news. Y’all are my source for music. Hell, I actually would get my issue in the mail and make a list of what I was going to buy at Sounds Familiar in Columbia, South Carolina. I’m not a downloader so I actually still bought all my CDs.
Thanks for everything and I wish all of you good luck. I sure hope there is some way to make a comeback or at least another forum for you to keep up the good work. Hell, charge more, I’ll sure pay it.
— Danny Owens
Columbia, South Carolina
Probably three-fourths of my non-classical CD library owes its existence to your articles, reviews and adds. Many, many thanks. You all will be missed.
— Harry Freiberg
What will we do without you? I even read all the damn advertisements, for God’s sake!
— Peter Kraemer
Silver Spring, Maryland
As a subscriber since the early days, I owe you guys a hell of a lot for all the steers you gave me towards good-quality music that I’d never otherwise have heard or even heard about.
— Tom O’Mahony
Thank you for being a reliable part of my world. Thank you for not being anti- or unpolitical, but for taking a stand which from a European point of view probably has often been more understandable than from your readers at home. Thank you for bringing parts of my second home (I graduated from Central High School in Minneapolis in 1981) to my heart on a bimonthly basis. You represent an America that I seem to get to terms with rather easily and which I fell in love with once — selfish, I know! Thank you for all the interviews with my heroes of “alterna country” or whatever you might call it. You have done a great job and it makes me sad to see you go.
Let the wind take your troubles away!
— Stephan Feller
From my perspective on the other side of the Atlantic in the U.K., your magazine has been essential reading for pursuing my passion and enthusiasm for what became defined as alt.country. I was extremely fortunate and grateful to be handed my first issue in Nashville in 1996 by Mike Delevante, the Steve Earle Vol. 1 No. 3 issue. Contents included early ads for the first Whiskeytown CD, Wayne Hancock’s Thunderstorms And Neon Signs, a full-page ad for Dale Watson’s Beer Joint Jamboree, short pieces on BR549 and Richmond Fontaine, not to mention the Steve Earle long cut. All of these have become main players in our household and we’ve enjoyed numerous nights out to see these guys perform here in Blighty!
The pages of ND have continued to be inspirational and the reviews and articles have broadened my experience of this diverse and expanding genre for which I say a huge thank you! You will be leaving a very large black hole in the appreciation and promotion of this area of the music industry.
— Phil Lewis
Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom
It’s a sad, sad day. Somebody play “$1000 Wedding”. Glad I saved all my back issues; guess I will just re-read them all. Good luck to you and the entire No D crew in whatever you decide to do. You will all be missed.
— Marc Mendelson
San Francisco, California
I just want to express my sadness and shock at the news. My initial reaction was: Please double my subscription cost and I’ll gladly pre-pay five years of annual fees if that would help keep ND in business. Of course that’s way too simple and naive. I’ve relied on the magazine for many years now to keep me clued into quality music that means something. It’s difficult to imagine who or what can fill the void. It’s a strange or worrisome world that can’t support such an excellent magazine.
I want to thank you and everyone connected with ND for the all the great years. You all accomplished a great thing with the magazine and it will be sorely missed.
— Steve Godfrey
It was with great sadness that I read your opening words in my latest issue of your fantastic magazine. I know I speak for thousands when I say I’d hate to see you go by the wayside. Unlike all the other slick music mags out there, you delved into the real world of meaningful music — and I’m glad there still is some out there. You spoke straight from the heart — you walked the line — if you’ll allow me those words.
Thanks to you guys, I’ve searched out and found some great music that I otherwise probably would never have known about. I believe you help a lot of artists by getting their name and story out there. We need to keep the music going. The world would be a sadder place without you.
— Ken LaPorte
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
I will reluctantly face detox after I have read the last issue. Over the past 10 years my cravings for the next ND would build until I had the new issue in hand. Then, like no other magazine before…I would feast from kiver to kiver…savoring the morsels of information and insights. No other publication has kept me in the wider know! My grief process has begun. At my age and stage I don’t think there will be anything else to follow that fulfilled me like ND did. What kept me captivated was that you always stayed contrary to ordinary.
— Tim Willis
Clemson, South Carolina
I’m another one of those middle-aged music geeks who has devoured nearly every one of your magazines for the last dozen-plus years. I feel a whole lot of gratitude for the connection you’ve given me with a musical community of folks with similar passion for the American musical underground, not just in terms of musical tastes but also for the subtler aesthetics of stellar writing, long in-depth articles, historical awareness, cool pictures/graphics, and the fact that it could be enjoyed away from the damn computer.
Your magazine was, in my biased opinion, the best damn magazine in the world. I write software for a living, but grow increasingly frustrated with the technological directions of the music industry, and for that matter, the world in general, and your magazine has always been a big bright spot in the changing face of the music industry.
— Kevin Brown
I can’t tell you how sad it made me to hear the news of your imminent demise. Your magazine has been an oasis for me. Other mags have covered some of the same artists but opening No Depression was like going in to a special old room and closing the door and seeing all your friends there. You pulled together a community that gave Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and Porter Wagoner new audiences and gave us a clubhouse where we could explore guitar-driven country rock from the Jayhawks to the Drive-By Truckers.
Personally, it revived a feeling of comradeship in music that I hadn’t felt since Hit Parader in the ’60s and early ’70s Rolling Stone. I counted on that every other month.
— Pat Fitzgerald
How can there be no depression in a world in which No Depression is no more? With the possible exception of Harp, your magazine is the last bastion of quality music journalism out there. Without it, I might never have known bands like the Drive-By Truckers and Old Crow Medicine Show existed. I’ve been a subscriber for almost a decade, and I can’t imagine how I’m going to get my bi-monthly fix without it.
— Shawn Cote
Fort Fairfield, Maine
Probably the #1 question asked of most musicians is, “Who is your biggest influence?” And nearly every answer is different, whether it’s a favorite band they listened to growing up or a friend or relative that taught them how to sing or play guitar. I have answered this question many times myself. I would usually name a few artists or songwriters whose music I loved and I felt had some bearing on my musical direction. But recently I have rethought who my biggest influence is.
This week, I found out that my favorite music magazine is ending its run of publication… I am crushed. No Depression has opened my eyes and ears to a ton of killer songwriters and artists since I bought my first issue back in 1997. I read about artists like Lucinda Williams, Whiskeytown, Malcombe Holcombe, Son Volt, Gillian Welch, Buddy Miller, Old Crow Medicine Show, and the list goes on forever. I can’t even begin to name all of the artists whose CD I bought after reading about them in ND. No Depression was my musical compass of sorts as I found my way through the world of alt.country, Americana, and other styles of music that were covered in each issue.
This brings back to my early point. When I’m asked who is my biggest influence, I will simply say “No Depression, the magazine that led me to the music that has shaped my songwriting and my life.”
— Dan Conn