Hello Stranger from Issue #12
Well, let the backlash begin.
Peter and I have been telling interviewers ever since we started this magazine that there was no litmus test, no imposed orthodoxy, no sacred degrees of separation from Uncle Tupelo underlying its content. No, for better or for worse, No Depression is and hopefully always will be a magazine guided by the music which engages its two editors.
As in: Stuff we like.
Not necessarily stuff we BOTH liketheres surprisingly little of that. Just stuff we like.
And so it is that our covers move from Robbie Fulks, whos yet to sell his first 10,000 discs, to Ricky Skaggs, whos had a decade or more of mainstream success. Jon Weisbergers introduction is as eloquent a defense of Skaggs presence in this magazine as needs be made, though it pains me to realize I feel some kind of defense need be made at all.
And yet I will add this, too. Without Ricky Skaggsand Robbie Fulks, for that matterthis magazine wouldnt exist. See, back in the early 80s when punk rock had lost its ability to speak to me (for the first time, anyway), and I was in the midst of an unhappy half-assed stab at yuppiedom…duh, you dont wear long hair and a beard if youre trying to get next to people with money…thats when I fell into country music.
Raised on folk and bluegrass (and Mozart and Zappa), it wasnt much of a leap. But there on the radio was Skaggs and the Whites and the Judds and Randy Travis and I dont remember who-all else, and it was just what I needed, sitting at night in that office on the water, working for people who would go on to file bankruptcy and watching those rich folks tinker with their yachts.
That phase ended soon enough, and there I was pumping the star-making machine of grunge from an editorial desk in Seattle. Straggling through the mail came the first two Diesel Only compilations, and the first offering from Bloodshot. Enter Robbie Fulks. Enter, if slowly, the germ of an idea which several years later became my half of the geneis of this magazine.