No Depression is a semiannual, high-end, ad-free print magazine with a concurrent online publication.
After seven years out of print, as we celebrated the publication’s 20th anniversary, No Depression returned to the page in Fall 2015 with an inaugural issue featuring in-depth long-form articles and artist profiles, original illustrations, and stunning photography. There are no ads and no outside distribution – instead, readers can purchase the new magazine directly from this website.
Speaking of this website, nodepression.com has been a lively stomping ground for dedicated music fans since 2009. Most of our contributions come from readers just like you; we also commission professional journalists for monthly cover stories and employ a modest stable of regular columnists and a small crew of staff reviewers.
No Depression is brought to you by the same people who bring you FreshGrass, a groundbreaking roots music festival that takes place every Fall on the mind-boggling grounds of Mass MoCA, in North Adams, MA.
No Depression saw its first print incarnation in 1995, when founding co-editors Peter Blackstock and Grant Alden launched a quarterly magazine named for an online message board that served the then burgeoning alt-country movement. That message board was named for a Carter Family song that pioneering alt-country band Uncle Tupelo covered as the title track for its 1990 debut album. Blackstock and Alden thought the phrase “No Depression” lent itself nicely to the way roots music grows its branches. They wanted to ensure their magazine didn’t just capitalize on a trend, but set out instead to dig deeply into the links between old and new, tradition and innovation, and shed light on the connections that hold the music – and, in turn, this music community – together.
Fueled by their passion for both the music and high-quality long-form journalism, Blackstock and Alden as well as publisher Kyla Fairchild drove ND through a successful 13-year print run, evolving with the times as the magazine became a definitive force that helped solidify the importance of Americana and roots music on the national stage.
In 2008, with record stores (ND’s largest outlet for distribution) closing and ad sales dropping, the editors and publisher decided it was time to move on. Blackstock and Alden published three bookazines through the University of Texas Press, and Fairchild steered No Depression into new territory with a community website.
For the first five years as an online-only entity (2009-2014), the ND community had no writers or editors on staff; all our content came from a vibrant group of dedicated users, managed by Fairchild and Community Manager Kim Ruehl. Then, in early 2014, Fairchild moved on to other things, and FreshGrass – a festival and roots music foundation – took the reins, giving us the opportunity to hire an editor (Ruehl) and a handful of editorial and technical staffers.
Now, back in print and with a staff of ND writers in our ranks once again, we look forward to more high-quality ad-free magazines and all the stories we’ve yet to tell about the music we’ve yet to hear.