In the realm of American roots music, bluegrass is one of the forms with the most contemporary roots. Yet its players and fans carry such a fierce allegiance to it that one of their most frequent debates is whether bluegrass should adhere strictly to tradition or pull it forward. “Bluegrass Beyond” dives into both sides of the argument, exploring the traditions and innovations that have characterized bluegrass music from the beginning. Long features shed light on the modern history of the form through its band leaders, rhythm sections, and the women who have helped move the genre forward for decades. Some of bluegrass’s biggest innovators discuss the future of the genre, even as its sidemen honor its strongest traditions.
In the fall of 1995, No Depression began its run as a quarterly print magazine dedicated to the burgeoning alt-country movement. By the time it went out of print in 2008, it was a bimonthly glossy that had traced the evolution and growth of American roots music over the course of more than a decade. Artists who graced its cover were as variant as Whiskeytown and Allen Toussaint, Ralph Stanley and the Shins, Alison Krauss and Elvis Costello, but the one thing they all had in common was an allegiance to the roots of music that was truly American. These days, that's widely considered Americana, but for the duration of ND's original print run, it was more frequently called "No Depression music."