EVEN AFTER TEN years we are still obliged to explain just what No Depression might be. Hence the disc in your hands. Chronologically, then: A Carter Family song from the 1930s, the title track to Uncle Tupelo’s 1990 debut album, the name of an early internet discussion board, and an independently published American music magazine. This compilation is our second audio attempt to introduce ourselves, and is meant to serve as a companion piece to the second bound anthology produced on that same errand, The Best Of No Depression: Writing About American Music, published the fall of 2005 by the University of Texas Press. These songs, then, go with some of the stories within that book. Not all of the stories, for there isn’t room on one disc for all those songs, and not every track one might wish to show off is available for licensing. We have chosen music that seemed central to those stories, representative of the artist, or, occasionally, simply songs that had not been broadly distributed which we felt emboldened to share. One never knows how these things will turn out until they’re done. This turns out to be a suite of mostly sad songs about leaving and longing and what comes after. Maybe they’re even a little depressing, but they’re also beautiful pieces of work. The second half of the record is marked by vocal pairings — Johnny & Rosanne, Hazel & Alice, Caitlin & Ryan, Billy Joe & Eddy, Joe & Jimmie, Johnny & June — not by design, but sometimes the pieces just fall into place on their own. We’re simply happy to have them all here.
— PETER BLACKSTOCK (POULSBO, WA) & GRANT ALDEN (MOREHEAD, KY)