No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

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Hugh Akston
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No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by Hugh Akston » 26 Mar 2019, 18:15

A thread for anything that doesn't fit under the heading of mainstream or pop country: alt country, neo folk, Americana, Red Dirt, indie folk, prog country(?), whathaveyou.
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Re: No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by Hugh Akston » 26 Mar 2019, 18:16

This is not a new song by any means, but it's new to me and I have been listening to it nonstop the past few days.

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Re: No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by Hugh Akston » 26 Mar 2019, 19:04

While we're on the subject of the slide guitar, this is my absolute favorite Neko Case song/performance, from her appearance on ACL:

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Re: No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by Andrew » 26 Mar 2019, 19:42

Number 6 wrote:
26 Mar 2019, 18:06
Any recommendations for good alt-country stuff?
Are you brand-new to the genre and looking for the must-haves, well-versed and looking for new stuff, or somewhere in-between?
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Re: No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by Number 6 » 26 Mar 2019, 19:54

Andrew wrote:
26 Mar 2019, 19:42
Number 6 wrote:
26 Mar 2019, 18:06
Any recommendations for good alt-country stuff?
Are you brand-new to the genre and looking for the must-haves, well-versed and looking for new stuff, or somewhere in-between?
I'm pretty familiar with older outlaw country, as well as a bit of the red dirt stuff. But other than that, I'm pretty new to the genre.
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Re: No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by lunchstealer » 26 Mar 2019, 20:02

While I mostly view the genre from afar, I am led to believe that these qualify:



Although that kinda presages the country-as-hair-metal thing.

This may be more classically alt-country:

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Re: No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by Andrew » 26 Mar 2019, 20:38

I found this 164-song playlist on youtube to be a helpful source of new bands: Ameripolitan 2018 nominees. They definitely aren't all winners, but there are a solid number of good songs in there.

If you want some classic jaw-dropping pedal steel work (and Telecaster work), look for the Speedy West/Jimmy Bryant albums. Here's Stratosphere Boogie, Flippin the Lid and Fretting Fingers (the Telecaster on this one will make you sweat). They were limited to ~2 minutes in the studio, but here's a 6-minute song where they kept going after the engineers told them to stop. Some of the fastest guitar playing I've ever heard, and it's from the mid-50s.

dbcooper got me into this one: No Other by Gene Clark (formerly of The Byrds). It's like an album-length version of "Sunday Morning Coming Down" with the production turned up to 11.
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Re: No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by Number 6 » 26 Mar 2019, 20:42

Thanks to both of you. That should keep me going for at least a few days.
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Re: No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by thoreau » 26 Mar 2019, 21:11

I'm not sure if this is pop country or not, but it definitely isn't nostalgia for warm summer nights and trucks.

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Re: No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by thoreau » 26 Mar 2019, 21:13

This one by her is also pretty good:

"They were basically like D&D min maxers, but instead of pissing off their DM, they destroyed the global economy. Also, instead of their DM making a level 7 paladin fight a beholder as punishment, he got a +3 sword of turning."
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Re: No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by Andrew » 26 Mar 2019, 23:16

Number 6 wrote:
26 Mar 2019, 20:42
Thanks to both of you. That should keep me going for at least a few days.
You mentioned being into outlaw country, so I assume you're aware of Townes Van Zandt. Along those lines, there is also John Prine, John Hiatt, and Lyle Lovett. If you're a fan of The Band, Levon Helm's Dirt Farmer and Electric Dirt are both good Americana albums.

The 4 Jayhawks albums from 86 to 95 are all essential alt-country.

For late 60s/early 70s country rock:
Everything that Gram Parsons was involved in (International Submarine Band, Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, 2 albums with Emmylou Harris)
The Beau Brummels - Bradley's Barn
The Grateful Dead - Workingman's Dead and American Beauty
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Will the Circle Be Unbroken
New Riders of the Purple Sage - Self-Titled, Powerglide, and Panama Red
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Re: No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by Solitudinarian » 26 Mar 2019, 23:20

Townes Van Zandt, absolutely, but let’s not forget Guy Clark.
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Re: No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 27 Mar 2019, 01:57

Yes, Townes, definitely Townes.

I don't know whether they qualify as country, alt, outlaw or otherwise -- I gave up on genres when the theme music to Justified was done by a group called Gangstagrass -- but also, if they haven't been mentioned yet, definitely T Bone Burnett, Lucinda Williams, James McMurtry, the ever amusing Todd Snider, and when you just need that slight extra boost to send you into a suicidal depression, Cowboy Junkies.

More old-school, e.g., Ray Wylie Hubbard, Billy Joe Shaver, etc. upon request.

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Re: No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by Tuco » 27 Mar 2019, 04:26

You can never have too much Neko. If you like dark stuff, Jason Molina (Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Company, Pyramid Electric Company) is the guy. I still miss him.

I risk the wrath of online mobs by recommending Ryan Adams right now, but Whiskeytown are as essential as the Jayhawks, Old 97s, or Son Volt.

Anybody else familiar with The Thrift Store Cowboys?

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Re: No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by Dangerman » 27 Mar 2019, 09:57

*cracks knuckles*

Drive-by Truckers brought a lot of dirt-poor southern rock/outlaw country out of Mussel Shoals and the album "Decoration Day" deserves a listen by anyone. Also, Jason Isbell writes a lot of their best stuff (IMhO) and he goes on to have his own entry later.



"Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the world and I'll stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that," said Steve Earle



I've been enjoying some Tyler Childers lately.



Back to Jason Isbell. He wrote songs and played with Drive-by Truckers on at least three of their best albums, then left to complete a solo record and several albums with his band, the 400 Unit. He's a TREMENDOUS songwriter and an underrated guitarist and composer. This performance has horns added to the score which I've never really heard from him before. It's very good.


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Re: No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by lunchstealer » 27 Mar 2019, 10:31

I’ve always thought of Old 97s as their own weird monster, and they’re definitely on the rock side of the divide, but they make sense for the genre. I’ve heard Wilco described as alt-country but that always seemed weird to me.

Would Reverend Horton Heat qualify? I mean, I know he’s firmly psychobilly, but is that a sub genre?
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Re: No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by Dangerman » 27 Mar 2019, 11:39

I left out the Rev. on the grounds that rockabilly isn't really alt-country. Hank III fits just on the line because outlaw country, and he's with listening to if you think you might like it, because you might.

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Re: No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by Jasper » 27 Mar 2019, 13:38

Don't know if Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats belongs, but I've been listening to him quite a lot lately. Most of his stuff is rather melancholy or bittersweet in theme, I guess, so maybe the "No Depression" thing disqualifies.
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Re: No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by Kwix » 27 Mar 2019, 15:48

Mike West, classifies as "leveebilly". Got his start in New Orleans, now of Lawrence, KS.



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Re: No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by Hugh Akston » 27 Mar 2019, 16:41

Jasper wrote:
27 Mar 2019, 13:38
Don't know if Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats belongs, but I've been listening to him quite a lot lately. Most of his stuff is rather melancholy or bittersweet in theme, I guess, so maybe the "No Depression" thing disqualifies.
Much alt-country deals with themes of hardship and melancholy. No Depression is just the name of the current journal and former magazine dedicated to alt-country and roots music.
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Re: No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by Jasper » 27 Mar 2019, 18:22

Ah, thanks. I obvs had no idea. Will check it out.
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Re: No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by Hugh Akston » 27 Mar 2019, 19:44

If you plan to check out Lyle Lovett, which is highly recommed, the Road to Ensenada is probably his best album.

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Re: No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by Hugh Akston » 15 Apr 2019, 02:43

Lydia Loveless strikes me as a sort of alt-country Courtney Barnett, in that her songs contain a lot of bitterness and anxiety but not a lot of melody.

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Re: No Depression - The (alt) Country Music Thread

Post by Tuco » 15 Apr 2019, 06:06

Good stuff.

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