No Depression

Album: No Depression (1990)

Songfacts®:

  • This cover of the 1936 Carter Family tune, (also known as "No Depression In Heaven") served as the title track of Uncle Tupelo's debut album. "I first heard it on an old folk compilation that I dug out of my mom's record collection," fromtman Jay Farrar told American Songwriter magazine. "I think that version was by the New Lost City Ramblers. It just seemed like the sentiment of the song seemed to fit our surroundings."
  • The song sounded as topical during the first Bush Administration as it did during the Great Depression. "That's something I learned later on from Woody Guthrie," Farrar told American Songwriter. "He talks about how people pay more attention if you sing about topical issues. I guess that was what we were trying to do, in our own way. We were trying to encapsulate what we were seeing around us and put it into music."
  • Other artists that have covered the song include the New Lost City Ramblers, The Johnson Mountain Boys and Sheryl Crow.
  • Uncle Tupelo is widely credited as being the founders of the alternative country genre, and No Depression is cited by many as being the first alternative country album. The title has become synonymous with alternative country music, which is covered by many fan publications including the magazine No Depression.

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