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The Spring 2017 issue of No Depression, “Heartland,” explores the stories and music that thumps, picks, and breathes between the coasts. While mainstream music critics focus on cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville to learn about rising stars and buzzworthy music, artists in cities like Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, Omaha, and Iowa City are making some of the purest, most honest roots music around. What’s more, artists from the coasts are increasingly touring the heartland — and some are even moving there — to find inspiration in the region’s big skies, honest people, and rich musical legacies.
Dolly Parton, working class feminist
Bob Dylan’s Midwest roots
Heartland rock via John Mellencamp, Melissa Etheridge, Kansas, and more
The enduring legacy of Hee Haw
The unknown story of Indiana’s Gennett Records
Native American hip-hop and Standing Rock
Chicago and Austin’s musical exchange
Over the Rhine
Local music in Montana and Ohio
Music venues in the Upper Midwest
Cover art by Greta Songe
Archival photographs: Hee Haw and Gennett Records
Illustrations by Justin Marable, Colin Sutherland, Drew Christie, and Jenny Ritter