Archive for the Chris Knight Category

Notes: One Wild Weekend Ahead

Posted in Allison Moorer, Brendon James Wright, Chris Knight, Gillian Welch, Justin Townes Earle, Kasey Chambers, Shane Nicholson, Steve Earle, The Felice Brothers, The Steeldrivers, Van Eaton and Friends on August 13, 2009 by AmericanaPulse
This is a HUGE musical weekend in Knoxville, and I’ll tell you all about it… but first…

***I want to start off this post by wishing a Happy Anniversary to Steve Earle and Allison Moorer. The Americana power couple celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary on Tuesday.

I still remember when I first heard the rumours that the two were becoming involved with each other. In fact, I think I probably had the info a little sooner than most outside observers. I got the scoop from my music director at the time, who had heard it directly from an “industry insider,” who probably got it from Allison’s hairdresser’s cousin’s friend. That’s the way these things typically get started… right?

Anyway, I quickly dismissed the rumours as false. He was too old for her, and she was too pretty for him. It couldn’t be true.

Only, it was. And it is. And they still seem to be going strong. So here’s to four years together for Steve and Allison. May there be many more happy years and great music in their future. Here’s a tune Steve Earle wrote about his bride. It comes from 2008’s Washington Square Serenade.

Steve Earle: Sparkle & Shine (Buy Album)

***Now… on to this weekend’s festivities. It’s one of those weekends where you get really excited once you hear of all the shows, and all of the artists, that are coming to town, and then immediately get upset once you realize that there is no way to see them all. It almost breaks my heart to list all the acts I won’t be seeing this weekend.

It starts Thursday night when Brendan James Wright and the Wrongs play a free show as part of the new “Old City Live” concert series. I’m working late at my day job Thursday night… so no show for me.

Friday night is even worse. Chris Knight just added a date at The Shed in Maryville, and there’s also this thing at the World’s Fair Park called The Big Surprise Tour… maybe you’ve heard of it. The Old Crow Medicine Show, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, Justin Townes Earle, and The Felice Brothers. Apparently, it’s one of those shows where everybody plays with everybody else and no two shows are the same. It’s a once in a lifetime show with a once in a lifetime collection of talent… and I’ll on the air at WDVX and completely unable to attend.
Never fear though… Payton from This Mornin’ I am Born Again is making the trip from Texas to Tennessee for the Big Surprise show. I’m sure he’ll share his impressions of the show with us once he makes it back to Texas. In the meantime, you can go to his site to hear some live tracks from the Big Surprise participants.

***Saturday night, I finally get to see a show for myself when Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson come to the Bijou Theatre. I’m choosing not to think about the fact that I have to miss out on seeing my friends Van Eaton of Van Eaton and Friends and Chris Stapleton of The Steeldrivers play as part of Stringtime in the Smokies to do it.

Instead, I’m looking forward to finally meeting the artist who probably did more than any other in terms of pulling me into the world of Americana Music. She introduced me to so many great artists, and literally changed my musical world. I’m fairly certain that I would not be writing this blog or working at WDVX if not for my first chance encounter with her music. I’ll be able to thank her for that on Saturday. What’s more… I’ll get to introduce her to the crowd at the Bijou as well. I’ll be emceeing the show.
It almost makes up for missing everything else this weekend.
Here’s one from Kasey and Shane’s 2008 release Rattlin’ Bones (one of my favorites of ’08), and a live track of Kasey covering Lucinda Williams’ “Changed the Locks.”
Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson: Once in a While (Buy Album)
Kasey Chambers: Changed the Locks (Buy Music)

Friday Top 5: Chris Knight

Posted in Chris Knight, Top 5 on September 5, 2008 by AmericanaPulse

Chris Knight played Knoxville last night with The Hackensaw Boys. I was, unfortunately, unable to attend due to this thing I have called a job. Nevertheless… Chris Knight’s appearance in Knoxville last night, coupled with the release of his new CD, Heart of Stone has inspired me to revisit my Chris Knight collection this week.

For this week’s Top five, I will be dipping into Knight’s back catalogue… nothing from the new CD is on the list. It’s still a little too fresh right now for me to really tell if anything will crack the list. There are several contenders, though… I posted a few of them in my review of the album here

“Love and a .45,” “It Ain’t Easy Being Me,” and “Framed” come from Knight’s self-titled debut album from 1998. “Becky’s Bible” can be found on 2001’s A Pretty Good Guy while “The Jealous Kind” is the title track from Knight’s 2003 release.

All of these songs are very representative of Knight’s writing style in that they all tell a story of someone who is desperate or down on their luck. The jilted lover of “The Jealous Kind” could easily be the same unjustly(?) accused killer from “Framed.” In “Becky’s Bible,” a poker game gone wrong leads our hero to look for salvation while running from the police. The protagonist from “It Ain’t Easy Being Me” just can’t seem to make the right choices, while the cop from “Love and a .45” makes a questionable choice himself.

The characters in these songs are mostly unlikeable. They are killers, prostitutes, dirty dealers, and jealous lovers… people you would probably distance yourself from in real life. In Knight’s hands, though, you can feel empathy for their situations and hope for them to come out on top. That’s not an easy thing to do, but Knight does it with ease.

Chris Knight: The Jealous Kind (Buy Album)
Chris Knight: Love and a .45 (Buy Album)
Chris Knight: It Ain’t Easy Being Me (Buy Album)
Chris Knight: Framed (Buy Album)
Chris Knight: Becky’s Bible (Buy Album)

Chris Knight: Heart of Stone

Posted in Chris Knight on August 10, 2008 by AmericanaPulse

“Pour my soul into my songs.
Play ’em for the people all night long.
Work hard for my money and I want it now.
Don’t make me have to tear your juke joint down.”

The opening verse of “Home Sick Gypsy,” the leadoff track to Chris Knight’s upcoming CD Heart of Stone (August 19, Drifter’s Church Productions), sets the tone for the album and also gives a bit of an insight into Knight himself. Chris Knight is a hard working, hard traveling, performing songwriter with a growl in his voice that sounds like it’s been honed by playing several late night gigs in smokey barrooms out on the road. And while the song may not be entirely autobiographical… you’ll excuse Knight if he’s wanted to tear down a juke joint or two in his time.
“Gypsy” is propelled by the same type of dirty roots-rock riff that Knight has perfected over the years. The same feel and energy is carried through onto most of the tracks on this album and is especially present on tracks like “Hell Ain’t Half Full,” “Another Dollar,” and “Marie.”

A rare quiet moment comes on the track “Crooked Road.” “Crooked Road” plays to another one of Knight’s stregnths as a songwriter. Knight has an uncanny ability to fully capture all the important elements of a story with his lyrics. He is especially gifted at portraying the plight of the downtrodden, the common man who has fallen on hard times. In this song, the protagonist has lost his son, and his wife’s peace of mind, to a West Virginia coal mine. He struggles to deal with the loss of the first even while trying to recapture the other.

Fans of Chris Knight will find a lot to like on Heart of Stone. Newcomers should too, for that matter. The album plays to Knight’s stregnths and boasts twelve really strong tracks. Three of them are included here.

Chris Knight: Home Sick Gypsy (Buy Album)
Chris Knight: Heart of Stone (Buy Album)
Chris Knight: Crooked Road (Buy Album)

Update: The release date of Heart of Stone has been pushed back to Sept. 2.