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Chris Knight

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Album Review

With Chris Knight's debut album, released on MCA Nashville's sister label Decca, critics of the new country sound of the late '90s began to hold out hope that Nashville could return to the genuineness that it had been so lacking for years. That hope was rooted partly in Knight's singing, full of country-rock phrasing clearly modeled after Knight's hero, Steve Earle, but even more so in Knight's songwriting. His flair for describing the lower-middle class in Middle America, their difficulties making a living, and run-ins with the law, evokes Earle and even early Bruce Springsteen. For example, "Love and a .45," co-written with Fred Eaglesmith, describes how two lonely people on opposite sides of the law, a cop and a prostitute, find each other. One of Knight's most literate songs, "The River's Own," details the singer's father's (and ultimately, his own) union with the river that runs by the family farm. And on the album's most poignant song, Knight tells the story of "William," a boy who "grew up hard and mean," beaten by his father, only to inflict some of the same pain on his family as an adult and die in a drugstore robbery. The only problem with this album is the instrumental arrangements. Some of Nashville's top studio musicians perform, and therein lies the rub. While technically proficient, the playing never matches up to the raw energy of Knight's songs. Thus, recording for a major label was a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it gave Knight a chance to be a major force in starting a new trend in country music, but on the other, the music might have been more effective had it been recorded live for a small independent record label.

Customer Reviews

Crossover is not a bad word

Simply check out songs 1 and 2 and you'll see that Chris's songs are genuine. Check out a few more and you might as well buy the album. IMHO the most under-rated country musician out there. If you check out North Dakota (on a later album) and still don't LOVE him then I can't help you...

Knight is a genius

I first heard a blip of Knight on a promo of his concert on XM radio. The hook of one of his songs drove me to discover this artist. Knight tells the story of the downtrodden in a straitforward way that leaves the listner to feel the anguish of everyman. I have not found a song on any album that isn't gritty and raw. A sigh of relief from the Pop country of these times.

THE BEST kept secret in the world of Americana music...

Chris Knight is a lyrical mastermind who has authentic sound. This is as real as country music gets these days. It's about real life, and it's real good.


Born: June 24, 1960 in Slaughters, KY

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Chris Knight is a singer/songwriter from the tiny mining town of Slaughters, KY, whose self-titled debut album invited comparisons to Steve Earle and John Prine. Knight started on his musical journey at just three years old when he requested a plastic guitar for Christmas. At 15, he became more serious when he began teaching himself dozens of John Prine songs on his older brother's guitar. After earning an agriculture degree from Western Kentucky University, Knight went to work in land reclamation,...
Full Bio
Chris Knight, Chris Knight
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Customer Ratings


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