It would be easy to say Chris Knight seems to be standing still. From album to album, his style doesn't vary much, nor does his subject matter stray far from the themes of his first album: the hardships of country living, the desperate tenuous brutality of relationships, the dangers of trot-lining with the wrong people or hanging out with the wrong woman. But whether Knight is standing still as an artist becomes fairly irrelevant once his new CD Enough Rope encounters the laser beam. Sinister songs like the "River Road," "Bridle on a Bull" and "Jack Blue" mark Knight as one of the best tellers of dark stories in Americana today. When Knight sings "the band don't do nothin' but rock n roll / they ain't learned one new song since 'Bad to the Bone,'" the line between singer and song disappears.
We always hear that writers need to write what they know. Well, Chris Knight knows "beer cans filled with .22 holes," "the river is up and the road is low," and "all the lights are out down on the rural route." When he soulfully delivers lines that indict timber companies for "treatin' my grandfather's land like dirt," it is obvious that Knight resides in that elite class of songwriters that includes Fred Eaglesmith, Guy Clark and other lovably irascible, bull-necked hellraisers who dot the high ground of Americana.
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