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Last Night: Chris Knight at the Mucky Duck

Random impressions of Chris Knight’s full band show last night at the Mucky Duck: Even though the club was packed to the rafters, for Knight it was just another Tuesday night in another town. Little wonder he started the evening with homesick rocker lines like “Man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do / To bring that money back home to you.” Fuck all the old Steve Earle comparison shit that dogged Knight for years – Knight is way more roadhouse ready than Earle’s ever been (it’ll be a cold day in hell when Knight references The Beatles White Album or Rubber Soul).

Given the number of ball caps in the crowd, there was little surprise when a surprisingly rowdy Mucky Duck crowd was heard above the din singing along with lines like “.22 holes in a beer can.” After rocking his band awake and knocking off the road rust, Knight took it down a notch into quiet and serious mode with “Enough Rope.” It took the shushers two stanzas to finally get the dickheads at the bar to shut up, but by the time Knight finished you could hear a pin drop; the quieter it got, the harder he leaned in to the song.

Despite a drummer who at times seemed like the perfect candidate for the next state sponsored rhythm lobotomy, Knight kept pulling the band together for rousing stomps like “Highway Junkie,” and the Houston crowd knew every word of “Oil Patch Town” and turned it into a boisterous singalong. Knight cracked the place up with his comment “the Internet, that’s some evil shit, y’all” as he introduced “Crooked Road,” a song he said “I’ll never record, but that a bunch of skinny ass kids have recorded at my shows and put out there on the Internet for anybody to download.” As the show wound to a close amid cries of “play some old shit,” Knight left everyone begging for more with “It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Me” from his first album. -- William Michael Smith

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