Modern Sounds of the Knitters

The Modern Sounds of the Knitters

by The Knitters
     
 
It's been 19 years since the Knitters -- a country-tinged offshoot of X with guitarist Dave Alvin and bassist Johnny Ray Bartel in tow -- released Poor Little Critter on the Road. In the meantime, alternative country -- an unfamiliar phrase in 1986 -- has become a recognized

Overview

It's been 19 years since the Knitters -- a country-tinged offshoot of X with guitarist Dave Alvin and bassist Johnny Ray Bartel in tow -- released Poor Little Critter on the Road. In the meantime, alternative country -- an unfamiliar phrase in 1986 -- has become a recognized genre. The title of the new album, The Modern Sounds of the Knitters, is something of a joke then: first, because there's nothing modern about the Knitters; and second, because alternative country is now a modern sound. The new album lacks the surprise of the first, the sheer oddity of a rock band making a country album. Most listeners, then, are going to listen to The Modern Sounds of the Knitters in the context of Wilco or Lucinda Williams or dozens of other performers covered in No Depression. In that context, two things stand out about the Knitters. First, the band has two solid lead singers, John Doe and Exene, whose voices work great together, and secondly, the guitar work by Alvin is always bright and rocking (even though the album is country-tinged). Still, it would be a shame if The Modern Sounds of the Knitters was just filed under country, alternative or otherwise. The band is simply too hip, and its country-rockabilly-folk sound -- modern or otherwise -- is too fresh to be lumped in with yet another No Depression band on the make. Authenticity is a beautiful thing, but unless a group can bring something new to old songs -- as the Knitters do to "Long Chain On" or "Give Me Flowers While I'm Living" -- then why bother? Of course, listening to Doe and Exene's voices intertwine will have listeners breaking out their old X albums. Certain slower songs, like "Little Margaret," are a bit milquetoast, but the Knitters more than make up for it by closing with a killer version of "Born to Be Wild." Perhaps it just takes a group of players less encased in the modern sounds of alternative country to make a lively, buoyant album like The Modern Sounds of the Knitters.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/12/2005
Label:
Zoe Records
UPC:
0601143105722
catalogNumber:
431057

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Knitters   Primary Artist
Dave Alvin   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Steel Guitar,Guitar (Baritone),Group Member
Exene Cervenka   Vocals,Group Member
John Doe   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Slide Guitar
Don Bonebrake   Percussion,Snare Drums,Rubboard,Washtub Bass,Group Member
Johnny Ray Bartel   String Bass,Group Member
Jonny Ray Bartel   Double Bass

Technical Credits

Exene Cervenka   Arranger,Composer
John Doe   Audio Production
Knitters   Composer,Audio Production
Mars Bonfire   Composer
Albert E. Brumley   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Diana J. Bonebrake   Artwork
Craig Adams   Engineer

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