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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.
|Label:||Fontana Mca N'ville|
Performance CreditsChris Knight Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Tim Krekel Harmonica
Marilyn Martin Background Vocals
Phil Madeira Hammond Organ
Glen Duncan Fiddle
Eric Darken Percussion
Richard Bennett Acoustic Guitar,Bouzouki,Electric Guitar,tiple
Chad Cromwell Drums
Dan Dugmore Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Steel Guitar,Multi Instruments
Kenny Greenberg Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Multi Instruments
David Grissom Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Tony Harrell Accordion,Hand Organ,Mellotron,Pump Organ
Russ Pahl Steel Guitar
Michael Rhodes Bass
Tammy Rogers Viola
Glenn Worf Bass
Kenny Meeks Background Vocals
Christy Seamans Background Vocals
Michael Rhoades Bass,Drums
Technical CreditsPhil Madeira Contributor
Greg Droman Producer,Engineer
Kenny Greenberg Contributor
Buddy Miller Contributor
Dan Leffler Engineer
Joe Hayden Engineer
Frank Liddell Producer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I'M NOT ONE FOR LISTING TO COUNTRY MUSIC BUT MY BROTHER GOT THIS ALBUM TO LISTEN TO AND HE TOLD ME IT WAS GOOD. MOST OF THE SONGS THAT CHRIS KNIGHT SANG RELATED TO HIM. DON'T TURN DOWN A ALBUM JUST CUZ YOU DON'T LIKE A CERTAIN TYPE OF MUSIC.
Every once in a while, one of those albums come around that are solid from start to finish. I love this cd, and would label it as one of my desert island picks. If I was stranded on a desert island with only a few cd's, THIS would be one of them.