20 years ago a not-so-young gun stepped into the music game with a freshman album, it was self-titled like many first releases, but there was something different about this one. The way the plight of the every-man was depicted felt fresh and poetic, rather than old and trashy, and it was near impossible to avoid being roped into the descriptive narratives throughout. Chris Knight had introduced himself and people took notice.
There was some stumbling; his record label folded shortly after the album’s release, but the lack of commercial success doesn’t take anything away from just how good this record is. It includes co-writes with many other talented individuals including Dean Miller, the hit machine that is Craig Wiseman, and fellow gruff alt-country hero Fred Eaglesmith. Recent albums have been self-released, and I think that allows Chris to more effectively tell his stories, which is what is most important.
I have to admit something: I am a bit ashamed to have come into the Chris Knight game late, but consider myself lucky to have come into it TWICE! Let me explain and I promise it won’t happen again.
I first learned of Chris back in about 2007; I was growing bored with the Nashville products, but every once in a while I’d find a glimmer of hope in an unreleased single on a popular album. In this case it was a cover of “It Aint Easy Being Me” by Blake Shelton, a little digging into who wrote it and I found Chris’ self-titled album. Back then it wasn’t as easy to get older music and keep it, and that one ran off on me somehow. I was a scatter-brained kid who was too dumb to really appreciate something like that enough to keep my thumb on it or dig into his newer music.
The second (And last) time I found Chris was a few years back; I had my nose so far into the Texas Country scene for about 4-5 years that I wasn’t looking for new music anywhere else, when that started to feel stale I started looking around. During some Pandora radio playlists I kept hearing this incredibly descriptive song about a guy and his brother going “Down The River”, the impressive body count of this revenge song had be scrambling to find out who it was; enter Chris Knight fandom, chapter two. This time I was hooked for good, but I’ll be damned if I don’t love the thought of finding someone as good as Chris again. Anyone have one of those Men In Black mind eraser things?
Over the years Chris has released more albums, and I believe that the quality of his song-writing has done nothing but grow. While I miss the stacks of dead bodies that some of the early releases discussed, the most recent albums really amped up the descriptive nature of his music, and included a bit more musical variety.
It has been over 5 years since we had a new release from Chris Knight, and I know I’m not the only one chomping at the bit for more of what we love. I usually listen to his music on Spotify on my work computer (Because it’s easier than using my phone that has them all on Itunes), but I have noticed a slow removal of older tunes on Spotify by Chris. What does it mean? Whatever it means, if you are a fan, go out and buy the albums and help make sure this guy fully understands how much we love his music.
It’s too early for retirement Chris; if you wrote a whole album about the nutritional merits of the McDonalds dollar menu I’d buy it, and I doubt I’m the only one.