We already mentioned it in print, but this one merits a reminder: The Knitters, the alt-country spinoff of legendary L.A. punk rock band X, make a rare area appearance tonight at Dan's Silverleaf. John Doe and Exene Cervenka, the founding members of X, started The Knitters way back in 1982 before the term "alt-country" even existed because both Doe and Cervenka wanted an outlet for their obvious love of old-school folk and country.
The Knitter's 1985 debut, Poor Little Critter on the Road, featured country versions of X standards ("The New World") alongside killer covers (Merle Haggard's "Silver Wings"). It didn't hurt that Doe recruited guitarist Dave Alvins of The Blasters to add some roots credibility to the effort.
It took The Knitters some 20 years to release a follow up, The Modern Sounds of The Knitters, and by that time, the alt-country flood gates had opened and eventually rusted shut.
What was once adventurous had become exceedingly quaint.
Of course, the voices and players are still the same, and Doe and Cervenka still harmonize beautifully. Indeed, these days, the pair's talents would seem better suited to Knitters' material than the punk rock of X. In any case, The Knitters may well have been the first alt-country act, and the band members' love of traditional American music is evident in every song they choose to play.
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Well worth the drive to Denton tonight, for sure.