Chris Knight

Chris Knight isn't exactly the American noble savage, but like fellow Kentuckians such as photographer Shelby Lee Adams and author Chris Offut, he offers movingly detailed portraits of life as it's really lived in Appalachia. His tiny, aptly named hometown of Slaughters (where Knight still lives, despite Nashville record and publishing deals) provides both cogent tales and a vivid context for his rugged story songs. And he may well be one of the last country songwriters who actually writes about the country, and rather eloquently to boot, imbuing his restless and sometimes reckless characters with a genuine nobility. On his last two albums, produced by one-time Georgia Satellite Dan Baird, he's created an authentic country-rock Americana with compositions carved from the oaken folk-song root and whittled into true musical folk art. Yep, Knight's the real deal, free of any artifice, and his stuff runs over the current Nashvegas crap and the faux-country poses of most all of the alt-country crowd like a pickup truck speeding home from the bar after Saturday night's last call.
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Rob Patterson

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