By: Dennis Cook
"I pour into my soul into my song/ Playing for the people all night long/ I work hard for my money and I want it now/ Don't make me have to tear your juke joint down." Thus opens Chris Knight's sixth album, Heart of Stone (released September 2 on Drifter's Church Productions). Singing like a significantly more gnarled, road worn John Mellencamp or Guy Clark, Knight sounds like life has sucked some of the marrow out of him and it's made him a lil' mean, a lil' sharp, a lil' hard. It works well with his tales of homesick gypsies, old cars and battered hearts. If you've ever been really pissed off or busted-ass broke then you're gonna connect with Knight's music. Backed by a muscular, non-flashy roots rock band, Knight turns out one dead good song after another. Ain't nothin' fancy about what he does but it doesn't need sparkle when the punches land with such a satisfying thud. Producer Dan Baird (Georgia Satellites) keeps everything on the straight and narrow, letting things rattle and buck like a horse not quite ready to be broken. When the album does settle, as on the sad, fiddle stroked dust kicker's waltz "Danville," you feel the true weight of living in every line. The weathered skin of this release, the goddamn density of it, well, it's palpable as hell. When so many songwriters today are tissue paper distractions it's a real gift to come across one with the solidity, class and bloodied soul of Chris Knight. Heart of Stone is a damn fine record. Simple as that.
JamBase | Where The Rubber Meets The Road
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