Chris Knight is a singer/songwriter who goes against the grain when it comes to what passes for talent in Nashville these days. A songsmith on par with the Darrell Scotts and Jeff Blacks of the world, Knight has little use for mainstream Country music dreck or stereotypical Americana fare.
“They have got to tell everybody how Country they are,” Knight says of the state of modern Country. “It’s about a bunch of kids partying around a bonfire, every night, every song, every three minutes on the radio.”
Don’t expect 53-year-old Knight to try and adopt the campfire kids’ approach in an attempt to score some mainstream success.
From the start, he’s maintained a simple and honest songwriting philosophy: “Anytime I write a song and I’m not keeping it real,” he says, “I just know it and I’m not going to sing it.”
Knight is a former strip mine inspector and mining consultant in his native Kentucky. His latest album is Little Victories, a look at the trials and tribulations of those trying to make it in a hard world. The lyrics of the title track refer to a pick-up truck, a very common source of inspiration for many Country songs. But from Knight’s pen, the truck reference is poetic, used to paint an image of a hard-working country boy just trying to get by, being happy with what he has and always looking on the bright side. The song’s narrator sings of his truck “needin’ a new rear end,” so he sells some animal hides and wood to fix it and get back to hauling timber down to the mine. Anticipating a nice payout, Knight sings, “things are looking better all the time.” The country might be in a recession, but he “ain’t feeling it none.”“I got a deer and a half in the freezer; I got wheels and plenty of wood,” he sings. “I know I ain’t setting the world on fire but I think I got it pretty good.”
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CHRIS KNIGHT plays the Ballroom at the Taft Theatre on Friday, March 14. Tickets/more info here.