Chris Knight still fives in a trailer on 40 acres of woods In his hometown Slaughters, Ky. And like every decent Southern gothic novel, Knight’s fife and songs are full of cock-eyed characters who love, drink go to church, procreate, kill, and die with a goodnatured recklessness people in other parts of the country caret seem to muster.
Knight came out swinging three years ago with a debut album that got him compared to everyone from Steve Earle to John Prine. He caret seem to completely shake those influences here, but that’s not such a bad thing when the result is a country boy who can rock like Neil Young and write like Cormac McCarthy.
In the chilling -Down the River,” a tale of murder and brotherly revenge rolls out over a wailing viola and lap steel. In “North Dakota,” a man loses his lover in a howling storm. And there’s plenty of God-fearing guilt in songs like “The Lord’s Highway” and “Send a Boat.”
Knight isnt much of a singer or a guitar player, although there are plenty of great musicians like Tammy Rogers and Rusty Young backing things up. But, then, this isn’t meant to be a pretty album. Its power comes from its stories and its people, elements modem Nashville seems to have abandoned for pop hooks.