Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Chris Knight

  • Chris Knight [Decca, 1998] A-
  • A Pretty Good Guy [Dualtone, 2001] ***
  • The Jealous Kind [Dualtone, 2003] **
  • Enough Rope [Emergent/92e, 2006] B+
  • Heart of Stone [Drifters Church, 2008] *
  • Little Victories [Drifters Church, 2012] ***

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Chris Knight [Decca, 1998]
This being Nashville, of course they claim his secret is reality, but I say it's literature. He's a writer pure and simple, schooled in the economical everyday; if he'd grown up in California instead of Kentucky, he'd have tried his hand at sitcoms. I love the way he finds a pungent trope and tops it--drives his truck to Timbuktu and then lies down on a bed of nails. The music is spare enough to signify reality, and big enough to heighten it. A-

A Pretty Good Guy [Dualtone, 2001]
good old dirtbags raise hell as they go there ("A Pretty Good Guy," "If I Were You") ***

The Jealous Kind [Dualtone, 2003]
It's a lot easier to write the wild side than to live it, but not a lot smarter ("The Jealous Kind," "Carla Came Home"). **

Enough Rope [Emergent/92e, 2006]
From the ex-hellion drinking ice tea in his yard to the city laborer who'd rather work his job than wear chains like his cousin Willie, this is where the Kentucky storyteller gets off the outlaw romanticism train, which turned into a Trailways bus years ago. "Old Man" deserves to be programmed back to back with John Prine, "Dirt" with Freedy Johnston. Still, put him head to head with those guys on the wrong Saturday night and he might still be inclined to kick both their asses. B+

Heart of Stone [Drifters Church, 2008]
A life full of music without much transcendence, a life touched by sin without much guilt ("Another Dollar," "Crooked Road"). *

Little Victories [Drifters Church, 2012]
"Bring it on get it done don't run s.o.b." explains why white guys don't like Obamacare, and sometimes wish they could ("You Can't Trust No One," "Little Victories") ***