Chris Knight Biography

24 June 1960, Slaughters, Kentucky, USA. Country singer-songwriter Knight’s rural upbringing in the backwoods of Kentucky is reflected in his grittily honest tales of small town working men and women far from the bright lights of Nashville. Knight began writing songs as a teenager, inspired by the maverick creative talents of Steve Earle and John Prine, but any thoughts of a career in music were put on the backburner while he completed an agriculture degree at Western Kentucky University. He began playing in small bars while holding down a day job in land reclamation, before a working trip to Nashville in 1991 saw him land a publishing contract with Blue Water Music.

After several more years on the bar circuit, Knight finally earned a recording contract with the major label MCA Records. His self-titled debut was released to widespread acclaim in 1998, with many critics comparing the album favourably to Earle’s classic Guitar Town. Knight’s songs began to attract attention from the cream of Nashville, with Randy Travis, Gary Allan, and John Anderson all covering his material. After his major label contract expired at the end of the 90s, Knight signed a new contract with Dualtone Records. Produced by former Georgia Satellites vocalist Dan Baird, 2001’s A Pretty Good Guy eschewed the production gloss of Knight’s debut in favour of a raw, live in the studio sound. Both this album and the follow-up The Jealous Kind received good critical notices, with Knight’s storytelling skills on tracks such as ‘The Border’ and ‘Carla Came Home’ (from the latter) shining through.

By the time of 2006’s Enough Rope, Knight had teamed up with a new label (Drifter’s Church) and a new producer (Gary Nicholson). The album was recorded in the studio with his road band and featured a number of hard rocking tracks, a diversion from Knight’s usual modus operandi. The following year saw the release of Knight’s original demo tapes from the mid-90s prior to his major label debut.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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