Black Music Matters Festival

Chris Knight

Heart of Stone – 2008 (Drifter's Church)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

See it on Amazon

CDs by Chris Knight

With his latest, Chris Knight proves to be equally at ease with acoustic ballads and hard alt.- country rockers. Knight seems to have mixed feelings about his life of the road. While in the opening track Home Sick Gypsy, he complains of "a month on the road and three day's sleep," he also acknowledges "my worst nightmare is standing still/Gotta get my fix of them rolling wheels." On the closing acoustic track Go On Home, Knight appears weary of the road ("You all just go on ahead and go/Let me out by the side of the road)." While not being overtly political, Knight does inject social commentary ("I don't go online/ I don't watch TV/ 'Cause I know all I'm gonna see is something stupid going on/ Stupid's in the water these days/ They're gonna drink it anyway until they don't know right from wrong").

Another effective ballad is Crooked Road, the somber tale of a man dealing with the death of his son in the coal mines. Knight shines on the rockers Something to Keep Me Going, Maria and the John Mellencamp style Hell Ain't Half Full. With thoughtful lyrics and strong performances, this is an impressive collection.