(Drifter's Church 0010)
Some albums are just meant to be heard. Chris Knight recorded 'The Trailer Tapes” in 1996 more to put the songs he'd written on tape than for release, but some songs are just not made to stay in the can. Last year, co-producers Frank Liddell and Joe Hayden broke them out, cleaned them up and after you hear them, you may be glad they did.
With bare-butt acoustic guitar and light drawl, Knight captures the soul of the rural South, from folk myth to reality. Throughout the eleven songs, there are dreams gone awry, reflections in mud puddles and inward loneliness. There is love and lost love and love lost. And there is rain.
Like Kristofferson, Chris Knight paints portraits so real that you feel you know him and the places and people of which he sings. You're there on the back porch--- or in this case, in the trailer--- as he opens his can of beans and pours it on the table. There is life in each song--- calloused hand, hard labor-type life to leaning on the shovel wondering if everything is passing you by-type life. There is even a song you might call 'robbery at songpoint'--- a melodic monologue espousing the willing parting of goods on a victim's part to, shall we say, avoid excess action on the robber's part.
No, these tapes were not recorded for release, but that is maybe what makes them what they are: incredibly honest songs about honest to God life. If you have a hankering for that, Chris Knight's trailer is a damn good place to be.
- Frank Gutch Jr.