Feb 29, 2012

Chris Knight - Hal and Mal's - February 23, 2012

I finally got a chance to see my favorite living (non-legend) songwriter last Thursday night at Hal and Mal's and it more than lived up to expectations.

Thomas Jackson
Thomas Jackson, the frontman for Hattiesburg, MS's Thomas Jackson Orchestra opened the show with a half-hour set of originals. He played a blend of bluesy folk songs interspersed with hilarious self-deprecating banter. Thomas was very entertaining and a master of blues guitar technique.

A few minutes later, Chris Knight walked nearly unnoticed through the crowd to the stage. He was a good deal smaller in person than I'd expected. Grizzled and skinny, Knight was (as a Twitter pal noted) the portrait of a starving artist, though I doubt he actually fits that bill.

He opened the set with my favorite song of his, "Rural Route." Chris must have been getting over a cold because he sounded a bit strained on the higher notes, but he still managed to get the show off to a great start.

Next he introduced a new song called "In the Meantime," that is presumably on his new album due this year. Anyone who wasn't a hardcore fan would be hard pressed to know this though, because he never mentioned a forthcoming release. It was a great song though, that easily stands alongside his other material.

Though his voice pushed through the early show hoarseness and grew stronger with each song, Chris wasn't much for between-song dialogue. Besides introducing a few tunes with their titles or one-sentence introductions, all he said the whole night was for the guys at the board to turn down his monitors because he didn't want to have a loudness competition with the crowd. "I didn't come here to rock n' roll" he put it.

Knight spent the next hour and a half playing all his best known songs, including "It Ain't Easy Bein' Me," "Cry Lonely" and his Montgomery Gentry cut, "She Couldn't Change Me." 

The crowd, for its part, was larger than I'd expected. It was also at times, disrespectfully loud.  Contrasting this, the audience also shut up and sang along quite a bit… especially on the murder/revenge epic "Down the River."

Towards the middle of his performance, Knight unveiled one other new song, (which seemed to be titled) "Times Are Tough." It was a timely exploration of these financially difficult days and the grit it takes for a man to get by. I thought it was a great, powerful song and judging by the wide-eyed glances between audience members, everyone else seemed to agree.

After a short beer break, Chris gave us a three song encore to close the set, finishing up with another crowd singalong, "Framed."

Chris Knight is a man of few words who lets his art do the talking, and it spoke volumes last Thursday night. It was an excellent, longer than expected collection of songs that left me more than satisfied, and anxious for his new album and future live shows. Don't miss him if he books a show anywhere near you.

Set List
Rural Route
In the Meantime
Enough Rope
Beckys Bible
Heart of Stone
Down the River
Hard Candy
It Ain't Easy Bein' Me
Love and a 45
She Couldn't Change Me
Times Are Tough
Cry Lonely
Pretty Good Guy
North Dakota
If I Were You
Hard Edges
House and 90 Acres
Bangin' Away
Send a Boat

Kix Brooks' New Single Cover Revealed

In the Year 2030 #7

The 20th season of The Voice sees Blake Shelton still making drinking jokes; the late Cee-lo Green replaced by his son Dee-lo; that Adam guy still leering at Christina Aguilera's now belly-button level cleavage.

Chad Brock headlines the Country Thrownout Hip Tour with openers Jeff Bates and Andy Griggs.

Thomas Rhett's son (Rhett Akins' grandson) Thomas Akins gets a publishing and recording contract, completely by talent and in no way because his dad and grandfather were in the industry.

Martina McBride spotted drunkenly playing quarter slots at New Orleans casino, wearing a "Dirty Grandma" t-shirt.

Country music experiencing a revival thanks to the "neo-fake-outlaw" movement which credits Eric Church as its godfather.

Impressionable teen listens to Brantley Gilbert album backwards - goes on to cure Herpes, invent tornado-proof mobile homes.

Hank IV signs with Curb Records; stricken from father and grandfather's wills.

Country rap now its own genre with independent Billboard chart. Cowboy Troy runs cutthroat record label loosely modeled after Suge Knight's Death Row.

Lady Gaga photographed by paparrazi entering a Target dressed as somebody who used to be famous.

Casey Donahew Band, biggest selling country group in history breaks up. Melinda Donahew blamed.

Taylor Swift wins CMA Lifetime Achievement Award but is unable to mug the "Taylor shocked face" due to years of botox injections.

Justin Moore becomes a proud grandpa for the first time, frequently sitting on his new grandson's lap to read him stories.

Feb 28, 2012

Top 10 Names for Brantley Gilbert Nation

While pondering the next bit of trash talking about Brantley Gilbert, FTM ran across this shirt design and was reminded that BG fans refer to themselves as such. FTM pondered just what such a nation might be called if granted sovereignty (on the outside chance anyone in the nation could fill out the needed paperwork).

10. Faketanistan

9. Republic of Wallechainia

8. Federal Union of EBT

7. Grabbouti

6. People's Commonwealth of Bangaskank

5. Hertztagopee

4. Walmaritania

3. Tribaltattuga

2. Chlamydia

1. The Douchenited States of Axemerica

FTM Lyriquiz: Is it Country or Rap?

Simple enough quiz here... read the lyrics, decide if you think they're from a country song or a hip-hop song... Answers later! Don't cheat with the Google or Bing or whatnot!!!

Country or hip-hop?

1. Short shorts, good lord, kinda make ya wonder how she got in them drawers

2. Jimmy Crack Corn, cross the county line with Mary Jane
A long time, a gravel road, to cash and fame and sold my soul

3. There's no hope for a gangster

Not a moment of peace to be found

4. You're just Bojangles to them
Tap your feet, tip your brim and sell it to your kin

5. Remingtons and Glocks.
Come on man it, ain't like I'm a slingin' 'em on the block

6. Feel the kick drum down deep in your toes
All I wanna do is get to holdin' you and get to knowin' you

7. We're throwing down in the dirty, dirty south down here

8. I've been travelin for some time
With my fishin pole and my bottle of shine
On these long dark dusty roads

9. Parole number 14-2
Stands on the corner like she used to do

10. Tattoo on your neck, fake gold on your teeth
Got the hood here snowed, but you cant fool me

11. Hotter than hell's gate but I'm still in the shade
With a fold up chair, a 30 pack on the back of that tailgate

12. And you can achieve anything that you put your heart into
See the second hand will never stop and neither will the clock

13. I'd like to dedicate this record right here to my main man Johnny Cash

14. Husslers shootin' eightball

15. Gonna ride till the gas is gone
I wish I could call Jesus up on the phone

Awkward Gary Levox Photo of the Week

Feb 24, 2012

YouTube Gems: Thomas Jackson Orchestra

I saw Chris Knight playing a solo acoustic set last night at Hal & Mal's in Jackson, MS. I'll write up a review of it shortly - very good show. Anyway, a very skilled guitarist/singer named Thomas Jackson opened the show with a bluesy acoustic set of his own. I looked him up and found that he fronts a Hattiesburg, MS band called the Thomas Jackson Orchestra. Check 'em out... highly recommended to fans of Eric Clapton's bluesier diversions, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Cary Hudson, etc.

Justin Moore says...

Feb 23, 2012

OMG Reviews: Thomas Rhett - Something to do With My Hands

by Brittany Fant, 14-year-old music fan and aspiring reviewer

Ooooooooh! Squeeeeeeal! He is sooo hot! And he's real country too! He sings about fishing, that's all the proof you need that he's country!! He's singing about putting his hands in his girl's pockets and running em through her hair…..swoooooon. I wish I was that girl. He might be a good enough country singer to be right up there with my #1 hottie Hunter Hayes. This song rocks just like a good country song should!!!! And it has some cool hip-hop record scratching or something kewl like that!~ I dunno, I just like it!!!!!!! Great beat! This is going to be a huggggggeeee hit! I can picture myself cruising with my BFFs around the ballfields this summer cranking this awesooooome song. I wasn't a country fan until Taylor Swift…. and then Hunter Hayes… and now Tommy-boy! I guess I'm a real true blue country fan now, though I wouldn't tell most people at school that LOL!! Now, excuse me while I pass out over Thomas' picture. Ahhhhhh…..

5 out of 5 heart hands!

Country Stars with F'ed Up Teeth V

Feb 21, 2012

Kelcy Reviews: Fred Andrews and Honeybrowne - This Side of Crazy

by Kelcy Salisbury

Of Throatpunches, Reactions & The Lack Thereof

Fred Andrews & Honeybrowne (Aka Honeybrowne) have been around for a few years. They had a pretty big regional hit with Texas Angel a little while back and while I'd heard of them I'd never really listened to them until I was asked to review their latest offering, This Side of Crazy.

Let me set the stage by saying a couple of things about my musical tastes. First I have very eclectic tastes. I had James Blake, Jason Boland & The Stragglers and Adele all in my top albums list last year. I tell people who ask what kind of music I listen to that I like good music, genre doesn't matter. I also am not a musician or a music expert, just a fan. Finally I like music that hits you like a punch to the throat. Stuff with the kind of grit and realness to it that you know the artist HAD to make it. Now with that out of the way, on to the This Side Of Crazy.

This isn't a bad album. In fact it's pretty good. Fred Andrews has a pleasant enough voice, the band is musically competent and the songwriting is decent if unexceptional. I listened to the album a few times through looking for something to grab me, something that got my attention, something with some urgency to it. Other than the title track and "When Good Love Dies" I just didn't hear it. The whole album is decent enough in its own way but I couldn't find anything that sets it aside from the rest of the pack of mid-tempo Texas Country bands and albums. I couldn't help but feel that the overall low standard of current country music makes this offering seem better than it is. I certainly don't hate the album and if you're looking for a fairly safe offering of almost mainstream country with above average vocals and a pleasant sound it might be the album for you, it just won't find a permanent place in my rotation simply because its a bit too safe and predictable to hold my attention. Nothing is really wrong with this album it just doesn't have the "it" factor to set it apart. 

Bleeding Cowboys Lives

A little over a year ago, Farce the Music told you about the absurdly overused free font called Bleeding Cowboys. It's the go-to font when graphic designers who apparently live in a bubble want to denote edginess or grit for their album cover/website designs. Well, here it is 2012, and it's still being used far too much. I'd go as far as to say it's become the #3 most hated font after Comic Sans and Papyrus. For your viewing displeasure, here's a slew of new or unposted Bleeding Cowboys offenders. Please make it stop.

Note: Shooter almost certainly used the font satirically.


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