Tag Archives: Chris Knight

Tune In Tuesday: 6/8/10

Welcome to Tune In Tuesday.  Today’s installment of Tune in Tuesday features six random albums with Texas roots.

If We Ever Make It Home

Wade Bowen 

If We Ever Make It Home is Bowen’s third studio   This album reveals the trials and tribulations of any relationships.  It speaks of love, loss, and the fallability of human spirit.  He is a solid writer that is able to convey his story with passion.  Daddy and the Devil is an amazing song that features Chris Knight and Bowen on vocals. 

Key Tracks: Daddy and the Devil, If We Ever Make It Home, You Had Me At My Best

Fire, Honey, & Angels

Walt Wilkins

 This is Walt’s debut album and some of his finest songwriting.  Walt’s music has a timeless feel to it with poignant lyrics about love, loss, and the varying stages of life.  His voice is comfortable and familiar with a hint of wisdom.  He has the ability to convey so many different thoughts and feelings through his lyrics and voice.  His strongest material is the songs that paint a picture of everyday life.  His eye for detail is uncanny as is his ability to take the mundane and make it memorable.  Ruby’s Two Sad Daughters is possibly the best country song ever written.

Key Tracks: Ruby’s Two Sad Daughters, Our Lady of the Avenue, Lessons Never Learned

Like It Used To Be

Randy Rogers Band

This is the debut studio album for the band and is a solid first venture.  Their sound is appealing in the fact that it does not stand out.  It is good music that could be heard in any number of bars in a college town in the great state of Texas.  Their music gives hope to all the other folks that are out on the road singing in dive bars and backyards.  Their studio work is not overly produced and crafted for radio friendly hooks.  Tommy Jackson is my favorite song from the band to date.

Key Tracks:  Tommy Jackson, Lost and Found, Like It Used To Be

11th Floor

Erin Ivey

Erin Ivey is Austin’s Folk music darling.  She was voted one of the city’s top 4 unsigned artists in 2007. 

Her voice is amazing, both haunting and angelic with a touch of sensuality.  Her single “Chocolate” is an infectious little number that has her voice dripping over her guitar. 

Erin Ivey is a new artist for me as I just heard her for the first time when she opened for Joe Purdy in Austin a few months back. 

Key Tracks:  Chocolate, Separational, Beautiful World

Picnic

Robert Earl Keen

Robert Earl Keen is a Texas born singer/songwriter who has built a cult following of both fans and musicians alike.  Keen’s music is bathed in humor, the hills and landscape of Texas as well as the cast of characters he has met along the way.  Picnic has several memorable (in pure Keen fashion) songs and the duet Then Came Lo Mein with Cowboy Junkies’ Margo Timmins as well as his cover of James McMurtry’s Levelland

Key Tracks: Undone, Levelland, Shades of Gray

True Love Cast Out All Evil

Roky Erikson and Okkervil River

Roky Erikson is the former leader of the Thirteenth Floor Elevators and one forefathers of the psychedelic music scene.  This of course is before his well documented breakdown and battles that led him to a lengthy stint in Rusk Maximum Security Prison for the Criminally Insane. 

Will Sheff is the leader of Okkervil River and is the reason this album came to fruition.  Some of the songs were penned while Erikson was incarcerated.  Sheff deftly produces the album without trying to replicate the sound of forty years ago when Erikson was blazing the music scene. 

Key Tracks: Good Bye Sweet Dream, Be and Bring Me Home, Bring Back the Past

Great music awaits!


Mixed Tape Monday: Texas Artists

Welcome to another installment of Mixed Tape Monday.  As you may have noticed, I am on a bit of a Texas Music kick and today will continue down that path.  Yesterday, I had the opportunity to hear some great live music at a little barbeque joint just west of Fort Worth.  I am a huge Walt Wilkins fan and I saw that he had two shows in the Fort Worth area yesterday.  So, off we go for some beer and barbeque and some great music.  In addition to Walt, there were some up and coming musicians like Johnny Cooper, Bobby Duncan, and 6th Market Boulevard that played as well.

So, my topic for today is, you guessed it, Texas Artists.

Song:              One of Those Moments

Artist:              Walt Wilkins

Album:            Rivertown

Song:              Texas On My Mind

Artist:              Django Walker

Album:            Down the Road

Song:              Beautiful Thing

Artist:              Slaid Cleaves       

Album:            Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away

Song:              Eden’sGate

Artist:              Pat Green

Album:            Wave On Wave

Song:              My Brother and Me

Artist:              Bruce Robison

Album:            Wrapped

Song:              Home

Artist:              Eli Young Band

Album:            Jet Black and Jealous

Song:              Shades of Gray

Artist:              Robert Earl Keen

Album:            Picnic

 Song:              Daddy and the Devil

Artist:              Wade Bowen & Chris Knight

Album:            If We ever Make It Home

Song:              Goodbye Sweet Dreams

Artist:              Roky Erikson & Okervil River

Album:            True Love Cast Out All Evil

Song:              Simple Song

Artist:              Lyle Lovett

Album:            Pontiac

Song:              Too Many Ways To Fall

Artist:              Arc Angels

Album:            Arc Angels

 Song:              Sunday Morning Coming Down

Artist:              Kris Kristofferson

Album:            Kristofferson

 Song:              We Can’t Make It Here

Artist:              James McMurtry

Album:            Childish Things

 Song:              Sunday Clothes

Artist:              Charlie Sexton

Album:            Under the Wising Tree

 Song:              Fool

Artist:              Jack Ingram

Album:            Electric

 Song:              Life Without You

Artist:              Stevie Ray Vaughan

Album:            Soul To Soul

Song:              Love Must Follow You Around

Artist:              Randy Rogers Band

Album:            Rollercoaster

 Song:              Indianola

Artist:              Charlie Robison

Album:            Life of the Party

Song:              I’m the One

Artist:              Doyle Bramhall II

Album:            Jellycream

Song:              Come with Me Tonight

Artist:              Bob Schneider

Album:            I’m Good Now


Tune In Tuesday: Live Albums

Today’s installment of Tune in Tuesday features six live albums.  The live album is always a risky proposition but when it is good, it is oh, so good.

So, let me regale you with the melodious sounds of live music.

Astral Weeks: Live at the Hollywood Bowl

Van Morrison

This was an amazing studio album and only gets better with the live element.  Van is in fine form vocally and the musicians are incredible.  If you are fan of Van the Man, than you need to check this out.  If you are not a fan you need to get checked out. 

Live From Mars

Ben Harper

If you are going to own one Ben Harper album, this is the one.  A great cross section of his material, a high energy set, and a few incredible cover tunes (Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing”, Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”, and the Verve’s “The Drugs Don’t Work”).  All of this jam packed into a double CD with 25 tracks.

Brothers of a Feather

Chris & Rich Robinson

The brotherly duo behind the greatness of the Black Crowes perform as dueling guitarists while showcasing songs from their respective solo careers as well as songs from the Crowes catalog.  Stand out tracks on this album are “Thorn In My Pride”, “My Heart’s Been Killing Me”, and “Someday Past Sunset”.

Undone: A Musical Tribute to Robert Earl Keen

Various Artists

Wade Bowen, Reckless Kelly, Cody Canada, Walt Wilkins, Chris Knight, Randy Rogers, Roger Creagar, Max Stallings, Cory Morrow, Jason Boland, and Robert Earl himself appear on this album.  If you have any understanding or appreciation for the greatness of Robert Earl Keen, then this album is for you.  Not a bad set on the whole album. 

MTV Unplugged

Alice In Chains

This album never gets old and the songs never get bad.  This was, in my opinion, one of, if not, the best MTV unplugged shows.  Layne’s vocals are just as tortured and haunting as the first time I listened to this album.  Stand out tracks “Would”, “Angry Chair ”,“ Nutshell” and every other song on the album.

Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium

Rage Against the Machine

This is the last thing that was done before the breakup of the band in 2000 and the release was delayed three years due to the breakup and subsequent formation of Audioslave.  The performance is energetic and embodies all that was great about this band.  The mix and sound quality is not the greatest but still well worth the listen.  This performance  was also available as a DVD.

Read, review, and respond.

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to Cross Canadian Ragweed!

Cross Canadian Ragweed is the red dirt alt/country musical quartet that hales from Yukon, Oklahoma.  The name is derived from a mixture of three of the four member’s names Grady Cross, Cody Canada, and Randy Ragsdale.  Shortly after forming in Yukon, the band moved to the hopping college town of Stillwater, Oklahoma. 

The band released its first album, Carney, in 1998 while already receiving considerable airplay on college radio.  This was due to their relentless touring of Oklahoma and Texas.  Their second release was their live album from the Wormy Dog Saloon, which is in Oklahoma and is a bar that I was kicked out of one fateful trip to Oklahoma.  Their second studio album Highway 377 was released in 2001.  All of the above mentioned albums were released on the bands independent label Underground Sound.

Cross Canadian Ragweed, also known as the Purple album, cleverly assigned, due to the purple cover, was the bands major label debut.  The album cover’s color was attribute to Randy Ragsdale’s little sister who died prior to the album’s release.

In 2004, their sixth release Soul Gravy debuted on the county charts at #4.  Their next studio album, Garage, yielded their first top 40 hit on the country charts with “Fighin For”.  It also contains a tribute song “Dimebag” for the late, great Dimebag Darrell from the cowboys from hell, Pantera!

Mission California is the bands ninth album and has two great cover songs.  “Cry Lonely” is a Chris Knight cover of and they also cover Todd Snider’s “I Believe You”.  Their tenth album Happiness and All Other Things was released in 2009 and was dedicated to Willie Nelson’s late, longtime stage manager Randall “Poodie” Locke.

Cross Canadian Ragweed Discography:

  • Carney
  • Live and Loud at the Wormy Dog Saloon
  • Highway 377
  • Live and Loud at Billy Bob’s
  • Cross Canadian Ragweed
  • Soul Gravy
  • Garage
  • Back to Tulsa – Live an Loud at Cain’s Ballroom
  • Mission California
  • Happiness and All Other Things

Top 5 Cross Canadian Ragweed Songs:

  1. Proud Souls (Caney)
  2. Breakdown (Garage)
  3. Broken (Cross Canadian Ragweed)
  4. Flowers (Soul Gravy)
  5. Jenny (Mission California)

Their sound is a nice blend of country swagger and southern rock that is evocative of band such as the Marshall Tucker Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd.  They tend to tour and travel with like minded folks such as Randy Rogers Band, Stoney LaRue, and Wade Bowen (who is married to Cody Canada’s sister).   

This year, Cross Canadian Ragweed will grace the hallowed grounds of Bonnaroo Music Festival!

Check out Cross Canadian Ragweed at www.crosscanadianragweed.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkFtl50kqYE

www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFVCMIyE9gw

Great music awaits!


Live albums you should be listening to!

The live album is always a risky proposition.  In years past, it was the other give up album (hello Greatest Hits) that was done to fulfill the contract with the record company.  Not to say that there have not been great live albums but there have been some less than stellar albums that have not quite stood the test of time (“Frampton Comes Alive” anyone?). 

 I think, as music has progressed, the live album was a great way for bands to better connect with their audience.  Some bands have earned the reputation as a great “Live” band and the live album was just an obvious avenue for them.  Artists like Phish and The Dave Matthews Band have more live albums in their discography than studio albums.  In 2000 Pearl Jam, in an attempt provide their fans with a better quality and affordable live recording, recorded all of their concerts. 

 So, here is a list of great live albums.  This is by no means a list of the greatest live albums, but merely an installment of great live albums.

Metallica S&M 

This album features Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony.  Such a brilliant merging of two seemingly polar opposites sounds and styles.  The set list takes a bit from each of the early works as well as their late 90’s work.  Definitely worth adding to your collection.

Tom Petty Live Anthology

This album is a compilation of thirty years of live concerts.  Petty is timeless and the music is amazing.  Radio staples such as “Refugee”, “American Girl”, and “Free Falling” are comfortably arranged around deeper cuts like “Louisiana Rain”, “Angel Dream (No.2)”, and “”Straight Into Darkness”.  The covers on this four disc set are a real treat including The Grateful Dead’s “Friend of the Devil” and Fleetwood Mac’s ”Oh Well”. 

The Dave Matthews Band The Central Park Concert

This is a three disc set that is a typical Dave Matthews jam session with the usual song suspects in the lineup and has a great cover of Neil Young’s “Cortez the Killer” with Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers & Govt. Mule) and Dave sharing the vocals.  It is not overly produced or reworked so you get more of the raw concert sound and vibe. 

 Ben Harper Live from Mars

If you are going to own one Ben Harper album, this is the one.  This two disc set is a great cross section of his work as well as covers of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”, Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” and The Verve “The Drugs Don’t Work”.

Counting Crows Across A Wire Live in New York

This two disc set is actually two separate concerts.  Disc one is an acoustic set while disc two cranks up a bit electrically.  The set list is comprised of songs from their first two albums “August and Everything After” and “Recovering the Satellites”. 

Undone: A Musical Tribute to Robert Earl Keen

This two disc live album has great covers of Keen’s music by the likes of:  Walt Wilkins, Wade Bowen, Randy Rogers, Reckless Kelly, Chris Knight, Cody Canada (Cross Canadian Ragweed), and Max Stallings.  Robert also appears on the last few song son disc two. 

Alice in Chains Unplugged

This album captured the essence and greatness of the late, great Layne Staley.  All acoustic (hence the unplugged) set that include “Would”, “Angry Chair”, and ‘The Killer is Me”.  This was one of the final performances of the original band. 

Chris & Rich Robinson (The Black Crowes) Brothers of a Feather

This two man acoustic set is the brothers and their guitars at their greatest.  The album is a variety of cuts from their shows at the Roxy Theater.  It features songs from The Black Crowes and a few cover tunes.  My favorite tracks are “Thorn in My Pride” and “My Heart is Killing Me”. 

Rage Against the Machine Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium

Great album recorded during their last two shows in September 2000.  The intensity of the album lasts al sixteen tracks.  Standout tracks on the album are “No Shelter”, “Bulls On Parade”, “Bomb Track”, and “Killing In the Name of”. 

Pearl Jam Live (any of the band produced live albums)

In an effort to better connect with the fans and provide quality and affordable live recordings Pearl Jam recorded a series of concerts in the early 00’s.  Sets often included “Crazy Mary”, “State of Love and Trust”, covers of Neil Young’s “Rockin in the Free World”, Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War”, The Who’s “Baba O’Riley”.  So, take your pick as any of the live series is a treasure.

Dispatch All Points Bulletin

This two disc set is the final farewell concert that was held in Boston that had over 100,000 fans in attendance.  It is the subject of the DVD “Last Dispatch.  This album has an early version of the State Radio song “Riddle In Londontown” and a fan sing along to the Dispatch tune “The General”.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Live in New York City

Amazing two disc set that at the time of release has two new and unreleased songs “Land of Hopes and Dreams” and “American Skin (41 Shots)”.  Both stellar songs but in my opinion, “Youngstown” is the gem of this album. 

Paul Simon’s Concert In the Park

This live recording was done in New York’s famous Central Park on August 15th 1991. The album opens with one of my all time favorite Simon songs “The Obvious Child”.  He also covers the Simon and Garfunkel period with “The Boxer”, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and closes the set with “The Sounds of Silence”.  This concert also featured many of the South American and African musicians that played on “Rhythm of the Saints” and “Graceland” respectively.

Rush Different Stages

It is a three disc set that covers several of their concerts in 1994 and 1997.  Disc three is a concert in London from 1978.  They cover quite a bit of their catalog but the one glaring omission is “Mystic Rhythms

 Bob Dylan The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration

This tribute concert was a star studded event with performances from: John Mellencamp, Kris Kristofferson, Stevie Wonder, Lou Reed, Eddie Vedder, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, George Harrison, The Band, and Roger McGuinn to name just a few!  While all of the performances were amazing, Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready’s cover of “Masters of War” was the highlight of the show. 

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Great Music Awaits!