Chris Knight

Enough Rope

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Chris Knight's Enough Rope is a tribute to blue-collar America, to the simple life and to the desperate hardships and the unmatched joys that people who aren't part of it will never know. It's blatantly honest, often empathetic and frequently beautiful. The album never dips from its high level of songwriting skill, energy, and passion, though some songs are more touching and standout than others. Enough Rope is a great mix of uptempo highway driving songs and sentimental, nostalgic ballads. "Up from the Hill" is a rollicking Southern rocker and "Bridle on a Bull" is country-tinged blues at its finest with distorted slide guitar delivering a howling solo: "If your mule don't want to plow/Talk to him with a two-by-four/And if he still don't want to plow/Talk to him just a little bit more/And if he just don't want to listen/Haul him off to the dog food store." The best aspect about Enough Rope is the stories Knight tells. The most touching song on the album is the medium-tempo "Old Man": "Don't wanna die till I've lived too long/They'll sell this place, whenever I'm gone/I miss my sweetheart so, and the way she used to smile/I miss them kids of mine, running wild/When the daylight fades in late afternoon/About all I know is it was gone too soon." "William's Son" is a tale of a maverick youth who grew up tough after escaping from his abusive father: "I'm kinda glad my dad got blown away/I know he grew up hard and he grew up mean/But me and my sister was not to blame." The album comes to a close with the perfect song: "Enough Rope" is a heartland rock ballad, reminiscent of a John Mellencamp tune (Knight's voice is a little grittier, but similar). It's slow, reflective, and simple, with acoustic guitar and violin -- a tribute to hard-working people who never got to achieve their biggest dreams. "Well, I work for the city, in the town where I grew up/Some days I run the backhoe, some days I run the dump/If I had other plans on my graduation day/Then several years ago, I guess I hauled 'em all away/She told me she was pregnant on the day I turned 18/And I did what you're supposed to do, I bought her a ring." Knight's music is the perfect blend of Americana and country-rock; it's clean at times, but it's far too soulful to be considered only contemporary country. His sound and style change little from album to album, but there's no need for change. Knight has discovered his niche as a songwriter, and Enough Rope is just another testament to his talent.

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