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Ben Knight

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“Put a country song on the radio none of that fake shit give me something old and point me down a country road, uhuh ”.

So starts the second verse of Ben Knight’s song Take Me Somewhere on his first EP and his first serious recording; and that line says a lot about the CD. In this five song collection “Dog Days”, Ben sticks mostly to folk and blues in style. His subject matter covers trailers, prescription pills, love, science and God. But this isn’t radio country, something he obviously abhors. If you had to label it you would probably say Alt. Country or Americana whatever that means. The truth is Ben listens/has listened to everything from old time to indie rock to hip/hop. This is 2011 and the time for crossover is ripe, the internet and radio are saturated with music and you there are few musicians writing in a cave.

Hailing from Dixon, Kentucky (pop. 700ish) Ben could definitely be pegged as a country boy. He sings likes he talks with a heavy west KY accent. He plays acoustic, often finger picking. True to form he even has a family history of country music. His uncle, Chris Knight has won himself considerable fame over the last 15 years as a songwriter and because of his particular fame in Texas, was named an "Honorary Texan" by Texas Governor Rick Perry.[1]

It’s obvious that Ben could choose to go down the same road as his uncle. Roseanne follows Johnny, and Justin follows Steve who followed Townes, and I don’t even need to mention Hank Williams 3 and the Damn Band to tell you this music runs in people’s blood, like alcoholism, addiction, and depression. Country music is in Ben Knight’s blood. What’s in his head and heart may be different.

Dog Days, produced by Dan Conn in a home studio somewhere in rural KY, is a songwriter’s album. It’s lyrically driven, tasteful, interesting, and intelligent. He writes like an English major and sings like a hillbilly and maybe that’s the best thing of all. Anyone who knows Ben personally knows these songs are only a glimpse of his repertoire. Writing constantly he could have a different set list anytime you see him play out which you can do most frequently in Louisville KY. 

I think the only drawback to this record is the problem with all acoustic guitar records: It’s a little slow and a little quiet. The song “Hammerdropper” could have used a rhythm section while “Araminta” could have used a string section, etc. I look forward to future records with fuller and thicker arrangements. But maybe he needs a few more fans to show before that happens. Check out his Facebook account and download his album, “Dog Days” at http://benknight.bandcamp.com/.

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