Hanks Texas Grill

Chris Knight performing at Hanks Texas Grill
Photo by Chuck Cox
Rattle and Hum Sports

Chris Knight amazes his fans at Hanks Texas Grill

By Chuck Cox

Special Contributor

The fact Chris Knight is not a household name among country music fans is a crime worthy of one of the ones committed in some of his edgier tunes.

Knight was inspired to become a songwriter after hearing Steve Earle way back in 1986. That’s yet another great thing for which we have Earle to thank.  Now armed with an arsenal of eight albums, Knight made one of his regular tour stops on Friday night at Hank’s Texas Grill. In fact, it was the second time I had seen him play there.

Once again, Knight was amazing. He’s a no-frills guy who gets up and plays his songs with his three fellow band members.

There’s no such thing as a band Chris Knight song, but I think “It Ain’t Easy Being Me” and “Down the River” are two of the best I’ve ever heard in any genre. The former includes fellow performers Blake Shelton, Jason McCoy and John Anderson as co-writers. And when he sings the lyrics “I ain’t done much fishing, I hardly wet a line. The death of my brother still heavy on my mind. I’ve been thinking Wilson’s cousin better find a place to hide” during the latter, it will give you instant chill bumps.

Knight obliged the crowd with both of those songs on Friday, plus favorites like “Becky’s Bible,” “Rural Route” and “Framed” during his 95-minute set. Since I first saw Knight play in 2010, the crowds have steadily gotten bigger. But, this guy should be packing them in left and right. If I can, I catch him every time he rolls through. Speaking of, he’ll be at Denton’s Rockin Rodeo on Feb. 20 and at the Mardi Gras Festival at Fair Park in Dallas two days later.

Austin country traditionalist outfit Mike and the Moonpies opened the show with a big one-hour set. I had never heard of these guys a few months ago, but I saw them open for Hayes Carll in December at House of Blues. And the band will be back at House of Blues in Dallas next Saturday to open for the Turnpike Troubadours.

The more I see this band, the more I like it. In addition to some really solid material of its own, including “Stop Falling in Love” and “Me and Hayes,” the band played a couple of cool covers — “Whiskey Trip” and “Cherokee Fiddle.”

I could easily see this band becoming one of my favorites to check out live, too. And the combo of the Knight and Mike and the Moonpies made for a great night of live music.

Photo album.


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