Poor Little Knitter on the Road:
A Tribute to The Knitters
First Appeared at The Music Box, March 2000, Volume 7, #3
Written by John Metzger
Fifteen years ago, members of the punk bands X and The Blasters came together to form The Knitters. Their goal was simple: Have fun while paying tribute to classic country artists like Merle Haggard and the Carter Family. Little did they know, they'd actually formed a new style of rock 'n‘ roll -- one which would later be dubbed alt-country. Today, Chicago's Bloodshot Records stands at the heart of what's left in this genre, which it prefers to call insurgent country. Therefore, it's only fitting that the label pull together a collection of material that features many of the bands on their roster paying tribute to the music of the Knitters and hence, old-time country music.
Devil in a Woodpile rips through Leadbelly's Rock Island Line, offering up what is by far the album's finest track. Yet, there are plenty of other choice nuggets here as well, such as The Blacks' Clash-like attack on The New World, the collaboration between Old 97's and original Knitters member John Doe on the haunting Cryin' but My Tears Are Far Away, and Robbie Fulks' frenetic and frothy firestorm cover of The Call of the Wreckin' Ball.
So pull up a chair, grab yourself a beer, and settle into the groove. The line between punk rock and good ol‘ country isn't quite as drastic as you might think. Just ask the folks at Bloodshot or their heroes The Knitters.
Poor Little Knitter on the Road: A Tribute to the Knitters is available
from Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2000 The Music Box