12 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the midst of a musical shift in Los Angeles — from punk rock to hair metal — these five friends gathered to mine a timeless musical tradition. Led by husband-and-wife team John Doe and Exene Cervenka (of the seminal L.A. punkers X), The Knitters were rounded out by roots music guitarist Dave Alvin (of the Blasters), drummer DJ Bonebrake (also of X), and local upright bassist and rockabilly hunk Johnny Ray Bartel. Even though nothing on the album attempts to ape classic country, The Knitters invoke the spirit of the Carter Family and the Blue Sky Boys, and with their sweetly sour harmonies Doe and Cervenka provide a current of darkness and mystery to love songs like “Someone Like You” and “Trail of Time.” Elsewhere, the band comes together for wistful, mischievous readings of “Walkin’ Cane,” “Baby Out of Jail,” and “Rock Island Line” and bouncy rockabilly rave-ups like “Poor Little Critter On the Road” and “The Call of the Wreckin’ Ball.” Its breathtaking centerpieces, however, belong to John Doe. His reading of Merle Haggard’s “Silver Wings” is as soulful as country music gets, while “Cryin’ But My Tears Are Far Away” gave Poor Little Critter In the Road an honest-to-god masterpiece to stand alongside anything Hank Williams ever wrote.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the midst of a musical shift in Los Angeles — from punk rock to hair metal — these five friends gathered to mine a timeless musical tradition. Led by husband-and-wife team John Doe and Exene Cervenka (of the seminal L.A. punkers X), The Knitters were rounded out by roots music guitarist Dave Alvin (of the Blasters), drummer DJ Bonebrake (also of X), and local upright bassist and rockabilly hunk Johnny Ray Bartel. Even though nothing on the album attempts to ape classic country, The Knitters invoke the spirit of the Carter Family and the Blue Sky Boys, and with their sweetly sour harmonies Doe and Cervenka provide a current of darkness and mystery to love songs like “Someone Like You” and “Trail of Time.” Elsewhere, the band comes together for wistful, mischievous readings of “Walkin’ Cane,” “Baby Out of Jail,” and “Rock Island Line” and bouncy rockabilly rave-ups like “Poor Little Critter On the Road” and “The Call of the Wreckin’ Ball.” Its breathtaking centerpieces, however, belong to John Doe. His reading of Merle Haggard’s “Silver Wings” is as soulful as country music gets, while “Cryin’ But My Tears Are Far Away” gave Poor Little Critter In the Road an honest-to-god masterpiece to stand alongside anything Hank Williams ever wrote.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
27 Ratings

27 Ratings

WoodenIgloo ,

Great As Always

I've been listening to X for years and even have the vinyl copy of this album somewhere. Downloaded it on a whim and I am sure glad I did! Fun, funky music from John & Exene

RSanville ,

road trip album

One of the best road trip albums ever.

pjackson ,

if you love music, you should own this cd

granted, i'm a life-long fan of X, so it isn't a surprise that I would love the knitters....What was a surprise was how amazing this album truly is. I was not a fan of country until I listened to this cd way back in 1987. This is where the alt.country movement really began.......To hear johnny sing silver wings will make anyone long for their missing love----its even more amazing live---if you get a chance to see them play, you won't be sorry!

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