The Knitters are a Los Angeles-based band who play country, rockabilly and folk music. At the time of their formation they were pioneers of country punk, cowpunk or folk punk, the genre which gradually evolved into alternative country. The Knitters’ name is a play on the name of the folk group The Weavers.
The Knitters’ debut album Poor Little Critter on the Road was released in 1985. It included mainly traditional and cover songs, together with some X songs performed in an acoustic style. The album drew on blues, folk, country and rockabilly influences. In 1999, the label Bloodshot Records released a track-by-track tribute to the album entitled Poor Little Knitter on the Road.
After the debut album’s release, all the group members continued to work with their primary bands. Dave Alvin also later pursued a solo career.
Twenty years later, in 2005, the group released their second and ironically-titled album, The Modern Sounds of the Knitters. John Doe has been quoted  as saying “The Knitters, like their music, don’t do anything hasty. Since our last record’s been out for a while and it did pretty good, we figured it was just about time to put out another.” The Modern Sounds of the Knitters has been well-received by critics
X saved me from the misery of the suburbs. The bond I formed with Exene Cervenka rescued from the horrify life of being a teenager in the late 70s. When I put on their albums I was transported to a different universe where I was free and I could be myself. When I was finally able to go their shows I bonded with a community of like minded individuals.
The Dead Weather is an American alternative rock supergroup formed in Nashville, Tennessee in 2009. Comprising of Alison Mosshart (of The Kills), Jack White (of The White Stripes and The Raconteurs), Dean Fertita (of Queens of the Stone Age) and Jack Lawrence (of The Raconteurs and The Greenhornes); The Dead Weather was revealed to the public at the opening of Third Man Records’ Nashville headquarters on March 11, 2009. The band performed live for the first time at the event, immediately before releasing their debut single “Hang You from the Heavens”.
John Doe and The Sadies hit Manhattan on May 6 at The City Winery and played a rocking show. Ranging from X covers “Have Nots” to country classics such as Kris Kristofferson’s Help Me Make It Through the NightJohn Doe demonstrated why he is one of the finest talents in music today. With The Sadies, an amazing band from Canada backing him, John Doe put on a clinic in country based roots music featuring the tunes from his latest release “Country Club.” Ever the show man, Doe had the crowd laughing with his anecdotes in between songs. For someone who came up in the punk revolution of the late 70’s in his days in X, Doe is extremely comfortable crooning country ballads such as Willie Nelson’s “Night Life.” This gives his shows an emotional intensity that few artists today can capture. But it’s not all intense. Humor is a big part of the ingredients too. In a song that he co-wrote with Exene Cervennka, his long time partner from X, “Dawned On Me,” Doe captures in an ironic way the betrayals of life. He conveys the message that even though life is cruel and harsh it is also funny and a good time which the crowd was having that night as well Doe and the Sadies who you can not ask to be a better backing band. This was evident when Doe let them take the forefront on such tunes as “Mother of Earth.” A big highlight of the night occurred when Garth Hudson of The Band joined festivities on stage underscoring the roots nature of the set. At then end of the night everyone left satisfied having seen a fantastic show.
John Doe is back again. As a founding member of punk monoliths X, he seized his rightful place as one of the most influential musicians in American alternative music in the 1980’s, clearing a path for the revolution in that genre that would take place a decade later. Since launching his solo career in 1990 with the dusty road-poetry of Meet John Doe, John has produced six stunning roots rock albums of frightening honesty and vision. A Year in the Wilderness is no exception.
This time around, John has invited his friends and frequent conspirators to help him interpret songs that came fast and hard. Doe dubs the Wilderness sessions, “A scary and wondrous process where a blast of intuition and force that takes only moments to realize, but that can last forever and carry consequences you never imagined.” Guest stars appearing on A Year in the Wilderness include Dave Alvin, Jill Sobule, Kathleen Edwards, Dan Auerbach (from The Black Keys), Greg Leisz and Aimee Mann.
Here we have one of those Holy Shit We’re Playing Madison Square Garden shows, always a charming event — what little banter KOL frontman Caleb Followill offers is of the “This is one of the biggest, best moments of my life right here” variety. We are sincerely thanked for “Getting on your little websites and spreading the word” (no problem, dogg); most notably, there’s the declaration that “We have the best fans in the world — one of the last true fanbases, I think.” Whoa now. Let’s not get carried away. Continue reading “Kings of Leon at Madison Square Garden 1.30.09”