Picks and Pans Review: Chris Knight

updated 03/09/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/09/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

Chris Knight

There are hints of John Mellencamp in this debut album by a folk-rocker from Slaughters, Ky. There's also a little of Bob Dylan—Knight's nasal voice makes him a lot more yarn-spinner than vocal stylist—and a hint of Steve Earle (Knight seems more comfortable with the hard-charging "The Hammer Going Down" than with the deliberate waltz, "The Band Is Playing Too Slow.")

Knight wrote or cowrote all the tunes on this album, and he overreaches a couple of times, notably with "Love and a .45," an ill-conceived story tune about a cop, a hooker and an automatic that Knight admits was inspired by a movie title (lucky he didn't see The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant). But for the most part, Knight's tunes ring true—he is, after all, an authentic small-town boy—and we can always use another skilled troubadour. (Decca)

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