When: Fri., Aug. 30, 8 p.m. 2013
Country rocker Chris Knight hasn’t changed much across a career that stretches back to the late 90s. In 1998, when he was 37 years old, he debuted with a self-titled record for Decca that had folks calling him the next Steve Earle, and though his major-label dalliance was short-lived he’s continued making music with the same scrappy sound and blue-collar ethic. Knight still lives in the coal town where he grew up—Slaughters, Kentucky, population 200 or so—and he’s packed last year’s terrific Little Victories (Drifter’s Church) with observations about the working-class struggles and modest pleasures around him. An ice storm a few years ago left the town without power for nearly a month, and many of the songs detail the ways people coped—the “little victories” of the title include being able to buy “milk, bread, bologna, Little Debbies, and some Mountain Dew.” His gruff voice pushes through the album’s rugged guitars with authority, aided by Ray Kennedy’s compact production and guest harmony singing from the likes of John Prine and Buddy Miller—Knight sounds much like he did 15 years ago, which is a big part of his appeal. —Peter Margasak Cody Canada & the Departed headline.