CHERI KNIGHT - The Knitter (1996) & The Northeast Kingdom (1998)
Cheri Knight made her initial foray into music as the bassist for the alternative bluegrass unit the Blood Oranges. After the band's breakup, she moved from Massachusetts to New York, where she met up with musicians Eric Ambel and Will Rigby, who aided her in recording her 1996 solo debut, The Knitter. The acclaimed Northeast Kingdom followed in early 1998.
1996 - The Knitter
Mandolinist Jimmy Ryan may have been the driving force behind the Blood Oranges, but bassist Cheri Knight's strong, earthy voice and beautifully melancholic songs marked many of that band's finest moments. On "The Knitter," she takes a confident and much-deserved step into the foreground (she even plays guitar this time around). The songs are an organic mix of strong-willed power chords, country-driven rhythms, and rural acoustic ballads, and the lyrics ring with vivid images of loneliness, anger, emotional confusion, and moments of undeniable love. Cheri Knight is the real deal, and The Knitter is a solid and promising debut.
TRACKS: 01. The Knitter 02. Megalith 03. Down By The Water 04. Light In The Road 05. Last Barn Dance 06. Wishing Well 07. That I Might See 08. Waiting For Sara 09. Spellbound 10. Paper Wings 11. Very Last Time
1998 - The Northeast Kingdom
Former Blood Orange Cheri Knight has hit her highest marks with Northeast Kingdom. The mix of rootsy rock and folky textures gives Knight's tunes an upfront urgency and a surrounding sponginess that quickly draws listeners into these pithy dramas. Roomy production from the TwangTrust (Steve Earle and Ray Kennedy) allows Knight's heavyhearted lyrics to unfurl with a full range of colors, putting Northeast Kingdom leaps ahead of many 1998 releases. Cheri Knight's singing voice is deceptively simple: there's a straightforward soulfulness to her, even though she never seems to do anything fancy with it. The Northeast Kingdom, the second solo effort from this former Blood Orange, is all over the map stylistically--there's an Irish air, a jangly pop number, a honky-tonk shuffle, even something of a southern rocker--but it's that haunting voice that makes everything here feel of a piece. Of course, the swinging, Steve Earle-produced arrangements and Knight's beautiful, impressionistic songs of love and betrayal (like the emotionally risky "Crawling") don't hurt either. - amazon.com
TRACKS: 01. Dar Glasgow 02. Rose in the Vine 03. If Wishes Were Horses 04. Northeast Kingdom 05. Black Eyed Susie 06. Crawling 07. Hatfield Side 08. White Lies 09. Dead Man's Curve 10. All Blue 11. Sweetheart 12. Black Eyed Susie (reprise)