Elam McKnight
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Elam McKnight

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | MAJOR

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | MAJOR
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“blues songs should be like this: nice tight drum beat, feat harmonica work, and then that delicious voice of Elam McKnight.” (8 out of 10 stars.)

--- Geschreven door Nathalie Bauland, Maxazine (Netherlands) - Geschreven door Nathalie Bauland,


“Elam McKnight is the future of the blues. Zombie Nation is a breath of fresh air in a sometimes stale Blues world. Elam McKnight & Bob Bogdal march to their own beat, and that beat gets my toe a tapping and leg a moving" --- Robert Lynn KSPQ-FM West Plains,Mo - Robert Lynn KSPQ-FM West Plains,Mo


“This music kicks ass, like Hill Country blues on steroids! You guys rock, but the music is blues all the way – played in a raw and intense manner, very deep. With so many cool songs under your belt I am sure you will see the “Zombie Nation” disc on a lot of radio playlists worldwide, congratulations.” --- Przemek Draheim, National Radio (Poland) - Poland National Radio


Review from Pittsburgh Daily News 6/28/2011
By Elam Mcknight· Tuesday, June 28, 2011

ELAM McKNIGHT & BOB

BOGDAL, “Zombie Nation” (Desert

Highway) ???1/2

— Accomplished blues musicians Elam McKnight and Bob Bogdal have joined forces in hopes of expanding their respective fan bases. And if the excellent “ZombieNation” is any indication, the strategy should pay off for them.

This 10-track collection blends Delta and Hill Country blues and... - Pittsburgh Daily


The unfortunate case disregards what we are faced here with a fantastic release. This "Zombie Nation" is the result of a collaboration between two exceptional talents blues. Elam McKnight had three albums to his name including obscure masterpiece "The Last Country Store" which dates from 2005. That year also brought Bob Bogdal are equally to be praised "Underneath The Kutzu" on the market. Both albums were unfortunately somewhat lost the attention of the general public. The criticisms of the reviewer, however, were unanimously praised. There will be no change in this release, quite the contrary.



For this cooperation, the two gentlemen for their inspiration to rummage in the great traditional Mississippi Delta blues and traditional blues sound is covered in the Hill Country. And damn that this combination seems to work is an understatement.

For the record they were reinforced by Tom Hambridge (drums), Michael Saint-Leon (stunning finger picking on the opener "Pojo's Place" and lovely backing vocals from Kim Morrison.



A right up front blues sound thunders from the speakers. Nothing of frills, hard and direct with a guitar in overdrive and brilliant harmonica work are the thread running through this album. But the softer songs with Resonator in a leading role, and good slidend wailing smoelschuiverij get informed.

Stripped naked, with just voice and acoustic harmonica is a truly splendid support in the "19 Days" for example. Breaks in an otherwise thrilling album with heavy pounding, swinging beats as in "I Hate You".



But what are we impressed with McKnight's work on the quoted Resonator! alone with the bar-blues harmonica Bogdal of such an exceptional level that we will not hesitate to put forward this CD as one of the best we have in this genre in recent years have been allowed to listen. We can only hope that the masses with this album to explore the men go back and look for their earlier work. These bluesmen pure and our admiration for this piece is great, we hope you the same.



Bluesyluc - Blues Time (Belgium)


Big Black Hand Entertainment, in collaboration with the Desert Highway Records released the inaugural album Zombie Nation veteran blues Elam McKnight & Bob Bogdala. After a lot of complications found this excellent album in my player and here are my impressions.



After a remarkable solo career Elam McKnight & Bob Bogdal are teaming up to what he says the strength and resources and have recorded this his inaugural album Zombie Nation. Until now I had not had an opportunity to hear, but their magnificent guitar playing and distinctive vocals to the powerful music of harmonica accompaniment and untie and colorful musical background created an album that will indeed often be, a welcome guest in my devices. I personally, especially when someone I enjoy surprises and bring up some really good album. The two of them with the help of backing band recorded a really respectable material. Their musical formula includes melodic and rural Mississippi blues with the dominant electric version of the so-called "Hill Country Blues'. Therefore, it is no wonder that I have all their attention directed towards this album and band, because the quality of their material to simply entails.



This for me, the new name on the blues scene certainly deserves the attention of all those who love and follow the novelties in the world blues scene. Guys have combined their experience, knowledge and feeling you have for this album was recorded ten songs of which I wish to emphasize, really impressive: Pojo's Place, Blues Makes Me Happy, Tom Cat Kitten, ZombieFication, Red Wheel Barrow, 19 Days, No Hard Feelings, I Hate You, Brother To A Stone, Hocus Pocus.



All in all the album has absolutely no drastic fluctuations in the presentation form, the team all the time sounds confident, strong and rhythmic. In addition, their determination to the basic values of the blues only further enhances the entire project and gives it a very, very puno.Ovdje not hurt to mention the other musicians who took part in the recording of this album:



Tom Hambridge on drums (winner of the BMA for a blues song The Living Proof-along with Buddy Guyjem oa)



Kim Morrison - backing vocals and vocal arrangements



On these the best and most prominent values 'with the blues feeling' opens an entirely new and familiar to us all, but not fully disclosed blues views. That's why 'bad' I love these albums with both complex and simple, and highly emotional and unique music.



Album Zombie Nation, to understand is not something you have not already heard, but its expressiveness, power and above all, the ubiquitous 'blues feeling' overwhelmed everyone, hear what it has to offer this sincere and a great album. Their distinctive blues expression can not leave anyone indifferent, and for that reason, I personally am very happy that I, even I am no exception. And that's it, no what else to add, other than a recommendation.



RECOMMENDATION:

If you are not burdened with any musical barriers, if you want to let people feel that the music is dominated by life's difficulties. If you love the blues ... the right place.



On the Album Zombie Nation - Elam McKnight & Bob Bogdala we have a unique opportunity to hear how these great musicians, interesting and impressive, fusing the fact diametrically different expressions of the blues. Traditional Delta blues electrified Hill Coutry are really excellent and highly connected originally derived. At first hearing, everything seems easy, but then slowly realize that everything has a much more complex and more significant meaning. - soundguardian.com (Croatia)


Both McKnight & Bogdal has paid their dues in the blues scene. Each of them has enough credentials to make a booklet out of them and still the twosome thought it would be cool to add another one to it : “Zombie Nation”. For this brand new cooperation and album the pair dug deep into the rural south of the Mississippi blues. Traditional sounds of the Delta are combined with the hard charging electric style off the Hill Country. The combination is somehow strange but once you get into it, it certainly seems to work out well.

The sound of this album is totally Lo-fi and stripped down from all the fancy things you can imagine. A hard but straight forward blues sound is what you can expect from these guys. With a guitar in overdrive and a blues harp that finds its way through the fuzzbox its quite easy to imagine what the sound is on Zombie Nation. Sweat-nasty, Kick-ass blues with wailing harmonica, boogie piano and deep southern slick guitar picking is of course another way to describe it. Leading track “Pojo’s place” kicks in and leaves you mesmerized for the rest of the album Things gets nastier on “Zombiefication”, but on “19 days” the wall of sound is gone and replaced by some stripped down but mean acoustic blues. But not for long, as “No hard Feelings” starts to build already on a new outburst. On “I hate you” we are back on the right track. Hard pumping beats, bar-blues harmonica and not so nice lyrics, a total refreshment I guess. “Brother To a Stone” returns to the roots of the Mississippi but it is on closing tune “Hocus Pocus” that we truly return to traditional delta music.

Zombie Nation has nothing to do with the film genre referred in the title, however it is the first and truly exceptional cooperation between two great blues artists. Somehow I do hope that this is the first of many albums to come.

Mr. Blue Boogie
- Billy Bop (Belgium)


Elam McKnight and Bob Bogdal's new album, Zombie Nation, is featured on Talkin' the Blues this Saturday, June 11 on WLRH FM. http://www.wlrh.org/ Show begins at 8pm CDT, Zombie Nation feature starts around 8:40. Other artists are Harry Manx & Kevin Breit, and Davina and the Vagabonds.



After considerable spins of Elam's Supa Good, this album takes his guitar-centric songwriting up a step in both presentation and production. While it is a trend of sorts for modern busted blues duos and trios to forego having a bassist, here it allows two walls, one of guitar, one of harp, to occupy a large sonic window that is paved with chords, licks and riffs, setting off Tom Hambridge's drums as the sole supplier of staccato in this ensemble.



Elam's singing is straight ahead and not affected, making the lyrics--which are very conversational in nature--clear and the singer's points hard to miss. A surprise on several tracks is the injection of a harmonized background vocal group that would be the norm on a soul-blues release from Ecko or Malaco.



Both Bob and Elam keep their performances tied to the songs with grandstanding happily absent, and sound like they've spent the last 15 years playing their way out of back alley brawls.



Tracks:



Tomcat Kitten

Pojo's Place

I Hate You

Blues Make Me Happy (faded)



http://www.microwavedave.com/

http://www.myspace.com/microwavedaveandthenukes

http://www.myspace.com/mdandn - WLRH FM


Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

Elam McKnight and Keith Carter kick off Sho Nuff: The Last Country Store with two high-energy tracks, tracks that recall Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. McKnight handles the guitar and vocal work, while Carter adds harmonica. "Ain't Gonna Plow No More" and "The Last Country Store" give the impression that both players could care less for new fangled conveniences like electricity, amplifiers, and Stratocasters. The third cut, however, proves this impression false, with a full-band rendition of "Going Away" with a smothered vocal somewhere between a slurred bluesman and Hootie & the Blowfish. It's an odd break in the album, and really hard to explain, since the remainder of the album returns to acoustic arrangements. Furthermore, Sho Nuff even includes an acoustic version of the song that's stuck at the end of the album. Even as an acoustic song, it doesn't match the vitality of "Mama Killed a Chicken" or the soulful intensity of "Whose Gonna Be Your...." The blues unleashed on Sho Nuff are quite old-fashioned, but the lively presentation keeps the music from feeling like a mere exercise in nostalgia. For anyone sick to death of warmed-up leftovers masquerading as real blues, McKnight and Carter have crafted a dynamic album. - All Music Guide


The film devotees will here perhaps indirectly draw a line with Romero zombie films but then they sit on a found oneself track. Because what we here get is go together of the ouwerwetse Mississippi deltablues with electric blues which we know from Hill County. Tennessee are the state where both lords reside and hopelijk for them they do not sit to the poor outside edges of Memphis which submerge at present become by the Mississippi. Elam McKnight debut17_0_ debut `Braid My Hair' lay in 2003, in the platenrekken and not long afterwards `The charge appeared country music Store' (2005). To be most recent cd is `Supa Good' and those dates again from 2007. Bobsleigh offer Galle still knows we of its bluesalbum `Underneath The Kutzu' (2005) what was immediately debut also its. The continuator got `Shadow or A Darkened Moon' as a title. But two brio are now added and the result is amazing. In the studio both lords could count on assistance of incl TOMs ham bridge (drums), Kim Morrison (backing vocal) and Michael Saint-Leon (jet ear on Pojo Place). To `to Pojo Place to `immediately of the nice fingerpicking of Michael Saint-Leon and joint lets us nibble thereby half-measures still some harmonica of bobsleigh and you get perfect opener. `Blues Make me Happy' float on a tight playing the drums rhythm whereas we it measured with `TOMs Cat Kitten4' some more gently to do. But those nice fingerpicking put up the head, therefore just as rewind hereafter the message is enjoy. In `Zombification' we are treated on bobsleigh smoelenschuiverij and if we want will wait swing must we just as for the uptempo number `I Hate You'. `the resonator jet ear gets in the last number all honour because McKnight weet very well this instrument to play on. `Zombie Nation' are excellent bluescd and honestly said hou I not terrible much of resonator resonator and harmonica situations but the way this two-high rolling mill introduces this have looked after that I had reconsider my opinion about this. And rightly because this is of the better bluescd, from the genre (that I vooraan in this discussion communicated) which I have already heard the last years. These two lords can for my share on the podium of R& B in pear stands… if one wants vernieuwing' then nevertheless go for `… Hopefully a major record label will tricks to an awesome damned good cd! He, Sony, alligator, delta… why lookin' any further. This are the real thing… right under your nose…. Alfons Maes (4)

Alfons Maes - Keys and Chords (Belgium) (May 13, 2011) - keysandchords.com Alfons Maes


The film devotees will here perhaps indirectly draw a line with Romero zombie films but then they sit on a found oneself track. Because what we here get is go together of the ouwerwetse Mississippi deltablues with electric blues which we know from Hill County. Tennessee are the state where both lords reside and hopelijk for them they do not sit to the poor outside edges of Memphis which submerge at present become by the Mississippi. Elam McKnight debut17_0_ debut `Braid My Hair' lay in 2003, in the platenrekken and not long afterwards `The charge appeared country music Store' (2005). To be most recent cd is `Supa Good' and those dates again from 2007. Bobsleigh offer Galle still knows we of its bluesalbum `Underneath The Kutzu' (2005) what was immediately debut also its. The continuator got `Shadow or A Darkened Moon' as a title. But two brio are now added and the result is amazing. In the studio both lords could count on assistance of incl TOMs ham bridge (drums), Kim Morrison (backing vocal) and Michael Saint-Leon (jet ear on Pojo Place). To `to Pojo Place to `immediately of the nice fingerpicking of Michael Saint-Leon and joint lets us nibble thereby half-measures still some harmonica of bobsleigh and you get perfect opener. `Blues Make me Happy' float on a tight playing the drums rhythm whereas we it measured with `TOMs Cat Kitten4' some more gently to do. But those nice fingerpicking put up the head, therefore just as rewind hereafter the message is enjoy. In `Zombification' we are treated on bobsleigh smoelenschuiverij and if we want will wait swing must we just as for the uptempo number `I Hate You'. `the resonator jet ear gets in the last number all honour because McKnight weet very well this instrument to play on. `Zombie Nation' are excellent bluescd and honestly said hou I not terrible much of resonator resonator and harmonica situations but the way this two-high rolling mill introduces this have looked after that I had reconsider my opinion about this. And rightly because this is of the better bluescd, from the genre (that I vooraan in this discussion communicated) which I have already heard the last years. These two lords can for my share on the podium of R& B in pear stands… if one wants vernieuwing' then nevertheless go for `… Hopefully a major record label will tricks to an awesome damned good cd! He, Sony, alligator, delta… why lookin' any further. This are the real thing… right under your nose…. Alfons Maes (4)

Alfons Maes - Keys and Chords (Belgium) (May 13, 2011) - keysandchords.com Alfons Maes


I loved Elam McKnight’s previous release, Supa Good, but I think Zombie Nation (Desert Highway Records), his recent collaboration with Bob Bogdal, may be even better. Let’s just call his newest release “Supa Gooder” and be done with it. McKnight’s previous three releases have all earned raves for their originality, fire, and grit, and Bogdal’s previous release was a haunting expansion of the Hill Country sound (Under the Kudzu). Zombie Nation sticks to the basics….no bells and whistles here…just a scorching set of blues that will rock your world.

McKnight and Bogdal cover a lot of ground on this release, mixing good old Delta blues (“ZombieFication” and “No Hard Feelings” both feature some smoking slide guitar), Hill Country (“Tom Cat Kitten,” “Blues Make Me Happy”), and even a couple of rockers (“Pojo’s Place,” “I Hate You”). There’s a trio of acoustic numbers as well – the countryish “19 Days,” “Red Wheelbarrow,” and the closer, “Hocus Pocus.” “Brother To A Stone” combines electric Delta blues and harp (reminiscent of “Key To The Highway”) with philosophical lyrics and soulful chick singers.



McKnight’s guitar work is impressive as he moves from electric to acoustic to resonator with ease, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Bogdal blew the back off his harmonica during this session. These guys complement each other so well, you would think they were joined at the hip. Let’s hope that Zombie Nation doesn’t prove to be their only collaboration. Seek this one out at all costs. - Blues Bytes


` “Zombie, zombie - man there’s zombies everywhere.”

Sounds like a bit of dialogue from some 1970s-era “B” movie, doesn’t it?

If that were the case, one could imagine screams of terror and maybe even a gunshot in the background.

But in this particular case, that line isn’t culled from a black-and-white George Romero flick.

It’s the opening line from “Zombiefication,” one of the standout cuts on the new album from the Tennessee-based blues duo, Elam McKnight & Bob Bogdal.

Appropriately enough, that album is titled Zombie+Nation (Desert Highway Records).

And in place of shrieks of terror, we get a healthy dose of screamin’ guitar from McKnight, topped heartily with some howlin’ harmonica, courtesy of Bob Bogdal.

This batch of zombies that McKnight is talking about, while not really hollow-eyed and after the flesh of the living, are still all around us, posing a threat, nevertheless.

“Bob and I talk a great deal when we are traveling and one thing we are struck with is how people these days are very easily duped into ways of thinking that sometimes are not based in reality. Where that becomes frustrating to us, is it creates all these figurative zombies stumbling around our country simply droning on about talking points that have been programmed into them,” said McKnight. “Discourse in America seems to be pointless, because there are certain segments of our country who only want to tear things apart in favor of starting from where we are and getting our act together. You want to ask them why, and have a discourse or discussion with some of these individuals, but they abdicated their minds a while back and are now, well, zombies.”

Blues music has always been largely about social commentary – from Leadbelly’s “Bourgeois Blues” to “Viet Cong Blues” by Junior Wells - to B.B. King’s “That’s Why I Sing the Blues,” the long history of this genre has always reflected the times it was recorded in.

And “Zombiefication” fits nicely into the blues ranks of ‘this is what’s happening now.’

But just because McKnight and Bogdal are savvy enough to point out the pitfalls of one not being able to think for themselves these days - and the imminent danger of that -that doesn’t mean that spinning Zombie+Nation is like listening to an audio version of CNN.

Quite the contrary.

This disc kicks with all the power of a mule gone berserk.

That probably helps explain why a recent scan of The Roots Music Report found McKnight & Bogdal’s disc proudly claiming the number 14 spot.

McKnight and Bogdal are bluesmen, no doubt about it, but that’s not the end of the story for these two.

While they can slip into traditional electric Delta blues, or even Piedmont-sounding acoustic blues, with the ease that a farmer slides on a pair of overalls, these guys have their own thing going on.

They’re not afraid to mix a little punk, or even some good ole’ classic rock into the fray, making for one wild ride through the disc’s 10 tracks.

“We are different and we embrace that. Also, lyrically and topically, we try to stretch things out and into places that your run-of-the-mill blues song does not go. We also got away from the ‘sing-into-yonder-can’ thing a long time ago,” McKnight said. “To extend parts of a musical tradition, I think, you have to mix it up. It might take some people aback a bit, because it is different, but at the same time, a bit familiar. It is important for us to be a true representation of ourselves and the songs we create. We have our roots but are not tied to them at the hip.”

McKnight and Bogdal scored a real coup for their new project, when they enlisted the help of drummer Tom Hambridge on the disc.

Hambridge, lately a mainstay of the legendary Buddy Guy’s band, not only played and wrote songs on, but also produced, Guy’s latest Grammy Award-winning disc, Living Proof.

“He was a total joy to work with,” said McKnight. “We were very fortunate to be able to have him work with us on this album and his drumming sets the tracks on fire.”

With Hambridge providing a sturdy platform underneath, McKnight and Bogdal take care of the audio carpentry work on top – keeping things on Zombie+Nation movin’ and groovin’ along, masking it next to impossible to sit still while listening to the disc.

Which is probably a good thing.

Because the last place one wants to be when facing a horde of oncoming zombies, is stationary and motionless, kicked back in a chair.

To check out Zombie+Nation, go to www.bigblackhand.com



Terry Mullins

Blues Blast magazine/Areawide Media - Blues Blast/Area Wide Media


Blues rock all the way. Elam McKnight's song writing talent is more than evident and take this CD release to the room of fine listening. Elam sings with everything he has to offer. Blues never felt so good. (4 out of 5 stars)" ---Roots Music Report
- Roots Music Report


"Every Day I do my King Biscuit Time Show I hear, see and meet new faces in the blues field. I don't like to single any one person out, but in this case there's no way for me to skip one of the most up and coming guitar and harmonica players that will make you sit up and take notice. His name is Elam McKnight and featuring Great Britian's Mr. Keith Carter.”
---Sunshine Sonny Payne, King Biscuit Time
"SUNSHINE" SONNY PAYNE - KING BISCUIT TIME RADIO HOST - "Sunshine" Sonny Payne


Blues rock all the way. Elam McKnight's song writing talent is more than evident and take this CD release to the room of fine listening. Elam sings with everything he has to offer. Blues never felt so good. (4 out of 5 stars)" ---Roots Music Report
- Roots Music Report


"Catch Elam now before a big label signs him and smooths him out too much!”
--Dave Drury, BLUES MATTERS, The most read blues magazine in Great Britain - Blues Matters


"Catch Elam now before a big label signs him and smooths him out too much!”
--Dave Drury, BLUES MATTERS, The most read blues magazine in Great Britain - Blues Matters


REVIEW from SKUNK MAGAZINE
August 2007
9 out of 10 STARS

If you listen closely to the end of the first track,” Devil Minded Woman”, you can hear Elam McKnight say, "I think that got it." This player is dead right. This disc has it from beginning to end. Cut after f*#$@!^ cut of dirty, sweaty, nasty, kick-ass blues. This CD sounds alive with wailing harmonica, boogie piano, deep southern slick guitar picking, horns from the heavens, raw energized vocals and of course, don't forget the Browning semi-automatic 12 gauge shotgun (even if Elam believes the shotgun needs more reverb) which ends "I Buried a Black Cat." This piece of work is one of the greatest perks of this job; the ability to bare witness to a master bluesman in the making.
SUPA GOOD should have been named SUPA GREAT because that's exactly what it is...f'n great. Elam McKnight supplies the soundtrack; the smoky room and whiskey is up to you. I promise you, it doesn't get much better than this. This review is over now. Rush out and score this incredible slice of blues.
ML
- Skunk Magazine


Fantastic effort from young generation roots music master...

This album is great, highly recommended to blues fans, roots afficianados, hill country blues devotees, etc. Elam has put a great deal of effort into this CD, and it shows...Walk, don't run, to your nearest music retailer and purchase "SUPA GOOD."

--- Terry Buckalew Host (Delta Sounds Radio) Helena, AR

- Terry Buckalew


NEW REVIEW FOR SUPA GOOD Music City Blues by Don Crow - September 6, 2007
Elam McKnight Review.....
Written by Don Crow
Thursday, 06 September 2007

SUPA GOOD

ELAM MCKNIGHTElam McKnight

DESERT HIGHWAY RECORDS

DHR-44-1002

DEVIL MINDED WOMAN--LOVE ME--I BURIED A BLACK CAT--KUNG FU POWER--HOLD YOU CLOSER--LONG CURLY HAIR--WAY YOU BEEN LOVING ME--MY BABY DON'T SEE ME--PAM GRIER--YO MOMMA TOLD A TALE--WHAT IN THE WORLD IS WRONG--IF THAT DON'T GET 'EM--PONY THANG--JUNIOR I LOVE YOU--MIGHTY MEN--BIG DADDY'S LAMENT

Just like the flame-shrouded voodoo woman rising out of the mists of a Mississippi cotton field on the album's cover, Elam McKnight's "Supa Good," on Desert Highway Records, is full of music that will reach down and grab your spirit and shake your soul to its foundation. It's been our pleasure to know Elam since his first recording, "Braid My Hair," and his talents have only gotten better. On this smokin' set, he pays homage to those from whom he has learned the meaning of the blues, greats such as R. L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, and Othar Turner, among others. Check out "Mighty Men" for his tribute to them. Also, he's backed by a sho' nuff band of rogues named the West Levee Phantoms, and they include Ringo Jukes and Sam Carr on drums, Dano Shaw on bass, Ronnie Godfrey on keys, Kim Morrison on backing vocals, and Elam's recording partner on their acoustic sets and at the IBC, Britain's Keith Carter, on harp.

Elam's maturity as a writer and performer show thru markedly on this disc. He's got that certain swagger that seems to carry these tunes from the Delta juke joints right into your CD player. A good woman that's got "Kung Fu Power" starts off slow, then builds to a searing finish, featuring a fine solo at the bridge. Elam's mandolin takes the lead in the acoustic-themed "Long Curly Hair," with Keith's harp the perfect complement. "Hold You Closer" has a cool, soulful vibe, and with the punchy horn section and backing female chorus, gives this one a STAX feeling. A brilliant slide rolls over Keith's harp as Elam gets down with "What In The World Is Wrong," while everybody has a good time on "Pony Thang," rolling it like a locomotive thru the Clarksdale night.

We had two favorites, too. When a black cat comes after you, the best thing to do is bury it, so, complete with blasts from Elam's Browning 12-gauge (that, sadly, "lack reverb") we have "I Buried a Black Cat." And, Elam professes his intense adoration of Seventies "blaxploitation" film star Pam Grier, noting that "Foxy Brown is the sweetest woman I've ever seen!!" This one is punctuated by some killer "ho' house piano" from Ronnie Godfrey, too!

The very opening line of the CD, from "Devil Minded Woman," has Elam telling us that "a change is gon' come--a music revolution!"--and by the end of "Big Daddy's Lament," that closes the set, this prophecy is brought to fruition. Elam stresses that he's not merely following in the footsteps of the past masters, but looking "to see what they saw" and interpret it in his own way. Young men such as Elam, Richard Johnston, and the surviving members of the Burnside, Kimbrough, and Turner families, have a firm grasp on the meaning of the blues, and, more importantly, what the blues means to them. Elam, we tip our hats to you, young man....."Supa Good" is just that!!! Until next time...Sheryl and Don Crow.
Don and Sheryl Crow - Music City Blues Nashville,TN (Sep 6, 2007 - Music City Blues Nashville


Supa Good.

While it's one thing to call your latest CD Supa Good, it's another matter entirely to live up to that claim.

But like a (in)famous cornerback in the NFL with the marquee-grabbing moniker of Prime Time used to say, "It ain't bragging if you can back it up."

And while it may seem like Elam McKnight must have a huge set of stones for labeling his third CD Supa Good, let me tell you, it ain't bragging, cause McKnight and his troops certainly back it up.

In Spades.

After releasing his first two discs, Braid My Hair and Last Country Store, the latter an acoustic-type effort that paired the dynamic young bluesman with UK harmonica great Keith Carter, McKnight seems intent on shaking up the establishment with Supa Good.

Wound throughout the 16 tracks that make up Supa Good is an underlying theme of revolution, paved by looking back in order to see the future.

McKnight, while obviously a historian and keeper of the flame for those that came before him, has no intention of hitching his wagon solely to the past, rather he seems determined to roll up his sleeves in search of something that is anything but the "same-old, same-old."

Brilliant.

But knowing that McKnight considers R.L. Burnside's 1996 CD A Ass Pocket Of Whiskey to be the Holy Grail of the blues, (as well it is) it's no surprise that Supa Good should find its own spot on the great, big book shelf of the blues, adding new chapters along the way.

For not only does McKnight freely channel the sound of the late, great Burnside along with fellow Hill Country Godfather Junior Kimbrough, he has honed in on the attitude also,sounding like he just stepped out of the backdoor of a Holly Springs BBQ joint straight into the recording studio. Equipped with not only his Silvertone guitar, but with a Browning semi-automatic 12-gauge shotgun, to boot. One can almost imagine Kimbrough burnishing such a firearm to quell an unruly crowd at his famous juke joint on a Sunday night, as McKnight ends the third track on the disc, "I Buried A Black Cat" by letting fly with some hot lead from said Browning, and then exclaiming, "I think the shotgun needs more reverb."

Vocals, guitars, mandolin, tambourine, snare and Browning shotgun, McKnight seems at home whatever instrument rests in his hands.

Revolution, indeed.

McKnight and his West Levee Phantoms, including the red-hot Carter on harp, along with legendary skin-pounder Ringo Jukes on drums and Dano Shaw on bass, deliver a most satisfying blend of old-school Delta blues with a sort of 22nd-Century feel, mixed with a DIY punk-kind of ethos. Jumping from a straight-ahead shuffle to a breakneck, out-of-control, 4-4 on-the-floor rock thing, sometimes within the same song, McKnight and crew keep things interesting from the get-go.

The disc opens with "Devil Minded Woman," starting out like a Burlington Northern engine gathering steam as McKnight fires the opening salvo - "I think I hear a change gonna come." That change does indeed come as the locomotive rattles on, chugging along like a train bound for Clarksdale, Miss. But that train also sounds like might just jump the track at any second, building speed as snippets of fife music - ala the late Otha Turner, show up to speed things along. In the end, however, conductor Carter keeps the train firmly on pace with his outstanding harp work, giving the tune an element of danger missing from a lot of contemporary blues.

Such is Supa Good.

And just when you think you've heard it all, McKnight calls up the Coup De Gras via the disc's closing track.

All 5:39 of "Big Daddy's Lament" are heartfelt minutes, as McKnight rap-sings-talks his way through a litany of people who not only have influenced his work, but also have supported him on what at times has been a rocky road to where he is at today. Most notable in McKnight's thanks is the afore-mentioned Burnside, the "Big Daddy" in the title of the song. McKnight shouts Burnside's praises of the very top of the church spire, saying "I call him Teacher, 'cause he took my soul to school."

All-in-all, whether showing much love for Hill Country legends, or "Pam Grier," or just flat getting down on Son House's "Pony Thang," McKnight's Supa Good is just that, Supa Good.

And like the man says, "It ain't bragging if you can back it up."

Here's hoping McKnight finds the bright spotlight of Prime Time in the near future of what looks to be a long career in the blues. For as McKnight says, quoting the immortal Red, owner and operator of Red's Lounge in Clarksdale, ""This music game is on for life."

---Terry Mullins

- Terry Mullins Entertainment Journalist



Supa Good and Elam McKnight is the future of the Blues! And don't let the skin color fool you as he is real deal old time Mississippi Blues with a modern touch. The music is in good hands with the likes of Elam.

Robert Lynn

Host of the Back Alley Blues Show on KSPQ
- Robert Lynn- Radio Host


Supa Good.

While it's one thing to call your latest CD Supa Good, it's another matter entirely to live up to that claim.

But like a (in)famous cornerback in the NFL with the marquee-grabbing moniker of Prime Time used to say, "It ain't bragging if you can back it up."

And while it may seem like Elam McKnight must have a huge set of stones for labeling his third CD Supa Good, let me tell you, it ain't bragging, cause McKnight and his troops certainly back it up.

In Spades.

After releasing his first two discs, Braid My Hair and Last Country Store, the latter an acoustic-type effort that paired the dynamic young bluesman with UK harmonica great Keith Carter, McKnight seems intent on shaking up the establishment with Supa Good.

Wound throughout the 16 tracks that make up Supa Good is an underlying theme of revolution, paved by looking back in order to see the future.

McKnight, while obviously a historian and keeper of the flame for those that came before him, has no intention of hitching his wagon solely to the past, rather he seems determined to roll up his sleeves in search of something that is anything but the "same-old, same-old."

Brilliant.

But knowing that McKnight considers R.L. Burnside's 1996 CD A Ass Pocket Of Whiskey to be the Holy Grail of the blues, (as well it is) it's no surprise that Supa Good should find its own spot on the great, big book shelf of the blues, adding new chapters along the way.

For not only does McKnight freely channel the sound of the late, great Burnside along with fellow Hill Country Godfather Junior Kimbrough, he has honed in on the attitude also,sounding like he just stepped out of the backdoor of a Holly Springs BBQ joint straight into the recording studio. Equipped with not only his Silvertone guitar, but with a Browning semi-automatic 12-gauge shotgun, to boot. One can almost imagine Kimbrough burnishing such a firearm to quell an unruly crowd at his famous juke joint on a Sunday night, as McKnight ends the third track on the disc, "I Buried A Black Cat" by letting fly with some hot lead from said Browning, and then exclaiming, "I think the shotgun needs more reverb."

Vocals, guitars, mandolin, tambourine, snare and Browning shotgun, McKnight seems at home whatever instrument rests in his hands.

Revolution, indeed.

McKnight and his West Levee Phantoms, including the red-hot Carter on harp, along with legendary skin-pounder Ringo Jukes on drums and Dano Shaw on bass, deliver a most satisfying blend of old-school Delta blues with a sort of 22nd-Century feel, mixed with a DIY punk-kind of ethos. Jumping from a straight-ahead shuffle to a breakneck, out-of-control, 4-4 on-the-floor rock thing, sometimes within the same song, McKnight and crew keep things interesting from the get-go.

The disc opens with "Devil Minded Woman," starting out like a Burlington Northern engine gathering steam as McKnight fires the opening salvo - "I think I hear a change gonna come." That change does indeed come as the locomotive rattles on, chugging along like a train bound for Clarksdale, Miss. But that train also sounds like might just jump the track at any second, building speed as snippets of fife music - ala the late Otha Turner, show up to speed things along. In the end, however, conductor Carter keeps the train firmly on pace with his outstanding harp work, giving the tune an element of danger missing from a lot of contemporary blues.

Such is Supa Good.

And just when you think you've heard it all, McKnight calls up the Coup De Gras via the disc's closing track.

All 5:39 of "Big Daddy's Lament" are heartfelt minutes, as McKnight rap-sings-talks his way through a litany of people who not only have influenced his work, but also have supported him on what at times has been a rocky road to where he is at today. Most notable in McKnight's thanks is the afore-mentioned Burnside, the "Big Daddy" in the title of the song. McKnight shouts Burnside's praises of the very top of the church spire, saying "I call him Teacher, 'cause he took my soul to school."

All-in-all, whether showing much love for Hill Country legends, or "Pam Grier," or just flat getting down on Son House's "Pony Thang," McKnight's Supa Good is just that, Supa Good.

And like the man says, "It ain't bragging if you can back it up."

Here's hoping McKnight finds the bright spotlight of Prime Time in the near future of what looks to be a long career in the blues. For as McKnight says, quoting the immortal Red, owner and operator of Red's Lounge in Clarksdale, ""This music game is on for life."

---Terry Mullins

- Terry Mullins Entertainment Journalist


Elam McKnight is Supa Dupa Good!

Elam Mcnight's music is filled with shoutin' and singin', fat flat foot stompin' and leering dirty preachin' grooves that roll and tumble and crawl their way thru fifty-some years of red dirt, swampy, back porch blues, basement funque, rattle trunk hip-hop haze, deep woods hunch, small town 'tonk n' juke and big city rock and swagger. Mr. Mcknight filters it through well worn rough cotton sugar and grit sacks and tennesee sun and sweat to deliver up a sound that's both familiar, full bodied, refreshing and fine. It's good time any night party music as well as sitting home drinkin' and thinkin' music. Even when Mr. Mcknight gets all goofy and lecherous as on his ode to Pam Grier you'll still raise your cell phone (the new lighter) and rocks glass in agreement and respect. You'll do the same for his tributes to Junior Kimbrough,R.L. Burnside,Othar Turner, and other important mighty men. Mr. Mcknight's thing just gets bigger, hotter, deeper and heavier with each album and this release is far better than the title suggests. Is it perfect? Hell No. Note to Mr. McKnight: The Rap game might not be your forte. But who'd want to listen to perfect anyway? Not me. At 16 tracks it's a full grown-ass big man hungry dinner plate with some lumps in the taters, some burned edges on the meats (but plenty of bacon and salt in the greens!), and xtra greasy gravy plus dessert,baby. Get yrself some extra napkins buddy. It's gonna get on y'all.

Disclosure: Mr. Mcknight gives me a shout out alongside many others on the last track Big Daddy's Lament. I had no idea of this until I heard the album but in no way does that colour my opinion. If it sucked I gar-on-tee you would not be readin' this on account of I do not write about suck.
Rick Saunders - http://ricksaunders.blogspot.com/ - Rick Saunders



Strap in. Elam McKnight has returned to the recording scene with a vengeance. After his more sedate acoustic team-up with Keith Carter, McKnight has roared back with Supa Good (Desert Highway), a wild and wooly gumbo of 21st Century Hill Country Blues that grabs you by the throat from the first track and hangs on for a solid hour.

Dedicated to the memory of Hill Country Blues godfather R.L. Burnside, Supa Good carries that form of music to a new level, with help from Carter, drummer Sam Carr, guitarist Rick White (Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies), and keyboardist Ronnie Godfrey (Marshall Tucker Band).In addition, the rhythm section, the West Levee Phantoms (former Rock City Angel Ringo Jukes on drums and Dan Shaw on bass) really tear the house down in support.


The opening cut, “Devil Minded Woman” starts fast and then speeds up, with Carter threatening to blow the back off his harmonica. “Love Me” features a Hill Country backbeat combined with backup chick vocals and more of Carter’s harp. “I Buried A Black Cat” is a rough and grungy rocker, while “Kung Fu Power” is more of a Delta Blues number. “Hold You Closer” is killer Memphis soul, complete with horn section. “Long Curly Hair” sounds straight out of the Burnside repertoire. Other highlights include “Pam Grier,” a lecherous and hilarious tribute to the sexy 70’s film star, “Yo Mama Told A Tale,” and “If That Don’t Get ‘Em,” another rocker.

Closing things out is a wonderful stripped-down tribute to Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, Othar Turner, and other influences in McKnight’s life and career, and “Big Daddy’s Lament,” a spoken-word/rap honoring Burnside, which ends up being an extended “Thank You” shout-out to all of McKnight’s friends and fans, sort of taking the place of the usual liner note acknowledgements.

Supa Good is a thrilling ride from start to finish, and Elam McKnight’s best release yet. R.L. would be proud.
Graham Clarke - www.bluesbytes.net (Mar 30, 2007)
- Graham Clarke- www.bluesbytes.net


Elam McKnight is Supa Dupa Good!

Elam Mcnight's music is filled with shoutin' and singin', fat flat foot stompin' and leering dirty preachin' grooves that roll and tumble and crawl their way thru fifty-some years of red dirt, swampy, back porch blues, basement funque, rattle trunk hip-hop haze, deep woods hunch, small town 'tonk n' juke and big city rock and swagger. Mr. Mcknight filters it through well worn rough cotton sugar and grit sacks and tennesee sun and sweat to deliver up a sound that's both familiar, full bodied, refreshing and fine. It's good time any night party music as well as sitting home drinkin' and thinkin' music. Even when Mr. Mcknight gets all goofy and lecherous as on his ode to Pam Grier you'll still raise your cell phone (the new lighter) and rocks glass in agreement and respect. You'll do the same for his tributes to Junior Kimbrough,R.L. Burnside,Othar Turner, and other important mighty men. Mr. Mcknight's thing just gets bigger, hotter, deeper and heavier with each album and this release is far better than the title suggests. Is it perfect? Hell No. Note to Mr. McKnight: The Rap game might not be your forte. But who'd want to listen to perfect anyway? Not me. At 16 tracks it's a full grown-ass big man hungry dinner plate with some lumps in the taters, some burned edges on the meats (but plenty of bacon and salt in the greens!), and xtra greasy gravy plus dessert,baby. Get yrself some extra napkins buddy. It's gonna get on y'all.

Disclosure: Mr. Mcknight gives me a shout out alongside many others on the last track Big Daddy's Lament. I had no idea of this until I heard the album but in no way does that colour my opinion. If it sucked I gar-on-tee you would not be readin' this on account of I do not write about suck.
Rick Saunders - http://ricksaunders.blogspot.com/ - Rick Saunders


Discography

Elam McKnight:

"Braid My Hair" 2003
"Last Country Store" (with Keith Carter) 2005
"SUPA GOOD" 2007
"Zombie Nation" (with Bob Bogdal) 2011
"Live from the Thief River" 2013
"Made to Fall" (In development/in production)

Photos

Bio


Elam McKnight

Elam McKnight is a singer/songwriter from West Tennessee. He is an artist firmly based in the roots of his region (Blues, Rock, and Country). McKnight’s solo debut, 2003’s Braid My Hair, was hailed by critics as a breath of fresh air in the sometimes-stale climate that is predictable “bar band” blues, while his second album, 2005’s The Last Country Store, found a spot on many blues charts internationally and in America. McKnight’s 2007’s Supa Good earned notoriety when the opening track, “Devil Minded Woman,” was voted by fans as the Best Blues Song in the Musician's Atlas sponsored 7th Annual Independent Music Awards.

In 2011 McKnight released Zombie Nation with Universal Music Group and his newest musical partner Bob Bogdal. The album featured the exceptional musicianship of Grammy award winning Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy/George Thoroughgood). Zombie Nation received immediate critical acclaim for its hell bent insistence and feet planted deeply in a blues groove all the while testing the genre's limits. The album topped many year end "best of " charts and received radio airplay worldwide.

McKnight is currently working on his 5th studio album on his own Big Black Hand imprint which will stretch out further and delve into a more rock vein and is preparing a Live release entitled Live from the Thief River from McKnight's recent live show opening for Jonny Lang at the 2013 Last Ride Blues Festival. McKnight has also put the finishing touches on his own studio, Magic Lantern Studios, which will allow him the flexibility to make more releases directly to his fan base and the world at large.

Elam has performed at the following festivals, venues, and radio/television shows:

Last Ride Blues Festival (Seven Clans Casino, Thief River Falls,MN)

Eureka Springs Blues Festival (Eureka Springs, AR)

Howlin Wolf (West Point, MS)

Syracuse Budweiser Blues Fest (Syracuse, NY)

Georges Springing in the Blues (Jacksonville, FL)

Sound Advice Blues Festival (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

Telluride Blues Festival (Telluride, CO)

Denver Blues and Bones (Denver, CO)

Fleet Blues Festival (Albany, NY)

Memphis in May (Memphis, TN)

Beale Street Alumni

International Blues Challenge (Memphis, TN)

Prairie Dog Blues Festival (Prairie Du Chien, WI)

Roots and Blues (Rome, Italy)

Blues Sunset Festival (Mount Tibernia, Italy)

Abruzzo Blues Festival (Abruzzo, Italy)

SXSW 2007-2008 (Austin Texas)

Club La Cruces (Playa Del Carmen, Mexico)

Hopkinsville Blues Festival (Hopkinsville, KY)

Legends Blues Festival (Nashville, TN)

King Biscuit Blues Radio (Helena, AR) multiple times

WEVL Radio (Memphis, TN)

CBS-WREG Morning Show (Memphis, TN)

Juke Joint Blues Festival (Clarksdale, MS) 2004-2008

Ground Zero Blues Club (Clarksdale, MS)