elam mcknight & Keith Carter

elam mcknight & Keith Carter


Elam McKnight and Keith Carter play a mobile form of blues which dates back to the days of itinerant musicians, a pack of clothes and acoustic instruments in tow, who traveled the routes of the Southeastern US to ply their talents.


Here is what Roger Stolle of Clarksdale,MS has to say about Elam McKnight and Keith Carter's "The Last Country Store" Release Date May 7,2005

“Their newest CD captures much of that excitement and sense of discovery. Fittingly, "The Last Country Store" owes as much of its sound to the bright, rolling hills of Tennessee as it does the dark,flat fields of the Mississippi Delta. Much of the CD centers around bad love and moving on, mixing traditional blues themes with touches of gospel and country roots. And there are many highpoints. For fans of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, there are numerous guitar/harmonica duo numbers. For fans of updated blues and even Americana music, there are a handful of more orchestrated, band cuts somewhat in the vein of Chris Whitley or maybe even John Mellencamp. The Last Country Store" is more heartfelt and unvarnished than many of today's slicker, big studio releases. That's not to say that the production standards aren't high. They are. But the energy level and spontaneous feel of the album is certainly boosted by the "future primitive" approach that Jimbo Mathus' studio employs. In the end, the CD accurately portrays an up-and-coming blues duo worth watching. Check it out.” ---Roger Stolle---Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art---www.cathead.biz
Roger Stolle - Cat Head Records

Elam McKnight and Keith Carter play a mobile form of blues which dates back to the days of itinerant musicians, a pack of clothes and acoustic instruments in tow, who traveled the routes of the Southeastern US to ply their talents. "Our music travels well and is suited to festivals, concert halls, large
to small venues, gas stations, parking lots, front porches, back porches, street corners, brothels, country stores, flat bed trailers, living rooms, fish fries, and goat roasts."

The two began as many things do, out of sheer desperation. Desperation in that Elam McKnight had released an album, couldn't afford a band to tour with, and needed someone to go on the road with, and fast.
Enter Keith Carter, virtuoso harmonica player from Great Britain. One might ask how the two crossed paths.
McKnight ran an add in a Nashville magazine for a harmonica player. "A musician friend of mine suggested the addition of a harmonica player, as I was in no position to feed, much less support a band. I said 'Man that's a great idea!' I put the ad out and it ran for two weeks. I got calls from drummers,
bass players, and one trombone player. Near the end of the ad’s run I was still with no harmonica player. So this guy calls me up and asks 'are you looking for a guitar player?' and out of frustration I said 'Hell no! I put an add out for a H-A-R-M-O-N-I-C-A player!' and he said 'Oh, well I know one and I
will email you his phone number' and he did which lead me too Keith." The two met, played two songs, and that was all that was needed. "There was an obvious chemistry from the first notes"

The duo hit the road together in the Summer of 2004 and played "basically wherever we could" ,working their way into several different festivals, venues, and appearances; including 4 on the King Biscuit Radio Show, Ground Zero Blues Club (owned by actor Morgan Freeman), and during the King Biscuit Festival (Helena, Arkansas) and during the Sunflower Blues Festival (Clarksdale, MS.) The two have been very busy over the last year and recorded their first album and filmed a documentary about the location site of the recording, which was an old mercantile store in the rural delta of west Tennessee a few weeks from demolition. "We had talked about recording in the store as it was one of a kind and there are not many left. I love location recording and had done some on the last album in Mississippi with the Burnsides. I mentioned the idea to someone and they said ‘you better hurry up because they are tearing it down in two weeks.' So we got it just in time as it was torn down five days after we wrapped up recording and filming."

The duo also enlisted the production skills of Grammy winning Producer/Musician Jimbo Mathus (Buddy Guy, James Mathus Knockdown Society) for the single “Going Away” which will be prominently featured on the documentary and album.

The CD and documentary is set for release in the spring/summer of 2005.

This duo has a great deal to look forward to over the coming year and both want to continue making music in the way they love it as Carter explains:

"Elam and I want to make the kind of stuff that is real, not contrived or some kind of gimmick, music that has some history behind it. We like it that we can play in front of thousands at a festival, a small crowd at a venue, or on a porch in front of five folks like we did at the Otha Turner picnic and this 'thing' we make, this sound, never loses anything in the translation.”


Elam McKnight (self released) Braid My Hair
Keith Carter (self released) Keith Carter

Set List

Mostly original blues. If we do a cover it is usually Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, Sonhouse, Muddy Waters, John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson, Sleepy Johns Estes, etc.

Three Legged Dog
Ms. Maureen
Plow These Mules
Cadillac Women
The Last Country Store
Another Man Don' Gone
Little Boy
Braid My Hair
Sugar Cane