Kentucky Knife Fight
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Kentucky Knife Fight

St. Louis, Missouri, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2006 | SELF

St. Louis, Missouri, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2006
Band Rock Americana




"Kentucky Knife Fight, Midpoint Music Festival 2011"

When a critic compares your band to either The Stooges or Tom Waits, you’ve got a lot of expectation to address. When a critic compares your band to The Stooges and Tom Waits, you’d better be bringing your A-game, every single time. Kentucky Knife Fight lives up to every ridiculously lofty thing that’s ever been said or printed or spray-painted on an alley wall about them. Garages all over the Midwest are bitterly jealous that KKF’s raw and razor sharp riffs aren’t pouring out of them, other bands marvel at how so little can sound so bloody great and the Earth wonders how it can be as cool as Kentucky Knife Fight. By the way, it can’t be done. - Mid Point Music Festival

"Kentucky Knife Fight keeps new album on the 'Hush Hush'"

"St. Louis band Kentucky Knife Fight’s got some criminal and sexual deviance issues to get off its collective chest." ... - St. Louis Post Dispatch

"The 2011 RFT Music Award Winners"

With a style that's been called everything from punk to alternative country, Kentucky Knife Fight's gritty blend of rock and blues may be best experienced live. The band's slick guitar riffs are often complemented by instrumentation like harmonicas, organs, banjos and fiddles. The frontman, Jason Holler, belts out the groups dark, edgy lyrics in a strained and raspy voice — with just a hint of desperation.

Crowd Response: Folks were literally lined up outside, waiting for their turn to get in during KKF's set at Hair of the Dog. The capacity crowd coupled with the band's energetic performance created a sticky, sweaty environment, which definitely added to the feel of the show. While some couldn't take the heat, most stuck around, clearly enjoying Knife Fight's unique amalgamation of musical sub-genres; you'd be hard-pressed to find music better-suited for a bar like that.
- Riverfront Times

"The 2012 RFT Music Award Winners"

Best Rock Band 2012: Kentucky Knife Fight - Riverfront Times

"When trying to introduce a band like Kentucky Knife Fight..."

When trying to introduce a band like Kentucky Knife Fight in words it’s tempting to fall back onto tired metaphors that evoke booze-soaked blues, shady bars, and a life lived on the edge of society. To do so would, in a sense, be accurate but it would also be a huge disservice to the sound and energy that the band has crafted through countless hard-fought, sweaty, impassioned gigs. Kentucky Knife Fight’s unique blend of twang-tinged, muddy, sensual blues rock stomp can only be truly experienced live. And with the band’s frequent touring throughout the Midwest and South (including a stop at this year’s Twangfest/KDHX SXSW day party in Austin, TX) more and more folks are being converted. You may show up on Wednesday night of Twangfest at The Pageant to see Hayes Carll but you’ll likely go home talking about Kentucky Knife Fight.

– Chris Bay - KDHX Twangfest website

"Concert Review: Kentucky Knife Fight"

"First, let us get the obvious out the way: I love Kentucky Knife Fight and I'm not the only one. The St. Louis band receives plenty of press from local media and beyond, so why do we need another Kentucky Knife Fight concert review?

Well, it is because the band fucking rocks, as does its new record, "Hush Hush," which was released this Saturday to an Off Broadway packed with adoring fans, family, whiskey swillers, balcony perchers, PBR tippers, hipsters and bar-rock aficionados. Lead singer Jason Holler and company performed at top form; it could not have been a better night to be a Kentucky Knife Fight fan." - 88.1 KDHX

"Homespun: Kentucky Knife Fight (album review)"

"Hush Hush is the album that the band needed to make; it doesn't abandon Knife Fight's core sound but widens the lens with a greater focus on storytelling and mood setting." - River Front Times

"Midpoint Music Festival 2012"

“On their new single, ‘Misshapen Love,” Kentucky Knife Fight sweat and swagger through horn-drenched, guitar frenzied Soul Punk anthem that should have been the soundtrack to every road trip this past summer. Aptly named Jason Holler possesses a set of pipes that sound like Alive Cooper right about the time he was yowling about being 18, and the rest of the band burns like bourbon, sometimes as a drink in a glass to smooth out the rough spots and sometimes on rags and boxes as an accelerant in an insurance arson. Kentucky Knife Fight will raise a hot blister on the most jaded Punk ass.” - Cincinnati CItybeat

"Kentucky Knife Knife is on point"

“For some reason Kentucky Knife Fight seems like the quintessential St. Louis band to me. I’ve never been to St. Louis and I’m not too familiar with its music scene, but I feel as if Kentucky Knife Fight is representative of my perceived St. Louis sound.

With lead singer Jason Holler’s signature snarl over rambling drums and sharp guitar riffs it’s easy to picture myself in a grimy St. Louis bar rocking out to KKF while putting back a Bud or two or five. Fresh off of their first vinyl release with the single “Misshapen Love,” the group rocked the MidPoint stage in Cincinnati last month. Look for these guys to do big things this year!” - Sonicbids

"'Break down the wall of hurting each other's feelings' An interview with Curtis Brewer of Kentucky Knife Fight"

Kentucky Knife Fight offers up a sound full of razor-edged riffs, incendiary rhythms and enough darkly hopeless love stories to entertain even the most heartless bastards among us. Oh, and don't forget the harmonica.

Since we last heard from the St. Louis band, KKF has been busy. With a new record in the works, extensive touring (a SXSW appearance) and a new single (replete with video), what else is there for KKF to do in 2012 but headline a show at Off Broadway on Friday night? Rest assured this won't be a typical evening of well-crafted, boozy rock music. No, KKF will be premiering not only their new music video for the single "Love the Lonely," but seven, count 'em, seven new tracks off their upcoming record. - KDHX - Will Kyle

"“…I was born on the bible belt. Give me something sharp so I can kill myself…”"

All the way from St. Louis, Kentucky Knife Fight, took the stage next for their Dallas debut. They opened with a song, “Dream So Sweet”, from their newest album, and it became readily apparent what they were doing, though unintentionally. They were stealing the show. The instrumental beginning of the song went on and on, and I wondered when they’d start singing. But with their singer playing a harmonica, and one of their guitarists rocking out on a banjo, it made it sound pretty awesome. That was the only song they did that had more of a Country sound to it, with the rest being a mix of Blues and Rock, that sounded incredible. And everybody else seemed to think so as well, cause the Doublewide was pretty much packed during their set. They only got to play around 35 minutes, but their set seemed longer than that, in a good way. Both of the other acts are some of most acclaimed DFW bands at the moment and hard to beat, but like I said KKF managed to too. Their performance was very polished and executed flawlessly, easily upstaging SF and WFR. And with the fan base they made from this show, I hope it gets them back to the DFW area sooner rather than later. - The Music Enthusiast (Dallas, TX)

"KENTUCKY KNIFE FIGHT: The Wolf Crept, the Children Slept: CD"

KKF exhumes the shriveled-up corpse of ‘70s punk, cuts it open, and stuffs it full of swaggering rockabilly rhythm. For good measure, it throws in a touch of honky tonk. The lyrics skim through the vulgar lives of shady men driving to places they shouldn’t go, hanging out with the wrong women, drinking too much, and then going back and doing it all again. All that and a killer piano solo.
–MP Johnson (Self-released) -

"Kentucky Knife Fight returns to Off Broadway after successful tour, Friday, October 21"

Kentucky Knife Fight showed Off Broadway they haven't forgotten where they come from with ear-bleeding guitar, whiskey-rambling tunes and St. Louis twang.
The band's Rage Against The Machine-meets-buzz-saw-blues-meets-gypsy-punk and freeway noise-angst (ala Pennywise) more than pleased the hometown audience as Jason Holler's Tom Waitsian vocals towered in brilliant relief.
After John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives warmed the stage with throwback '50s twang, heaps of reverb and amp-melting guitar solos, the crowd refilled their beers and closed in on the stage in anticipation for Jason Holler and the rest of Kentucky Knife Fight.
Lead guitarist Curt Brewer threw a Fender over his shoulder and began the dimly-lit, carnivalesque romper, "Always A Bride, Never A Bribe" from 2010's "We're All Nameless Here." Holler leaned in close to the microphone and sang, "She can tell I'm an only child." The song featured a dark bounce reminiscent of Strawfoot.
"Herschel Walker," a cut from 2008's "The Wolf Crept, the Children Slept," blew up with solos capable of making Soundgarden blush. Jason Koenig's distorted, fat, rumble bass propelled the song with eye-popping finger dexterity. Rhythm guitarist Nate Jones and Brewer took turns smashing chords and running the fret board. The audience chanted along with Holler every time he hit the punk chorus, "Ho-my-hepen-my-ho-my-hey. I can't make a living of what you say."
"Wild Irish Rose" sauntered out like a beauty queen and offered the audience a break from wiggling and dancing. The song built toward an epic chorus as its subdued verse employed scores of blues tinkering from Brewer. On "Dream So Sweet," Holler picked up an army green microphone and unleashed a white-hot harmonica solo as Brewer picked along on a banjo. Holler's blown-vocals featured a string of listed words that landed to superb rhythmic effect.
"I Can't Stand This" conjured up a back-alley strewn with cigarette butts and a broken jaw. The song's chorus, "Gave my heart to the one I loved, but she ran off quick when push came to shove" was played in true blues tradition, but twisted, Kentucky Knife Fight style, replete with stabbing, falsetto "hoos!"
"West 19" had every head bobbing and beer sloshing with its unhinged bass and motor-turning, distorted rhythm guitar. Holler liberated another harmonica solo to roars from the crowd. "Crooked Waltz" wasn't much of a waltz, rather a Rancid-drenched, power-punk face-crusher.
Kentucky Knife Fight invited John Paul Keith to the stage for "The South Roxana Wiggle." Brewer and Keith tossed guitar solos back and forth with a flick of their eyes or a smile. The instrumental, with unrehearsed soloing and a sense of play, proved to be the perfect bluesy mid-set complement to Holler's amazing vocal work. After the song, Brewer, happy he nearly upstaged Keith, shot a sly grin at Jones who nodded in agreement. Having witnessed guitar dueling at its finest, everyone exhaled and wiped their brows.
Holler returned for "6 Months Along." At the song's ultimate moment, Holler repeated, "walking by" barely taking a breath between phrases. Brewer stood inches away from Holler making funny faces as the song flew into a crescendo and burst at the seams with psycho-sick drumming from a sweat-drenched James Baker.
Kentucky Knife Fight rounded out its set with the double-suite of up-tempos rockers, "Sex Crimes" and "Little Sister." Toward the end of "Little Sister," the guitars sped ahead like a Chevelle doing 100 MPH. Baker pushed the tempo into stratosphere. I felt my legs about to break as the song's manic pace became nearly impossible to dance to.
Kentucky Knife Fight left the stage, and after a round of drunken chanting from the audience, returned to cheers. "This last tune is a sing-along. I have faith in you," Holler said. "Got My Heaven" ambled across the stage and stood true to its message -- Kentucky Knife Fight and the audience were indeed in heaven at Off Broadway.
Appropriately, on this evening of the second predicted apocalypse (October 21), Holler sang, "Pastor John reads from the book of Revelation. So at night, he polishes his gun, but Armageddon never did come." Pleased fans shouted along, happy in their own heaven, wondering if Kentucky Knife Fight had in fact brought the Rapture home to St. Louis. -

"Meet the 2011 Riverfront Times Music Award nominees"

St. Louis has long been a breeding ground for both punk and blues. The two genres are in our city's blood, all the way from Petey Wheatstraw to the Conformists. In the last ten years, a younger generation has begun to merge blues and punk with a distinctively brazen, trashy and twangy St. Louis style. Led by singer Jason Holler, Kentucky Knife Fight comes well armed with fist-jabbing rhythms, blown-out vocals, snarling guitar, purring organ and a vintage sensibility that's neither quaint nor hipster. This gang makes dark music for dark rituals in the shadows of the honky-tonks, but the band ultimately worships the blues, in both urban and rural forms, and it kicks the shit out of hillbilly music to boot. (Roy Kasten) - Riverfront


Still working on that hot first release.



As the Gateway to the West, the promise of leaving St. Louis was built into the prospect of arriving here; her arch functions as an ironic symbol of something to pass through, that which you don't look at but look beyond. But for those who stay, like the five-piece punk-blues wrecking crew Kentucky Knife Fight, this unswept city itself finds a voice in their sound. Like the dark side of a postcard, unfamiliar unless you live there, their newest songs are inhabited by the city's criminals and carrion its lonely, displaced, and desperate. Their city is poised on the precarious edge between southern hospitality and northern cynicism, between bourbon in a pitcher and lukewarm beers that you have to open yourself.

Kentucky Knife Fight have grown along with the city, returning after relentless touring with an increasingly acute perspective of the hardships inherent in St. Louis life. Like the scene itself, they have seen their own youthful angst become introspection and insight; what were once accidental riffs have become anthems; and opening for national acts have yielded performances that were not only memorable, but mattered. Their music is world-weary but hopeful; grace is never enough to save the unsavory; and just because you love something doesn't mean that its good for you.

Pulling St. Louis with them like an always-almost-broke-down trailer across the country, the band is but one of a growing armada of ambassadors in every medium, renewing the city's vital voice in American art. The city's community-based initiatives, collective spaces, and galleries are fostering progressive ways to imagine performance-based art. Newly influential again, St. Louis is listening to Kentucky Knife Fight tell its story; they were named Best Rock Band four times by the Riverfront Times, but that feels less like an award than an announcement. Because Kentucky Knife Fight are too hungry to be tired; too restless to rest; and too stubborn to stop.

Band Members