Kelly Willis has a new rockabilly-flavored album, Back Being Blue, released in May via Premium Records/Thirty Tigers. Chris Knight last released Little Victories via Drifter’s Church in 2012. The two team up for a double-blast of Americana at The Birchmere on Friday, June. 8.
Chris Knight has been doing things his way since his first self-titled album in 1998.
With the title track of Little Victories, Chris Knight got a lot more optimistic than usual and recruited his musical hero John Prince to contribute vocals.
“When I was 16, I got a John Prine songbook and learned about 40 of his songs,” Chris said. “‘Used to play them for the kids in study hall at school every day. About 20 years later, I finally got to meet him when I opened a few shows for him. He asked me to come out and sing ‘Paradise’ as part of his encore, and I got to play the blonde Martin guitar that was on the cover of his first album. I sent him ‘Little Victories’ and he liked the song enough to be on it.” John Prine gave Chris high praise indeed when he said, “We sound pretty good together. Just like Phil and Don Everly.”
Listen to “Little Victories” by Chris Knight with John Prine on YouTube:
Kelly, now an Austin resident, spent her formative years in Annandale, Virginia, so in a way, Friday’s show is a homecoming concert for her. Of her new album, she said, “I wanted to make a fun, interesting record that leans on the influences that first inspired me to make music. I don’t think of it as even being so much about my vocals as an album about vibe.”
She added, “The important thing to me was to take these songs and to get them just right musically. And in my mind, I was thinking of where maybe Skeeter Davis meets Rockpile, or Marshall Crenshaw meets the Louvin Brothers.”
Listen to “Back Being Blue” by Kelly Willis on YouTube:
Catch these two fascinating musicians together! Buy your tickets online.