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In four previous albums West Tennessee native Elam McKnight has succeeded in accomplishing a number of things. His first release breathed life into the sometimes stale and tobacco stained “bar band” blues scene. The second one scored some blues chart time in both America and abroad. His third one earned a Best Blues Song award from the independent music awards. Each album met with more success and more critical praise. The music world was his rootsy and bluesy oyster. But then something changed. Elam was inspired by an interview he read from Cormac McCarthy who stated something along the lines of he had no time for authors who did not deal in the truths of life. Elam decided to take a look at his own life. While his previous works had garnered fanfare and acclaim and made Elam a household name in independent blues circles, they had also served to typecast him and his music. He wasn’t getting into the parties that didn’t have a blues soundtrack to them. This didn’t fit with how Elam viewed himself as an artist. He decided that he was going to release all of his music. He wasn’t just going to cater to everyone else’s expectations of him. Elam’s latest album, Made to Fall, is a product of this decision. It spreads out sonically and stylistically in a way that the others have not. The album features songs that would easily be at home on indie rock/alternative/country/oldies stations. Case in point, stand out single “Glow” which sounds like something that a toned down radio rock band would end an album with (give ‘em something different, give ‘em what they love). Or “A Little Bit of Love” which is a 70′s inspired acid rock track that would flow perfectly as a b-side to a Doors song. Or the catchy sing-a-long country-pop of “We All Fall Down.” These three, plus the seven others that adorn the album, have been cooking in Elam’s system for a while. They’ve been waiting for just the right moment to be carved up and served. That time has finally come. The album is set for release next month.

Reviews for Zombie Nation

Elam McKnight & Bob Bogdal: REVIEWS

 

ELAM McKNIGHT & BOB BOGDAL: Zombie Nation

 

Desert Highway Records BBH0004 (42:09)

 

This intriguing CD title initially suggested that it could be a political metaphor for the UK until the recent riots started; however, it is a CD of some very enjoyable and diverse musical styles from two Americans who have a firm grounding in the blues. Opening with a southern rock guitar riff that Creedence Clearwater Revival would have given their eye teeth for, McKnight’s guitar playing and Bodgal’s harp propelled along with Tom Hambridge on drums is exhilarating and refreshing. Interestingly there is no bass playing and half the album consists of mid to up-tempo blues and blues rock. As a pleasant contrast there is some lovely down home resonator guitar and harmonica playing on such as’19 Days’, a tribute to alcohol misuse, and ‘Hocus Pocus’. Other well crafted lyrics can be found on the inventive ‘I Hate You’, and overall this is an enjoyable, entertaining and highly satisfactory album. These are two musicians to watch out for and if you do get a chance to listen to this album you will not be disappointed.

 

Paul Mooney

 

Phil Wight

Reviews Co-Editor - Blues & Rhythm Magazine

39 Dundas Crescent, Eskbank, Dalkeith, Midlothian EH22 3ES

Scotland, UK

 

Paul Mooney - Blues & Rhythm Magazine (Aug 22, 2011)

 

Press/Media Reviews

 

 

 

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 allows both principals to showcase their skills. Among the many highlights here are “Pojo’s Place,” “Blues Make Me Happy,” “Zombiefication,” “No Hard Feelings,” personal favorite “I Hate You” and “Hocus Pocus.” If you’re a fan of the blues, this is a worthy addition to your collection. And if you’re not, I’d still urge you to give McKnight and Bogdal a spin.

 

(JS)Pittsburgh Daily News

 

 

 

“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)

 

 

 

“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. 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.” --- Dave Gallaher Host of Talkin' the Blues on WLRH FM

 

 

 

“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

 

 

 

“Exceptional "blues music" from the delta. Some of the best traditional blues music available.”--- Delta Frank, WGLT FM, Normal, Illinois

 

 

 

“Just to let you know, we be DIGGIN' this fine CD "ZOMBIE NATION" on EIGHT TO THE BAR WITH TARR! I'm having great listener response and I’m playing every track. Keep on keeping it Blue...”--- Les Tarr, Eight to the Bar with Tarr, KMFB 92.7 96.7 FM Mendocino, CA

 

 

 

“You did a fantastic job on your album...it's a real smoker!”--- Steve Cagle, Blues Spectrum, KVMR San Francisco, CA

 

 

 

“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)

 

 

 

“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 fuzz box 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. Zombie Nation has nothing to do with the film genre referred in the title, however it is the first and truly exceptional venture between two great blues artists. Somehow I do hope that this is the first of many albums to come.” (4 out of 5 stars.) --- Mr. Blue Boogie Billy Bop (Belgium)

 

 

 

“ 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. 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. “ --- Graham Clarke, Blues Bytes

 

 

 

“We are faced here with a fantastic release. This "Zombie Nation" is the result of a collaboration between two exceptional blues talents. 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! Saying ‘this combination seems to work’ is an understatement. 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 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!” --- Luc “Bluesyluc” Meert Roots Time (Belgium)

 

 

 

 

 

“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 disc kicks with all the power of a mule gone berserk.” --- Terry Mullins, Blues Blast

 

“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 cannot 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 Bogdal 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.”

 

--- Mladen Loncar Soundguardian.com (Croatia)

 

 

 

“This is of the better blues cd, from the genre I have heard in the last few years. These two artists can share the podium with anyone in the R& B genre… if one wants vernieuwing' then nevertheless go for it`… Hopefully a major record label will become aware to an awesome damned good cd! Hey, Sony, alligator, delta… why look any further. These are the real thing… right under your nose….”

 

--- Alfons Maes - Keys and Chords (Belgium)

 

 

 

“Elam McKnight's sound isn't punk, it isn't Hill Country, it isn't traditional Chicago, it isn't straight rock. But you can hear all those sounds on "Zombie Nation", the latest release from this native of Jackson, TN. Though McKnight writes the occasional "woman done me wrong" blues song, he separates himself from many of his predecessors and contemporaries with thoughtful and insightful observations of today's world”

 

--- Jon Norton, Program Director, WGLT/Peoria/Normal, IL

 

 

 

"From the Mississippi River To the highest mountain in Tibet the rage of Elam embodies the true spirit of the USA. Zombies of the world, well-dressed puppets of this universe and out of your souls, it is time to discover and love the ROOTS of our civilization. Knell down and let Elam teach us a life's lesson...we are not worthy!”

 

--- Alberto Rubecchi, Blues Sunset (Italy)

 

 

 

“I love this CD, it's fresh with excellent musicians, I really think they put a extra twist on the blues, I spin it often on cure for the blues show, very tight group and Elam is the best PR man for his on band, I must say Zombie Nation is one great CD, I suggest everyone check this out, I spin at least one track every week because it keeps sounding better !!!”

 

--- J.C. Spinner, Radio Host, WCIN in Cincinnati and WDAO in Dayton

SKUNK MAGAZINE

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

Illinois Blues.com

"When we finally made it to the Acoustic stage we got our first look at Elam McKnight & Bob Bogdal. This young duo won the Sonny Boy Blues Society solo/duo Blues challenge and will be competing in Memphis in February at the International Blues Challenge. It was easy to see why they won and I think you should check them out in Memphis. They played a great set of real Delta Blues to an enthusiastic crowd. Afterwards they greeted the crowd and sold a few CD's and signed autographs. "

Blues Bytes for Underneath the Kudzu 2005

" Bogdal's lyrics which seem to be largely autobiographical, capture the true quality of the hill country sound and the blues itself. Fans of the hill country sound will find much to savour here. "

All Music Guide (4 out of 5 Stars)

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. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., All Music Guide

http://dimosblues.blogspot.com/

You can find many kinds of blues here. This eclectic work from rising star on blues scene offers deep delta blues, fiery boogie, soulful blues etc. Songs are performed both on electric and acoustic guitars. Elam himself describes his music as "Roots Blues". Whether these are his own songs (which count to majority) or covers, (Robert Johnson's "Terraplane Blues" and traditional "Devil Got Religion") the feeling is all the same: raw blues. Elam is equally good on both electric and acoustic guitars. He is a sound songwriter too. Seven of 12 songs (actually of nine songs since three of them are repeated) are originals. Among them "Sugar Cane" has to be emphasized particularly. Soulful pearl in the delta wilderness. Keep an eye open on this guy!

Blues Revue Magazine

"The debut by guitarist - harmonica player Bob Bogdal peels away the fun quotient in favor of stripped-down Hill Country blues tackling serious subjects: His songwriting and arranging skills are there, giving Underneath the Kudzu a haunting, lingering prescence. "

http://ricksaunders.blogspot.com/

Monday, March 19, 2007 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.

Back Alley Blues Show KSPQ

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

Host Delta Sounds Radio Hour Helena,AR

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." 4 out of 5 Stars

Tri City Arkansas

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."

Music City Blues Nashville,TN

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.

www.bluesbytes.net

Graham Clarke Blues Bytes also submits to Blues Matters 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.

KING BISCUIT TIME RADIO HOST

"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

www.livecity.it

Follwing is a review from livecity.it. It describes Elam's performance on Dec 10,2006 at Club La Palma (Rome's premier Blues Club): Elam McKnight enters therefore in scene with a great atmosphere already created from the group Pap Leg. What puts to us in more? Clearly l’anima. It is that he is been born in Tennesse and, tells, feels deeply legacy to us nearly to level of blood with the black ones (“we’re brothers”), he sees blues thanks to his deep understanding of these places, where he has grown, where he has lived, where continues its life between difficulty and uneasiness, marginalization and abandonment. Because it is above all this his America. That one of the poor ones, of leaves you their destiny, of which music is indeed l’unica availed again opportunity of, to manifest the own emotions, to join in of the outcries of anger but also of incosciente joy.

Roots Music Report

"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

“Great Blues harmonica players are becoming very scarce. Keith’s abilities, particularly in the realm of acoustic blues are practically without peer. Acoustic blues is one of our great American art forms, an art form that is gradually becoming extinct.” ---Kenny Mullins has fronted for and toured with legendary performers such as Chuck Berry, Bonnie Raitt, Doc Watson, Willie Nelson and Iggy Pop.

Blues Matters (UK)

"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

“Keith Carter is a fine sensitive harp player recalling the low down and swinging East Coast piedmont style ala Sonny Terry, Buddy Moss and Jordan Webb and moans with the best of them! Keith listens and plays with his fellow musicians like a true Rural Blues man, a rare quality indeed in today’s climate of blasting extended electric guitar solos." ---Mississippi Max Haymes, Blues Historian, Lancaster, England, Author of I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom

Cat Head Records

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

FELLOW "FUTURE PRIMITIVE"

Elam McKnight is the Real Deal Reviewer: Chris Cotton Listen: If you are making an informed buying decision based on reviews, then read this one. Elam McKnight & Keith Carter are the real deal. No they are not going to lend creedence to the current wankin' rock blues genre of today. They are also not going to give credit to the cheap imitators that play note for note renditions of Charlie Patton, Blind Willie Johnson, and the more famous Robert of the same last name. Elam and Keith are also not going to roll over and play cover songs that would be ear candy for the masses. Thats the first three stars that I give them. The most important thing to remember(for me) when listening to traditionalists that they must have enough good sense to make the music their own and whether playing traditional blues standards in a more creative and modernized way, or writing original tunes with one foot deep in the genre(I'm talking really deep, not 40 years ago deep) is to do it with the spirit of the founders, and that in itself an anomolie, to say the least. That takes guts. Thats my 4th star to thier effort. The reason I give them the full five star rating is because they are genuinely good folks, from TN, and are doing thier best to make great music, in light of all of the pitfalls of the music bizness, and they are doing it selflessly, and would more than likely take you into there home, give you a cold one, and play you some good live music on thier porch, if they thought you would like it. These qualities are rare at best, and although I know Elam personally, this is not a cheap attempt at trying to endorse him because I am acquainted with him. I honestly feel that you should add this record to your collection. It is great. Chris Cotton

Memphis Flyer

After threatening to steal the show at the 2005 International Blues Challenge, regional blues duo Elam McKnight & Keith Carter cut The Last Country Store at Kid Laster's Eaton, Tennessee, grocery. Fans of hill-country and hellbent acoustic blues will love the gritty title track as well as songs such as "Going Away" and "Ain't Gonna Plow No More"

Melbourne Blues Society

ELAM McKNIGHT & KEITH CARTER: The Last Country Store Here is a CD based on the delta and blues roots style of blues. Elam handles acoustic guitar and vocals while Keith takes care of the harp, with some tracks also having backing. The CD has the deep southern feel of blues and both players come together to form a well rehearsed, tight unit. All 12 tracks are well produced and the CD represents a true example of moving delta blues. This CD is available from Big Black Hand Productions

Blues Bytes

Elam McKnight & Keith Carter’s latest release, The Last Country Store (Big Black Hand) features more of that great Hill Country sound McKnight gave us so well in his previous release, Braid My Hair. Though hard as it may be to imagine, McKnight’s songwriting chops have improved since the last time out as have his vocals and guitar. Carter’s harmonica work is sublime and adds much to the overall sound of the album. Of the twelve tracks, eight are original compositions, still in the Hill Country or Delta vein, and the standouts include “Ain’t Gonna Plow No More,” the title track, “Cadillac Woman,“ and “Going Away,” which is featured in two versions; the first produced by Grammy-winner Jimbo Mathus and featuring his now-familiar “post-modern primitive” style, and also in a killer acoustic version to close out the disc. The covers are a couple of traditional tracks (“Mamma Killed A Chicken” and “Another Man Done Gone”), Blind Boy Fuller’s “Pig Meat,” and an impressive cover of Robert Johnson’s “Me And The Devil.” As impressed as I was with McKnight’s last release, I think this one tops it with room to spare. He and Carter both have a bright future ahead. If you like acoustic blues or roots music in the vein of the recent Chris Cotton disc, you’ll enjoy this one. Go to www.bigblackhand.com or www.cdbaby.com to pick this one up.

Rick Saunders

Elam McKnight: The Last Country Store Tennesee deep blues artist Elam McKnight's second album is out and it's bona fide Saturday-night-on-through-Monday-afternoon-country- man-city-boy-blues spectacular. Mr. McKnight did not slump to round two but rather rolls out a full album's worth of his own powerful vision of (to use his phrase) "Future Primitive" blues based music. Remember when artists attempted to present a solid body of work rather than some sliced/diced/smothered/covered and microwaved meat- free sausage factory music-style product? Mr. McKnight never worked at the sausage factory. I gotta believe he's worked the counter at The Last Country Store. "Say Elam give me one of those sexy soul blues folk songs to play at 1am when she's left me again" you'd say. "Sure," he'd say "here's Going Away produced to a Clarksdale `T' by who else but Jimbo Mathus. It'll cure you up!" All the while over in the corner England's Keith Carter is stokin' the stove with harmonica runs `til it's hotter than slow dancin' with the devil's daughter all night long. Oh, they feed you so good at The Last Country Store. With a dose of Blind Boy Fuller's Pig Meat you'll be back on top of the food chain. You'll need it after after McKnight and Carter's Cadillac Women have you hanging black crepe on your front door. No time later you'll be "rollin' outta Georgia gonna sneak back home to Tennessee" after the sad cry and low moan of Leaving Five Points. "Please, Mr. McKnight! Please, Mr. Carter!" you might be cryin' now, "I've been down too long!" So they start in goofin' on the ever so sooper rockin' Mama Killed a chicken and you commence to runnin' around in circles like a head with yr chicken cut off. But listen folks, Y'all remember a couple years back when "They" sponsored the "Year of the blues"? It was a nice warm puppy of an idea, to be sure, but an utter bust. It didn't matter. Any art that needs a government decree is as dead as forty acres of kudzu and a cross-eyed sway-backed mule. Thank heavens artists like McKnight recognize that. He knows too well his music is all about rump shakin' dirty dancin' all saturday night and then wakin' up righteous on Monday- a righteous vibe which might last `til all of Wednesday when you start feelin' bad again. He knows that the simple country blues power and full gospel beauty of a piece like Another Man Done Gone can rise above and transcend all that. Young artists like Elam McKnight, Mark Lemhouse, Chris Cotton and others this year have given us some of the finest neo-traditional blues based music since the North Mississippi renaissance began. Thanks to Mcknight and Carter we have one more reason to be excited about the blues again. -Rick Saunders 11.11.05 2:57am

Billtown Blues Society

Elam McKnight & Keith Carter The Last Country Store Big Black Hand Records This one caught my eye immediately when it hit my desk. It was extremely generic…no fancy artwork, no dynamic posters, just a plain blue paper envelope and a short sheet of facts introducing the band. I was intrigued and impressed. Either this band had what it takes to make it without a major promotional push or they were two jokers just out for a good time. Too often, the louder the racket surrounding a band’s debut, the more painful the CD. The Last Country Store was a real treat…a breath of fresh air. The pairing of guitar and harmonica can be a beautiful thing when done well, and this duo does it very well. Still, what I liked most about this piece was the spontaneity. This one is pure, unrefined and powerful. This has a down-home comfortable feel that I found irresistible. I was left with memories of my own impromptu jam sessions. True, nothing earth shattering happened there, but we had lots of fun. The Last Country Store is just that…fun, comfortable and real easy to listen to. -Bill Wilson

Walla Walla Blues Society

Sorry about that premature e-mail. Here is the review: Elam McKnight and Keith Carter-The Last Country Store 2005 Big Black Hand Productions Right off the bat you will get hit by a freight train of sound. The opening number, “Ain’t Gonna Plow No More” Starts with strong harmonica and quick strumming. The Last Country Store is an album that pays respect to the deep roots Blues and McKnight and Carter hook up together like great acoustic Blues duos of the past (Brownee McGhee & Sonny Terry come to mind). The CD was actually recorded in an old mercantile deep in the rural Delta community of Eaton, TN. This shop, in fact, is the same one that McKnight grew up hanging out in. When he learned that it was going to be torn down he made arrangements to do the recording there. Better yet this recording was done while the store was open for business. The entire episode gave birth to not only an album but also a documentary about the store and it’s owner. This CD contains different flavors of acoustic Blues. Rollicking Delta on “Ain’t Gonna Plow No More”; traditional Delta-“The Last Country Store” & “Cadillac Women”; Hill Country on “Leaving Five Parts”; field hollering on “Another Man Done Gone” and a new stab at Blues on “Going Away”. The music here is reminiscent of the gritty tunes of Son House and Charlie Patton but with great harmonica solos by British-born Carter. This CD is pure dirt roads and bare feet. I don’t often listen to acoustic Blues but this CD makes me want to make more time to do so. More info at www.bigblackhand.com 3 ½ Onions (this is on a rating scale of "1" being worse to "5" being best)