Album Review: Brian Knight – A Dark Horse (1981 Music Box pressing)

One day I found myself in a musical wormhole. I can get lost there for hours. I was reading about a virtual unknown British musician that had been in bands early on with both Brian Jones and Charlie Watts. He played with Cyril Davies and then when Cyril died he quit the music business for many years. Ronnie Wood, Peter Green and Eric Clapton were all influenced by his playing. So why had I never heard of him? One way or another I stumbled upon this release. I could not believe the guest artists on this one. Peter Green alone would almost make this a must have, but this album also has Charlie Watts, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Ian Stewart and a host of others. I knew the blogging world`s biggest Stones fan was Aaron from KMA. I wondered if he had ever heard of this one. He sent out some woohoo`s and told me he would give `er. I took that as Aaronese to mean buying a copy of the album. We decided to do a collaboration(here is Aaron’s), so here’s my review.

Boogie Beat – This one almost has a Keef sound to the vocals, in a Stones like rockabilly boogie.

Going Down Slow – The guitar work is the shit on this cover of an old St. Louis Jimmy blues standard.

Bring Your Corn To Me – This original starts off with some Thin Lizzyesque guitar chords. Then the song morphs into a good time ditty with great keys, cool background vocals, wonderful horns and more great guitar.

Trouble In Mind – Again the guitar work is the hero on this one, but the piano leaves an impression too.

Honey Bee – This one has vocals that feel like Clapton doing a cover of this Muddy Waters song.

Blues is Rock And Roll – This one would be great to hear at a 50’s diner with an old school juke box. Pass me the quarters.

Manish Boy – It takes big cojones to cover 2 Muddy Waters songs on one album. This even has Bo Diddley in the writing credits, so only pros should attempt it. Brian and the boys wear their loose pants and do this one justice.

Got The Blues – I love the guitar work and the harp work on this toe tapper. The structure of this song and the lyric placement is a little off, but it’s still a pretty good one.

Good Morning Blues – Brian speeds up this Leadbelly classic and adds some awesome harp, horns and percussion into the mix. The subtle but piercing guitar is cool too.

Cabin In The Sky – A ragtime, fun old piano number.

Bright Light, Big City – Brian croons his way alongside some cool keys and horns. The harp helps set this one on the top shelf with the good liquor.

A good release. Some may say too many cover songs. I personally don’t have an issue with that. My biggest beef is with the album jacket itself. There are no song listings to be found. What is much worse for me are the lack of credits. There is a huge listing on the front cover naming the guests, but nothing identifying what songs they played on. I can pick out subtle notes of Peter Green and Charlie Watts, but I shouldn’t have to guess. I say search this one out, and maybe go down the wormhole with me in search of more Brian Knight stuff. You bring the flashlight, I’ll bring the snacks.

8.5/10

 

21 thoughts on “Album Review: Brian Knight – A Dark Horse (1981 Music Box pressing)

  1. Nailed it, Bop, this was a fine fine fine listening experience for which I thank you enormously for the heads-up! I sure do love me some Stones-related new-to-me tunes… And thanks for the dual-review idea too! Wahoo and give ‘er, indeed! I, too, was a little non-plussed by the lack of credits or even a track listing on the cover (the tracks are on the LP Label itself, in case anybody’s wondering), but then I got swept away by the music and stopped caring ha! I will willingly go down the rabbit hole to find more Brian Knight, no problem!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I believe you suggested the collaboration, so you need to thank yourself.
      I find blues albums were often bad at listing the artists involved.
      Often the back cover is a bunch of blah blah about the artist him/herself, but no mention of anyone else. Brian was just carrying on the tradition.
      Bring your flashlight.

      Like

      • Sticking with the ‘Nudged” thing, HMO is putting a Heavy Metal fave list together for me. I’ve always dug the loud and heavy side of music but other than a few records and bands that caught my ear I pretty well stayed on the outside. I know I’ve missed some good stuff. Does Boppin have a few “nudges” for CB in that vein?. I absolutely dig King Crimsons explosions on Larks Tongue. Thanks.
        (Would you bet your record pile on the Leafs tonight?)

        Liked by 1 person

      • I will send you some stuff in the next few days.

        It all depends on what you like.
        I prefer what are called “clean” vocals, meaning you can understand the lyrics.
        I will send you what I like.
        Old school metal.
        NWOBHM.
        Slash.
        Stoner.
        Doom.
        Sludge.
        Melodic.
        Atmospheric.

        Also another one to check out is punk. Can be pretty heavy.
        Usually very fast, loud, shouty, fun.
        etc..

        Like

      • Don’t sweat it. Whenever. I have lots of Motorhead, ACDC, Zep. I know it’s a big field. I guess what I’m looking for is a choice for bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and the like. Just never delved. Motley Crew and that style never moved me. Pretty vague on my part buy also it leaves it open for stuff that pops into your noggin that you really dig that moves you. Later.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I just reviewed Black Sabbath – Heaven and Hell today.
        Gave it a 10/10.

        Ronnie James Dio is my favourite metal vocalist. Right up there close 2nd with Freddie Mercury for best vocalist of any genre.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Now see that’s what I’m looking for. But I’m sure you can narrow it down on the Dio thing. One album that CB can bracket some time for. Like I said don’t sweat it. When something grabs you and it says “That dumb shit CB might like this one”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Both Priest and Iron Maiden are part(or close to)the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) bands.

        There are a ton in that genre alone that are awesome, but many never became popular over in North America.

        Start with Saxon and Tygers of Pan Tang. Check them out on Youtube.
        I will get you more to delve into later.

        Like

      • All good. Appreciate it. The Dio lead was good, narrowed it down so I have a starting place. I’ll check out the Sabbath you wrote up (10/10). Liked the cut I heard. “Gateway” is a good word for what I’mm looking for. I’m listening to Chickenfoot (Highway Star) this morning. I like it. Breaks up my spin cycle. Thanks again

        Like

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