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by Elam McKnight Band

Southern American music in the vein of Soul, Country, and Americana.
Genre: Country: Americana
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Album Notes

Elam McKnight Band is three years in the making. Roots Artist Elam McKnight had settled into his regional environs of West Tennessee and set up shop after over 12 years of recording (5 studio albums and 1 Live effort) and touring nationally and internationally. Using the hub near Memphis he constructed his own Magic Lantern Studio, and aligned himself with management, a publicist, and a booking agent. But he was missing one thing he had the luxury of in Nashville: a band.

“I am in a great place personally and artistically but I needed a unit to solidify the sound I was reaching for and I wanted West Tennessee boys to help me get it” says McKnight. Enter a 62 year old Blues Man with over 45 years of experience playing juke joints and roadhouses all across the region and a rock n roll drummer with a love of 70’s Rock and Blues.

After a lifetime of playing the real-deal blues in and around his native stomping grounds of Henderson, Tennessee, Dudley Harris is ready to be heard as bassist, vocalist, and sometimes guitar player for the Elam McKnight Band. He still remembers the inklings of the first sounds he hears “That old juke joint not too far from my house … man, I could hear those bands and hear the bass and the drums coming out of there when I was a little kid and that just struck me. Right then I knew that’s what I wanted to do. And now I’ve been playing them on and off pretty much my whole life,” he said. “I just got addicted to the blues, started playing them and really haven’t ever stopped. A lot of people ask me, ‘Dudley, you still doin’ it?’ And I say, ‘Yeah, man, I’m still doin’ it.’”

Joining Harris, to fill out the Elam McKnight Band rhythm section, is Jackson native and resident Rock n Roller Eddie Phillips. Steeped in the music of the West Tennessee region Phillips also has the distinction of being Carl Perkin’s mail man and playing with him and his sons. “Carl used to teach me so much, not only about music, but he was always so supportive and quick with wise advice about the industry and life in general. He was always filled with such kindness and humility. I was blessed living in a small town with him being a part of my life.”

Elam McKnight is a singer/songwriter from West Tennessee. He is an artist firmly based in the roots of his region. Growing up in Gibson County, TN McKnight was surrounded by country, blues, rockabilly, and southern gospel. 70’s rock also dominated the radio airwaves. With family in Memphis he was directly exposed to the Blues in his early teens and immediately made the connection of how all the music of his region was joined. He was later shocked to learn that many early, Blues luminaries, Sleepy John Estes, Sonny Boy Williams, had lived 30 minutes from his house. “I come from what many would term America’s Musical Crossroads so to speak. The Blues guys from my area predate many of the ones people call the originators. Music is just everywhere. It was nothing to see Carl Perkins at the music store where I bought strings or hear people tell tales of seeing Elvis in a high school gym, before he was big stuff.” A vivid encounter with a Blues man on Beale Street sealed the deal.

“I used to go down there with my uncle, when I was probably too young to be going down there to begin with, and there would be this old guy, Alabama Red, playing the low down stuff in the gazebo that used to sit at the beginning of Beale. I was hooked immediately. The rest of them would want to go shoot pool or look around and I would say ‘nah you guys go ahead I am gonna sit here a while and listen to Alabama.’” He scared me right off, which I have learned is a sure sign something is good musically, and he’d say “you wanna play this I can tell.” Picking up a guitar at 14 he started, in earnest, to make his own version of these sounds which reverberated in his head and chased him in his dreams. "I would wake up every morning with some song stuck in my head. Still do."

McKnight’s solo debut, 2003’s Braid My Hair, was hailed by critics as a breath of fresh air in the sometimes-stale climate that is predictable “bar band” blues, while his second album, 2005’s The Last Country Store, found a spot on many blues charts internationally and in America. McKnight’s 2007’s Supa Good earned notoriety when the opening track, “Devil Minded Woman,” was voted by fans as the Best Blues Song in the Musician's Atlas sponsored 7th Annual Independent Music Awards.

In 2011 McKnight released Zombie Nation with Universal Music Group and his newest musical partner Bob Bogdal. The album featured the exceptional musicianship of Grammy award winning Tom Hambridge. Zombie Nation received immediate critical acclaim for its hell bent insistence and feet planted deeply in a blues groove all the while testing the genre's limits. The album topped many year end "best of” charts and received radio airplay worldwide.

McKnight has toured the US and Europe. He has opened for or shared billing with many of music's legends, luminaries, and rising stars including Jonny Lang, Little Milton, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, BB King, Ana Popovic, Double Trouble (Stevie Ray Vaughn's former Rhythm section), Jimbo Mathus, The North Mississippi Allstars, Bobby Rush, The Muddy Waters All-Stars, Valerie June, Scott H. Biram, Willie King, Moreland and Arbuckle, Radio Moscow, Elvin Bishop, Delbert McClinton, Big Jack Johnson, Robert Belfour, T-Model Ford, Bernard Allison, Robert Lockwood, Sam Carr, Hubert Sumlin, Taj Mahal, Kenny Brown, Cedric Burnside, and many others.

Elam McKnight Band is currently doing festivals, regional dates, and working on their first studio album in Nashville, TN at the legendary Sound Emporium and Switchyard studios. This release is being produced by Donnie Apple, a Nashville artist and producer who has worked in the music city for over 25 years as a session player, performer, and producer.



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