NYCS First Impression: Hot Country Knights ‘The K Is Silent’
Many people thought this moment would never come. But in spite of 30 wasted years and countless bad decisions, the ’90s influenced country band, Hot Country Knights, have finally released their debut album, The K is Silent. Since signing a recording deal with Universal Music Group, the Knights have come riding in to save country music from itself, with the promise of resurrecting that real ’90s country sound that made so many fans fall in love with the genre.
“Some artists out there tried to put the ‘O’ back in country, that was a thing for a while….but what it’s really missing is the ‘T,’” front-man Douglas (“Doug”) Douglason said. “Country music has Low-T right now…it could use a pick me up, if you know what I mean. Those record label people over at Universal finally realized that only the Knights could be up to a task this big and hard.”
And big they went. This 10-track record begins with a song simply titled, “Hot Country Knights,” giving listeners a taste of the album’s sound, theme, and vibe. The song begins with the band members chanting the letters that spell out ‘Hot Country Knights’ behind a modest drum beat which transitions to steel and electric guitar. Listeners can also hear a lot of fiddle and keys throughout the song, bringing back classic country instruments that popularized country music in the 90s and have slowly faded on mainstream, country radio. The band sings “Ain’t nothing cooler than these Hot Country Knights,” referencing themselves and the party under the moonlight they so descriptively paint. You can also see the humor this group provides in the bridge when they purposely don’t rhyme their lines. “Hey pretty baby, you’re an eleven. It must’ve hurt when you fell from the sky. Fold up them wings ‘cause tonight I’m going to teach you how to soar.” This track is followed by the lead single, “Pick Her Up,” featuring ‘90s country star, Travis Tritt. In this song, Tritt and band give step-by-step instructions on how to show your lady friend the night of her life. The music video features ’90 television star, Tiffani Thiessen of NBC’s Saved by the Bell.
Next is the first of a few ballads on the record, “Asphalt.” This clever and well-written track is about a man who cannot commit to a relationship. The reasons why can be interpreted in a few different ways. Maybe he just loves the open road, or maybe he can’t resist a woman’s behind. Who’s to say? The Knights got to perform this song live on Jimmy Kimmel on February 3rd.
The boys pay tribute to Tracy Byrd and his famous “Watermelon Crawl” with the next track called “Moose Knuckle Shuffle.” When the band’s truck breaks down in the small and fictional town of Moose Knuckle, Tennessee, some of the female residents teach them the new dance craze called the Moose Knuckle Shuffle. It goes like this:
“Then It Rained” is another song that could be construed with two different meanings. The band’s bassist, Trevor Travis provides the vocals on this tune, singing over a melancholy guitar strum. He describes good situations like hearing George Strait on the jukebox and finding change under the pillow cushion, which ultimately leads to “it raining.” A fun, honkytonk track called “Wrangler Danger” follows. Douglason sings about how a pretty woman in Wrangler jeans can get a man into a lot of trouble.
“The way she shakes them W’s, oughta be a honkytonk crime. WRANGLER. DANGER. My heart’s in danger but I can’t leave a Wrangler’s behind”
“Mull It Over” is a song about heartbreak and the band uses play on words and their luscious hairstyles in an attempt to try and win back their former lovers. “Don’t cut me off. I swear I’ll love you longer than the hair on my shoulders,” Douglason pleads. “Oh baby, maybe you should mull it over.”
“You Make It Hard,” a duet ballad featuring Canadian singer-songwriter, Terri Clark and the very patriotic “The USA Begins with Us” close out the album. In “You Make It Hard,” Douglason and Clark sing about how difficult it is to leave each other, both on their hearts and other parts of the body. There are a few funny and not-so-subtle lines throughout the song such as “With an ache in my heart and blood rushing to my head,” “Boy I hate to see you so blue” and “Every inch of me is so into you.” “The USA Begins with Us” is more of a political speech than a song. Deep inside Douglason’s long, rambling dialogue, he states that no matter your age, sex, race, political views, etc., we’re all Americans and to overcome any large obstacle, we need to come together as a nation.
The band consists of Douglason, Travis, guitarist Marty Ray (“Rayro”) Roburn, Russian-born keytar/fiddle player Terotej (“Terry”) Dvoraczekynski, steel guitarist Barry Van Ricky and percussionist Monte Montgomery. 2020 ACM Male Artist of the Year nominee, Dierks Bentley took the Knights under his wing and had a huge impact on the making of this record. He produced all ten songs and has co-writes on seven of them. Other writers include Jim and Brett Beavers, Jon Nite, Brett Tyler, Jon Randall, Chase McGill, and many others.
“When [Dierks] first moved to town, he was struggling, and he saw us crushing a big venue,” Douglason claimed, although he can’t recall which Hooters’ parking lot it was. “We inspired him, so he thinks he’s paying us back in some way by offering to produce us–but we all know what’s really going on here. He’s trying to grab onto the old mullet and ride it as hard as he can.”
The showmanship and the passion for ’90s country was always there for the Hot Country Knights, they just lacked direction and motivation. Whether they want to admit it or not, they needed Bentley, and with his help, the Knights are more than a novelty. They’re here, and they’re here to stay.
To keep with the Hot Country Knights, follow them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
- Then It Rained
- Wrangler Danger
- You Make it Hard
The K is Silent is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.
The K is Silent Tracklist:
1. “Hot Country Knights” (Brett Beavers, Jim Beavers, Cassady Feasby, Ben Helson, Dan Hochhalter, Chase McGill, Steve Misamore, Jon Nite, Jon Randall, Tim Sergent, Brett Tyler, and Dierks Bentley)
2.”Pick Her Up” – Featuring Travis Tritt (Dierks Bentley, Brett Beavers, and Jim Beavers)
3. “Asphalt” (Jim Beavers, Jon Nite, and Brett Tyler)
4. “Moose Knuckle Shuffle” (Brett Beavers, Jim Beavers, Buddy Brock, Dan Hochhalter, Chase McGill, Zach Turner, and Brett Tyler)
5.”Then It Rained” (Brett Beavers, Jon Nite, and Jon Randall)
6.”Wrangler Danger” (Dierks Bentley, Brett Beavers, and Jim Beavers)
7.”Mull It Over” (Dierks Bentley, Jim Beavers, and Jon Randall)
8.”Kings Of Neon” (Dierks Bentley, Brett Beavers, and Chase McGill)
9. “You Make It Hard” -Featuring Terri Clark (Dierks Bentley, Brett Beaver, Jim Beavers, Mary Hilliard Harrington, Jon Randall, and Luke Wooten)
10. “The USA Begins With US” (Dierks Bentley, Brett Beavers, and Jim Beavers)
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