Chris Knight

A man with the reputation as “one of the best singer/songwriters in America” will open the Friday night main stage entertainment at the Washington Town & Country Fair.

Chris Knight, who has been performing for 15 years and has recorded eight albums with hits like “Cry Lonely,” “It Ain’t Easy Being Me,” “The Jealous Kind” and “In the Mean Time,” was here several years ago for a show at Otis Campbell’s in Downtown Washington.

He recently spoke to Ethan Busse, The Missourian’s Currents Arts and Entertainment reporter, in a phone interview to preview his show next week at the Fair. Following are the highlights of that interview:

MISSOURIAN: You’re going to be playing the Washington Town & Country Fair Friday night . . . I appreciate what you do as a songwriter. I’ve liked your stuff since I first heard you in the late ’90s, I think.

Do you like playing these fairs versus a more intimate gig with a smaller inside venue?

KNIGHT: I play a lot of festivals and things like that, so I’m assuming it’s giong to be that way.

It varies. I can go do a Fair and then it will be all my crowd out in the front listening or it could just be people who are at the fair and just happen to come up to listen to some live music.

MISSOURIAN: What would you like me to tell the fans out here about your show?

KNIGHT: It’s going to be a little bit of rockin’ as much as I can rock, and then . . . we’ll break it down and play some stuff like “Down the River.” We’ll play stuff from every record. There could be a brand new song in the set, possibly. I don’t know.

I do several of them accoustically. It pretty much just depends on the crowd a lot, how the show goes down.

MISSOURIAN: Have you been working on some new music?

KNIGHT: Yeah, I’ve got enough for an album, I think. And there might be a song or two that follows that. I might have to dig something else up or write something else, but I’ve been writing quite a few songs. Some of them I don’t necessarily want to record. That’s kind of the way it’s always been. But I think it will be pretty solid when I get it up.

MISSOURIAN: When do you think you might start working on putting that new album out?

KNIGHT: I’ve been tentatively going in the studio to do some preproduction for the last three or four months, but me and the engineer haven’t gotten together. When that happens, we’ll probably get the ball rolling.

MISSOURIAN: Yeah, I’d love to hear a new album from you. It’s been a couple of years since that last one.

The new material you’re working on, I imagine, is in the same vein of telling a heck of a story in only the way that you can about people from where you’re from.

KNIGHT: There’s a few that I’m kind of excited about, but I don’t think anybody dies so far. I think there might be a low body count on this new record.

MISSOURIAN: Yeah, so that will be different than previous ones.

So you still live out in the area where you grew up, right?

KNIGHT: Yeah, I live by the road it’s about 8 miles from where I grew up and straight through the woods, it’s about 5 miles.

MISSOURIAN: That’s in Kentucky, right?

KNIGHT: Yeah.

MISSOURIAN: Here in Washington, we are about 40 miles southwest of St. Louis, so we’re not as small as where you’re from, but we are a farming community, and we have a lot of good, working, heartland people here. So I think people are going to enjoy your show.

KNIGHT: I played there a couple of times.

MISSOURIAN: Yeah, I remember you coming out.

KNIGHT: To Otis Campbell’s.

MISSOURIAN: Otis Campbell’s I think about seven years ago.

KNIGHT: Yeah, I think I was there twice, but maybe only once . . . I like that part of Missouri.

MISSOURIAN: All the towns along the river here are pretty unique, definitely the bloodline of the country.

Anything else you’d like to say about the show?

KNIGHT: Well, I’m looking forward to coming out there again . . . I like St. Louis; I was born around there. I was born in St. Charles in a hospital, but I think my mother and father lived in O’Fallon or Wentzville or somewhere out there. So I’m kinda partial to St. Louis. I like the Cardinals.

I’ve been up there three or four times to ballgames and always enjoyed it. I play in St. Louis a lot. I play off Broadway . . . I like playing up there. So I’m looking forward to coming and doing the show out there.