Jef Knight is an accomplished guitarist, bassist, keyboard and drum programmer and an expert audio engineer. Since 1976 he has recorded over 40 albums, 18 of which have been released to his fans.
Jef Knight’s Newest Album is All Blessings and No Curse
© 2019 Dar McWheeler
Jef Knight is Canada’s best kept secret. The original Rock’n Roll Hermit, as he’s been dubbed, has spent the last 40 years is his studio, The Temple of Digital Gratification, honing his playing skills, refining his craft and recording music.
A Blessing & A Curse is Knight’s 18th album release and fans say it’s his best work to date. Like his previous albums, this one features Knight playing every instrument. “No musicians were harmed in the making of this album.” he says with a laugh.
I’ve heard many, many “one man band” albums in the past and usually the musicianship is mediocre at best. But Mr Knight has taken musicianship to a very high level on every instrument and is one of the best rock guitarists and bassists to come out of Canada. When asked about drums he told me, “I used to just play real drums, then electronics, but now I’m really happy with a PadKontrol and drum software.” Knight says that having cut his teeth by transcribing classic rock drum parts he was able to deeply understand how pro drummers think about drums and rhythm. “Drumming is all about how you percieve drums not about using large muscle groups to smash things.” I have to agree, he’s one heck of a drum programmer.
The eleven songs on A Blessing & A Curse are balls-to-the-wall rock-band-driven pop. Every track has the potential to be a hit.
The album starts out with The Heart Wants What it Wants, sort of like a thematic overture to the rest of the album. Don’t let the acoustic guitars in there fool you, this album means business.
The song titles tell you the chapters of the tale that Knight is telling. She Thinks I’m Cool is where the story begins. We meet The Guitar Guy and The Girl. We are then taken on a journey of their lives as they meet, fall in love, get married and, ultimately, live happily ever after. Now, this may sound trite and syrupy, but Knight’s lyrics are profound and highly literate, so you never really notice the lovey-dovey stuff, only the characters and their wonderful, compelling story. More songwriters should pay this much attention to lyric writing.
All in all, A Blessing & A Curse is one of the best rock albums to come out of Canada in a very long time.
My recomendation is “Buy This Album”.