First emerging in the early 80s as a side project of Los Angeles punk band X, the Knitters featured three-fourths of that band singer Exene Cervenka, singer/bassist John Doe, and drummer D.J. Bonebrake plus guitarist (and Blasters founder) Dave Alvin and rockabilly bassist Jonny Ray Bartel. Though the groups X members brought along some of that bands fire and wit to the Knitters 1985 debut, Poor Little Critter on the Road, the disc was predominantly a country and blues affair, with originals stacked next to covers of Merle Haggard and Leadbelly tunes. Recognized now as one of the building blocks of the alt-country movement, the album didnt get a follow-up until 2005, when the Knitters reconvened to record the equally rootsy and fun The Modern Sounds of the Knitters. Its unknown if well have to wait 20 more years for a third album, but theres enough great material from those albums and plenty of X songs to be tackled to make tonight a spirited good time.
Mon., Jan. 19, 8 p.m.; Tue., Jan. 20, 8 p.m., 2009