Trailer II is the follow up to Chris Kinght's widely acclaimed The Trailer Tapes (reviewed here), which was recorded in the summer of 1996. The tapes were done inside his oppressively hot singlewide trailer in Slaughters, Kentucky, population of 238, which includes the artist. All this was done months before he was signed to a major label deal with MCA Records and at the time he was living in the trailer on 90 acres of Kentucky. (Chris was initially signed as a songwriter who has a flair for describing the life of the lower-middle class, much like his influences John Prine and Steve Earle.) Many of these stark and genuine songs have made it onto his major label albums, but these recordings were made before he had any exposure other than winning a coveted spot at songwriters' night at the Bluebird Café in Nashville. He did these solo acoustic tracks with engineer Joe Hayden and Producer Frank Liddell with two microphones.
There is a rawness and primitive streak in these recordings that reflect the dirt roads, small town, and a hardscrabble existence that is often reflected in rural lower middle class America. The sincerity, grittiness and authenticity in both of the Trailer Tapes is not quite missing but not as riveting on his more well produced discs. He has a sound of the early Bruce Springsteen at times but with a Texas or Kentucky twang and his songs have that realness of the early Springsteen as well. Listen to Love and a 45, co-written with Fred Eaglesmith, and the description of how two lonely people on opposite sides of the law, a prostitute and a cop find each other. There is also The Rivers Own, that shows the particulars of both the singer's and his father's affinity and closeness with the river that runs by the family farm. It's a good example of how hard-hitting good country music can be.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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