Two years ago, the Knitters reunited and released The Modern Sounds of the Knitters, a stimulating mix of folk, country and rockabilly. The Knitters’ recent Hollywood performance brought their reinvigorated Americana music to an appreciative hometown crowd.
Doe and Alvin started the show as a duo, quietly but authoritatively playing Merle Haggard’s “Silver Wings.” Then the audience erupted with cheer as the full band entered. Cervenka and Doe’s voices, as always, meshed determinedly during uncluttered cuts like the wistful “Give Me Flowers While I’m Living” and “Someone Like You.”
The Knitters’ hidden weapon, though, is Alvin, who got everyone applauding his heated six-string solos during the upbeat “Poor Little Critter on the Road,” and reinterpreted X tunes’ “Burning House of Love” and “In This House I Call Home.” He didn’t say anything, but his guitar spoke to the ecstatic fans.
Cover songs were done with finesse, including Porter Wagoner’s “I’ll Go Down Swinging,” which Cervenka noted was the only way to go, and “Long Chain On.” The Knitters brought their set to a rousing finale, encoring with energetic closers “The New Call of the Wreckin’ Ball,” an Alvin classic that deserves more merit, and an inspired translation of Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild.”
Opening for the Knitters were prettily-voiced Texan Amy Farris, whose mid-tempo music got the night off to a slightly slow start, and local roots purveyors Dead Rock West, who have the potential to generate some notice outside of Los Angeles.