When punk-rock royalty aligns to shower the masses in Americana—one would do well to listen up. Formed at the onset of the 1980s, The Knitters were an offshoot of the seminal Los Angeles punk band X and roots-rockers The Blasters. Regarded by many to be the founders of alt-country, The Knitters carry an arsenal that swaggers like Hank Williams and sweats with the unmistakable fury of rock ‘n’ roll. Dave Alvin (by this writer’s estimation, one of the best guitarists still working today) and drummer DJ Bonebrake propel the band with the urgency of a freight train, while stand-up bassist Johnny Ray Bartel keeps the rockabilly vibe firmly in the forefront. For their part, John Doe and Exene Cervenka plow through the band’s eclectic catalogue with the fierce intensity that’s kept X fans on the line for three decades. With songs that run the gamut between traditional Appalachian fare and electrified honky-tonk—The Knitters’ rare live performances never fall short of raunch, rowdiness and raucous energy. (K. Tighe)
The Knitters play November 30 at House of Blues, 329 North Dearborn, (312)923-2000, at 9pm. $20-$22.