Such a style inevitably invites comparisons. Throw out a name -- Earle, Cash, Haggard, Prine, or non-country bards like Springsteen and Mellencamp. Knight can do without the comparisons (although he readily admits that Earle is one of his favorite artists). He just likes to tell stories, and he doesn't consider his living-in-the-margins subjects a swipe at country life in general. "I think I show these people in a good light," he says. "Most of the characters have redeeming qualities. They don't quit. They're not a weak bunch of people." Musically, Knight is on the rocking side of country. Most tunes feature thunderous guitar attacks, although Knight can go acoustic when a poignant song demands it. Perhaps a day will come when some young musical storyteller will ask not to be always compared to Chris Knight.