“Some folks might say our music has always been what you call ‘eclectic,’” says John Doe of the Knitters. “Well, OK. As A.P. Carter used to say to me when we’d go song-hunting in the Clinch Mountains, ‘Buddy, it’s all music, y’know.’”
The Knitters — Doe, co-lead vocalist Exene Cervenka, guitarist Dave Alvin, bassist Jonny Ray Bartel, and drummer D.J. Bonebrake — have been rambling a tangled map of American musical highways since way back in the 20th century.
The Knitters are no strangers to the controversy over “electrified” folk music. Some writers bemoaned the fact that the members of the legendary band put their careers on the back burner to undertake an unlikely experiment with punk rock: Exene, Doe, and Bonebrake continue to perform with their well-received side project X; Alvin followed his work in the Blasters with a solo career; and Bartel played bass with the blues-rock band the Red Devils.