SONG PREMIERE: On “Little Wars,” Canada’s B. Knox Rattles Off Sterling Honky Tonk Rocker

Given his fervently emotive vocals and honky tonk fueled explosive rock, Canadian alt-country/Americana artist B.Knox, surely should be a well-worn name by now. Yeah, Canada had its share of recent troubadours like Colter Wall but Knox is here to elevate his own game and that of the Great North to the showmanship prowess of Jason Isbell and Shakey Graves.

“I like sad songs,” says Knox, whose second studio album — the tellingly titled Far From Folk (out 4/8/22) — blends cosmic Americana, left-field honky tonk, rugged country-rock, and woozy roots music into its own melancholic mix. Written during the Covid-19 pandemic, Far From Folk roots itself in the modern struggles we all face, filled with vignettes about romance, estrangement, and the long journey toward hope. There are sad songs here, to be sure, but there’s also an overarching sense of optimism, with B. Knox moving past the breakup songs that filled his debut — the acclaimed Heartbreak & Landscape — and focusing on something brighter. 

Released on the heels of B. Knox’s 2020 debut, Heartbreak & Landscape, and his four-song live EP, Hindsight is 20/20, the album makes room for electric guitar, organ, and swooning strings, with collaborator Aaron Goldstein pulling double duty as the record’s producer and pedal steel player. From the sampled loops that run throughout the opening track, “Messy,” to the blues-rock riffs of “Bullets Blades and Rope,” Far From Folk embraces both electricity and experimentation, with B. Knox still anchoring each track in nuanced song craft. “Little Wars” mixes Telecaster twang, fiddle, and bar-band bombast with sharp insights about the human condition — “We all wanna live forever, we all wanna write our name in the stars, we all wanna play the hero in our little wars,” he sings during the anthemic chorus — while “If I Break” finds him weighing the desire to succeed against the potential cost of failure. 

Glide is premiering the charismatic rock of “Little Wars”, which rings with a contagious melodic hook and big-hearted guitar that one could almost pass off as an early ’90s Black Crowes tune.

“Little Wars” is basically a rumination on legacy, weighing in on the future. It comes in all forms, too: children, art, family names, etc. What do we really leave behind? The subject matter was so personally heavy to me, that I decided to juxtapose that with something rhythmically and melodically jubilant and upbeat. I’m not generally prone to creating rock songs, but if there were ever a time and place for it, this was it,” says Knox about the track.

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