Chris Knight has offered a preview of his forthcoming album Almost Daylight with the gritty yet sweet story-song “I’m William Callahan,” which premieres today. The tale of an older man looking back on his youth as a freight-hopping teenager who leaves home to ride the rails and meets his wife along the way, the song’s nostalgic tone is set against Knight’s muscular vocals and blues-rock instrumentation. “I’m William Callahan” was penned with songwriter Tim Krekel, Jimmy Buffett’s former guitarist who succumbed to abdominal cancer in 2009.
“I wrote this with Tim Krekel a good while ago,” Knight tells Rolling Stone Country. “There were good parts in the original version but other parts didn’t suit me. So I pulled it back out about a year ago, changed a few lines, and rewrote the melody. It’s about a couple of lives well-lived. I think it’s my favorite on the record.”
Almost Daylight, Knight’s ninth LP since his self-titled debut for Nashville’s revived Decca Records label in 1998, marks the Kentucky native’s first since the 2012 release of Little Victories. Produced by Ray Kennedy, the album features John Prine (on his own “Mexican Home”), Lee Ann Womack, and former Georgia Satellites leader Dan Baird, among others. The album will be released October 11th and is available for pre-order now.