2011 RFT Music Awards Winners: Best Rock Band: Kentucky Knife Fight

Jun 23, 2011 at 4:00 am

Sounds Like: With a style that's been called everything from punk to alternative country, Kentucky Knife Fight's gritty blend of rock and blues may be best experienced live. The band's slick guitar riffs are often complemented by instrumentation like harmonicas, organs, banjos and fiddles. The frontman, Jason Holler, belts out the groups dark, edgy lyrics in a strained and raspy voice — with just a hint of desperation.

Recommended If You Like: The Black Crowes, the Replacements

Instrumentation: Banjo, bass, drums, harmonica and two guitars

Crowd Response: Folks were literally lined up outside, waiting for their turn to get in during KKF's set at Hair of the Dog. The capacity crowd coupled with the band's energetic performance created a sticky, sweaty environment, which definitely added to the feel of the show. While some couldn't take the heat, most stuck around, clearly enjoying Knife Fight's unique amalgamation of musical sub-genres; you'd be hard-pressed to find music better-suited for a bar like that.

Year Formed: 2005

Influences: Charles Simic, the Murder City Devils, Freddie King, the Clash, the Stooges, and things you hear strangers say to other strangers

Where did you go to school? "I went to Quincy [Illinois] Senior High School. I enjoyed the electricity of being sixteen years old without responsibilities and stepping out into the crisp night with my friends," says lead vocalist Jason Holler. "I didn't enjoy the consequences that came not long after in the form of humiliation, incarceration and worse."

Next St. Louis Show: The Sheldon Ballroom on July 8

Click here to return to the complete list of 2011 RFT Music Awards winners.