~Mark Lush, MidwestBands.com (Click for full review)
"Kyle delivers bittersweet, graceful guitar licks accompanied by strong lyrics"
~Tina Richardson, Omaha Weekly (Click for full review)
"I don't know how Knapp manages to hit home so much... rips right into the depths of the heart”
~Dan Kennedy, the Cutting Edge (Click for full review)
"Kyle's lyrics... compelled me to listen and think... strong, yet sensitive, performances"
~Phyllis Dunne, Internationally acclaimed Celtic artist (Click for full review)
"personal, reflective, and so unpretentiously spiritual"
~Bethany, Talmidim ‘zine
One of the most refreshing and unique music ministries in the Midwest..."
~Kareen King, Twin Lakes Foursquare Church, Osage City KS (Click for full review)
"Thank you, Kyle, for that beautiful, beautiful song. Now if you'd just practice
your guitar a little bit you'd be good..."
~Jerry Cook (author of Love, Acceptance & Forgiveness, speaking at a pastors' conference)
"Oh my goodness! What a wonderfully creative, thoughtful and beautifully executed opus. And I must say I am just reveling in the title and the messages on the back. Thank you so much for honoring me in this way and tapping into your inner resources. And Gail, your voice sounds beautiful together with Kyle. I will cherish this forever."
~ Iris Jacobs
"I think it's wonderful! It's my favorite Kyle Knapp album so far -
~ Anne Knapp
Kyle, I LOVE this! It takes me on a wonderful journey down memory lane. I'm so Proud of you and what you've created here! You're THE BEST!"
~ Sandra Solomon
"You share yourself poignantly and elegantly; what a gift. Thank you."
~ Ken Peters
"I am really enjoying the CD. I find it at times mesmerizing. I think the guitar sounds great and I enjoyed hearing Gail sing with you. Truly eternal."
~ Kev Sullivan
"Well done. Congratulations. Makes me realize how much I love you and miss you."
~ Frank Smith
"You are truly gifted and you encourage good feelings with the music you create. Please don’t stop the music!"
~ Debi Wynne
"House of Sod... conjures up images of pioneer days and folksy music. From
~Maren Hogan, the Heartland Gatekeeper (click here for full review)
"House of Sod is Kyle Knapp's best effort yet... no shallow imitations or clichés... contemplative, reminiscent, spiritual... fresh!"
~Tim Price, kingdomcitizenship.org (click here for full review)
"House of Sod is special to me. ...revived many of the feelings and experiences that shaped me as a young man -
~Jon Zens, editor, Searching Together (click here for full review)
"I totally enjoyed (House of Sod)!!! I think it is your BEST work to date. It's got so much vibe... it reminds me of Neil Young's stuff... which I LOVE so much. Keep putting out real, honest to goodness records like that... sheesh it's soooo good :-
~Ken Verheecke, recording artist, Heartcall Music
"...House of Sod is an awesome collection of music. ...has a touch of country feel to it. not 'country/western' but a type of folk not played on the street corners of big cities but from the porches of the heartland."
~Charlie Pugh (click here for full review)
"Best CD I have heard in a long time. Don't need to skip around on tracks, amazing album all the way through!"
"I've been enjoying your CD several times this week on my commute
to work. Nicely done!"
~John Pinder, MuddyCup Coffeehouse, Catskill NY
" ...love it! I like cuts 8 (Sybil) and 9 (Mother's Day)... but HOUSE OF SOD
made me cry. It was 'Spirit touching Spirit'!"
~Bob Alonge, New Song Arts Center, Rockland MA
"Every time I hear you perform I wonder, 'why hasn't some major label snapped
up this man?' "
~ Heidi Hermanson, Host, Naked Words Open Mic Poetry
"'Daughter of the Snow' is as finely written & ensemble-
~Howard Deever (click here for full review)
"Tremulant Records is proud to add Kyle Knapp to its list of independent artists. Kyle's new release Refugee is simply stunning!"
~Eric Medley, Tremulant Records
"Refugee is an incredible album! Kyle Knapp is an awesome guitarist, able to infuse every song with passionate, skillfully played rhythms and intricate finger-
~Mark Lush, MidwestBands.com(click here for full review)
"Sixteen tracks of beautiful acoustic guitar playing, soothing vocals, crisp production and creative songwriting and arrangements put Refugee among Omaha’s best singer-
~Marq Manner, the Reader(click here for full review)
"Refugee, Kyle Knapp's latest CD, held me captive. Like the raspiness in his voice, Kyle's lyrics have a barb which compelled me to listen and think. Kyle's guitar stylings offer an effective transport to deliver his message of refuge. The strong, yet sensitive, performances provide an insightful glimpse into the spirit of God within this man. Refugee made a home in my soul. Let Refugee find a home with you."
~Phyllis Dunne, Internationally acclaimed Celtic artist
"In a culture that seems to have rock, pop, rap and country music everywhere, there is a refreshing folk sound from a local artist added to the mix. Guitarist Kyle Knapp released his new CD, Refugee, on Tremulant Records. The music delivers bittersweet, graceful guitar licks accompanied by strong lyrics that deliver humanitarian messages." click for complete review
~Tina Richardson, the Omaha Weekly
"Refugee is a super album. One of those minority of albums where I don't have to program the CD player to skip the less desirable songs. This CD is absolutely full of great music. Anyone who likes folk with a bit of an edge and a tremendous message, will love Refugee."
"Kyle Knapp’s ‘Burr Oak Acres’ is what an acoustic album should be, personal lyrics draped on soothing melodies all held up by talented guitar stylings"
"Careful, beautiful acoustic guitar work. Lyrics are personal, reflective, and so unpretentiously spiritual. We recommend this for those seeking a thoughtful well-
"...the entire disc pleases to no end. I have yet to get tired of any of the songs. The more I listen, the more Knapp sounds likes James Taylor. Maybe that why this is so fine."
~Dan Kennedy, The Cutting Edge (click here for full review)
“Narrowpath Records is proud to announce the debut release from acoustic artist Kyle Knapp titled Burr Oak Acres. Available on both CD (NPD9602) and Cassette (NPC9602), Burr Oak Acres was produced by Greg Strange and is available exclusively through Narrowpath Distributions.
Kyle Knapp is a well-
Burr Oak Acres is filled with songs from real-
Listen to Burr Oak Acres and you'll know Kyle Knapp. In this age when many artists have songs written for them, have designers tell them how to dress, and are hardly involved in the recording process, it is refreshing to discover someone just being themself.”
~Greg Strange, Narrowpath Records 3/25/1997
by Kareen King, Twin Lakes Church, Osage City KS
Most artists are reluctant to toot their own horn. You’re unlikely to find them lassoing a pastor with this line, “Check me out -
Jeff and I invited Kyle years ago to bless our church. We transformed our sanctuary into a coffeehouse one Saturday night where Kyle mesmerized us with his soothing and soulful songs and stories. Kyle’s lyrics and narratives reveal a depth of artistry and spirituality that is unprecedented and largely unappreciated by those who’ve grown accustomed to the mainstream.
Just recently we took advantage of Kyle’s availability during the weekend of Fall Bible Conference and invited him to lead worship and share his gifts with our local body at Twin Lakes Fellowship. God used Kyle to refresh my soul with his compelling stories, skillful guitar licks, original songs, and ability to connect with his audience through humor and honesty. The most unexpected moment of Kyle’s recent concert was the gut wrenching emotion I felt while hearing his phenomenal rendition of Vincent Van Gogh’s misunderstood life followed up by a soul-
Kyle is beyond mainstream. He is unconventional. And he is humble. You won’t hear him toot his own horn. Too bad. Because he needs to be heard. Therefore, I heartily endorse this gifted man as one who is worthy of your congregation and community’s attention. His message will touch both the saved and the unsaved, enriching the hearts and minds of all who have ears to hear.
~Kareen King, www.kareenking.com
from the Omaha Weekly 9/13/01 -
In a culture that seems to have rock, pop, rap and country music everywhere, there is a refreshing folk sound from a local artist added to the mix. Guitarist Kyle Knapp released his new CD, Refugee, on Tremulant Records. The music delivers bittersweet, graceful guitar licks accompanied by strong lyrics that deliver humanitarian messages. One song, "Lament for Romania," expresses concern about the people of Eastern Europe:
I've seen a desecrated land, where all that should be green is black
And the Danube is no longer blue
And the children choke in homage, in the incense of the smokestacks,
To the gods of unrelenting rule
This is the theme song for the project, the whole thing kind of revolves around that idea. It came out of reading about people in Eastern Europe, when the Iron Curtain came down," Knapp said. "The things that I heard about what people are going through just really moved me."
Knapp started playing the guitar when he was about 10 years old. He has played with several different bands and gospel groups. He said folk music has always been his main choice of music.
"I started out listening to Peter, Paul and Mary, Crosby Stills and Nash, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, and that kind of genre," Knapp explained. "And of all the different kinds of musical turns I've taken in my life, I always kind of come back to that particular style."
Knapp hopes his music will make people pay more attention to the conditions of society. "I want people to think about what's going on in the world, and about what's going on in their lives." Knapp said. "Begin to look outside of the little circles that we tend to live in, there's a bigger picture, there's a world full of needy people, and we can do more to affect the world. I want people to start thinking about that."
Knapp will be (performing with) long-
Knapp knows a little bit about musical potential, his son Joe has just released his second album under the moniker Son, Ambulance on Saddle Creek Records. "Considering all the great press he's been getting," said Knapp, "I'm wondering if I should change my name to 'Father Ambulance.'"
~Tina Richardson © 9/13/01 Omaha Weekly
published in "the Reader" Aug.22nd, 2001
The album begins with “Lament For Romania” in which Knapp’s crisp acoustic guitar and a sorrowful violin starts the listener on a somber journey through his questioning of the tragedies that have taken place in that country. Hints of Neil Young can be heard in the song “Refugee,” where Knapp continues his questioning and convincingly cries out in a frustrated tone, “Somebody rescue me.”
Knapp’s guitar and vocals take on a lighter, more reflective tone in “It Is A Good Thing” and the gorgeous “Under The Sun.” These songs respectively are adapted from the books of Psalms and Ecclesiastes and feature more lighthearted folk sounds not unlike Cat Stevens with the harmonies of Crosby, Stills and Nash. Knapp’s skilled acoustic guitar playing along with the subtle use of an accordion combine for a stunning rendition of U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” and later in the album Knapp does an amazing acoustic guitar and violin arrangement of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Sixteen tracks of beautiful acoustic guitar playing, soothing vocals, crisp production and creative songwriting and arrangements put Refugee among Omaha’s best singer-
~Marq Manner, the Reader Aug.22nd, 2001
House of Sod is Kyle Knapp's best effort yet. This album is a change from his usual folk sound, but it's not quite country or bluegrass. Knapp showcases his recent work, combining familiar sounds and tunes with the songs of other artists, to convey a tight message. It is contemplative, reminiscent, spiritual, yet free of their typical deliveries. In a word, it's fresh!
House of Sod compares progress to the enjoyment of simplicity. It's biographical, allegorical and historical all in one. In an age where copy is thought to be gold, Knapp is solidly in his own; no shallow imitations or clichés.
~Tim Price, www.kingdomcitizenship.org
The "House of Sod" CD is special to me. My great-
~Jon Zens, editor, Searching Together, www.searchingtogether.org
Kyle Knapp's new CD "House of Sod" is an awesome collection of music. A little different from Kyle's first two CD's. This one has a touch of country feel to it. Prairie Country...not 'Country/Western' but a type of Folk not played on the street corners and coffee shops of big cities but from the porches of the heartland.
As to which songs are my favorites....I can't choose. The title song "house of sod" touched me as few songs ever have. I was sitting on my couch listening to this CD with my eyes closed when this song came on. I just listened and as the song faded off I remember thinking "man, that is a powerful song"...a moment later my wife who had been in the other room came in and asked; "honey, do you think Kyle has any idea of just how powerful a song that is?" We were both thinking the same word...Powerful.
"Lord of the prairie, keeper of my soul.
Entrusting to this simple heart the mystery of old.
You chose to make the dwelling place of God
in this house of sod"
Then there's "continue on"....a song of loss and of hope of family and friends and community. A song about those brave individuals who serve the rest of us. A song about the spirit that dwells in man.
“the song that joe hears” is a great song. A sad song about true to life experience. Of what it was like to be among those who came to settle in the prairie. A tough life for a tough people living in a tough time. A time that is hard for us in our modern day luxuries to comprehend in our easy chairs and air conditioning.
And speaking of settlers to the prairie, take a look at “daughter of the snow”. The story of Rachel Snowden who came into this area in 1854. Most in Omaha have never heard of her (I hadn’t) even though there is a plaque in her honor in the Old Market area and recently a street was named after her. Kyle tells her story in song and keeps her memory alive.
“the road” a song written by Terry Talbot… this song showcases Kyle’s outstanding guitar work. If you ever have a chance to see Kyle in concert, request for him to do “the road”
“mercy on me” is a song about the stories of a failed pioneer and about a preacher who has lost his way and about a ruthless businessman…but in reality if we listen with our hearts it is a story about me and you and everyman. Struggling to find our way in this crazy life. Not just to make a living but to find our way. Knowing there is a mark we are trying to hit but being unable in our humanness to reach it and falling short. Knowing we need God’s grace and his mercy to find “peace in our soul”
“Is there nothing good in me?
No, I know what I am.
Oh Lord have mercy on me.
Have mercy on me”
A great CD Kyle….Thanks!
~Charlie Pugh, Omaha NE
Out of the dusty Midwest, a traveling troubadour sings the songs of the unseen.
"House of Sod" is an attempt at a dustbowl anthem, but is just a bit too fence ridden to be convincing. While tracks like “The Song That Joe Hears” is stripped down and refreshingly honest, “Is This Heaven?” is too polished and scripted. A decent adult-
~Jake Nuckolls, CDReviews.com
Been listening to your disc a lot the past few days. 'Daughter of the Snow' is as finely written & ensemble-
The LORD has surely given you a talent, my friend, & it's my good blessing to have met you on this ethereal road we travel into eternity. "Even so, Come, Lord Jesus"
~Howard Deever, Omaha NE
Published in The Heartland Gatekeeper
The first visitors to this fair state were probably familiar with the phrase “House of Sod”. Early pioneers of Nebraska and other plains states often used stacked bricks of earth to create dwelling places, since wood and stones were scarce. Perhaps some of them even saw the Biblical analogy, as Knapp does, of a dirt house being home to a family or the Spirit of God.
“The first man was also made of earth or sod,” Knapp points out. “And it’s amazing that the spirit of God would choose to live in that.”
Aside from the clever spiritual nod, the name also conjures up images of pioneer days and folksy music, and that’s exactly what it delivers. From the story-
The “hope for the future” is clearly Knapp’s Lord, Jesus Christ. It’s an element of the album that almost didn’t see the light of day. When Knapp was writing and recording the album in Texas, his old music cronies were reticent to include some of the spiritual elements.
“We weren’t quite in sync spiritually,” Knapp explained. “There was pressure to scale back the spiritual message to make it more commercial.”
Kyle stood firm, and finished the recording at Dry Creek Studio here in Nebraska. In addition to preserving the spiritual dedication, one wonders if the strong Nebraska flavor also stemmed from this decision.
Instrumental “Barnswallow Dance” is perfect for whiling away a fall afternoon on your porch, while “Continue On” is a throat-
“I think it’s the best work I’ve done so far,” said Knapp. “It’s about perseverance through life’s lows, the wonders of nature.”
While Knapp allows that the album has a more “country-
“We spend a lot of time trying to figure God out, studying. . .and that’s a worthy pursuit,” said Knapp. “But He remains powerful, mysterious and wonderful. It’s changed my thinking. Our walk of faith is not about what we do, it’s about what we are.”
~Maren Hogan, the Heartland Gatekeeper
review of Burr Oak Acres
Thank goodness the age of the singer / songwriter / guitar strummer has never had the sun set upon it. I'd be at a loss if I had never listened to John Prine, Steve Goodman, Mark Heard, James Taylor, Woody Guthrie, Gordon Bok, Cisco Houston and countless others.
Kyle Knapp has a knack for the catchy tune, refined by his more than adequate voice. The songs scatter images and emotions along your synapses, causing you to feel and experience the stories he presents. "Lincoln Boulevard" is an nostalgic looking to the past "when the park was green / the streets were clean and girls were girls and the men were men." And while all the memories are simply that, the sentiment is one of fondness for the past mixed with the reality of "And if I could you know I would, but I can't go back again to Lincoln Boulevard!" Something we can relate to at any age. The title cut also features the theme of nostalgia -
Knapp steps into the realm of humor with "Just One of The Boys," a ditty about male chauvinism in the face of a woman wanting to do a job that has always been a man's world -
I don't know how Knapp manages to hit home so much, but "We Walk Together," about a lonely man who lived within himself, rips right into the depths of the heart with the words "Me and Jesus, we walk together / I'm hand in hand with the Father of us all."
In retrospect and numerous listenings, the entire disc pleases to no end. I have yet to get tired of any of the songs. The more I listen, the more Knapp sounds likes James Taylor. Maybe that's why this is so fine. + + + + +
~Dan Kennedy, The Cutting Edge
review by Christian Music Content Association
Have you ever sat down on a porch swing in the middle of country and done nothing but enjoy the surroundings? If you have, playing Burr Oak Acres on your portable CD player would have completed that serene setting. Kyle employs an acoustic folk flavor that may remind you slightly of Pure Prairie League or even a bit of John Denver. Yet there is a big difference as Kyle's music has more substance. He sings from his heart for the Lord and only longs to have this world be that wonderful place we can enjoy from that porch swing.
Lincoln Boulevard is a classic first track. The first thing you'll notice is the awesome guitar work and a perfectly complementing voice that compels the listener from the very beginning. Lyrically you will applaud this track as it speaks of how things were so much better way back when (like the early 50's) and how declining values makes the writer long for times of his Childhood at........you're right if you guessed either Lincoln Boulevard or Burr Oak Acres :)
Saturday Morning Sunrise keeps the same feelings rolling and relates the nature of things both Spiritually and physically. Kind of an inner relating to His surroundings. There is some wonderful violin by Carl Orand tastefully placed within this song. Kyle centers on acoustic guitar with percussion, mandolin, violin and even a whistle within this project. The production (Greg Strange) is not overdone, nor should it be for this type of an album. If you can feel the music, then they did everything correctly (which is the case here).
You can't help but smile when you hear Just One of The Boys about a female grease monkey who wants equal pay instead of staying home having babies :) You can tell it's written in good fun. This is the kind of track you'd expect on a good classic country album.
We Walk Together speaks of Kyle's walking relationship with our Lord and Savior. The guitar work again shines along with a harmonica (Randy "Slim" Bolling) and mandolin (Brian Wilson) that seamlessly intertwines this moving song. Some Christians may think, "Why did Kyle wait until track four to talk clearly about Jesus?" Musicians kind of have it good because they can convey their true Spirit through music, and Kyle's heart is certainly in the right place. Any heartfelt song that employs positive lyrics is uplifiting to any listener and I think that Kyle Knapp can easily get airplay on both secular and Christian stations.
The title track of the CD is as good as you'd expect. This song hits on a pure essence of a longing for simpler times and how Burr Oak Acres was built as a place to live, but more importantly as Kyle perfectly words it: "To build a home or a memory takes love and sweat and tears." This is a Heaven-
That Fire In Your Eyes is a love song to Kyle's wife, Gail. I don't think this album would have been complete without this tune. If we trust Him and allow Him to do so, the Lord brings us His chosen mate for life, and that choice is always the best one. Kyle sings to her a very moving rendition of the joy within his soul. Nothing Less Will Do has some outstanding chord progressions and a nice mellow lead guitar instrumental. This may be the best track from a production point of view as the arrangement is literally perfect right down to where the percussion (Brian Wilson) is placed.
I'll Wait has a beautiful, gorgeous chorus. While singing a new song in Heaven, I hope the Lord lets us backtrack to sing this song. This will bring a tear to your eye as it displays joy, a pure uncontested love to our Father. This track along with Lincoln Boulevard and Burr Oak Acres are the shining stars on this album.
By the time you get to Harbor For The Homeless and Consider The Lillies you have probably figured out that Kyle is a very good songwriter! To write lyrics that fit the musical puzzle is not an easy thing to accomplish. There is individual meaning which seems tailored to the each and every listener. Everyone will come away from this album with some hidden part of themselves stirred within and that is all any one person with a guitar in hand can ask for.
Burr Oak Acres is a brilliant project and well thought out from the booklet through the music itself. If you are a laid back acoustic music fan, then Burr Oak Acres is meant for you. It provides us with many mixed emotions: love, hope, longing, faith and joy, all in just 10 songs. That's more than anyone can ever expect!
~Paul Gentry, CMCA Staff
appeared in CR Magazine #41
Kyle Knapp is one of those artists who ply their craft for years, often not receiving the attention that their talent deserves. For 15 years prior to his debut album, Kyle performed his music in bars, street corners and churches though the Midwest of the US. As a result of which the instrumentation on this album is of a very high quality, although country isn't generally my thing, a talented musician is obviously what we have in Kyle.
In the blurb from Narrowpath Records it says, "Listen to 'Burr Oak Acres' and you'll know Kyle Knapp." That is certainly true. What comes through is a man who knows his heart and isn't afraid to express it in songs such as "That Fire In Your Eyes", a song about his wife. If I have a gripe, then it would be the whistling on the opening track, "Lincoln Boulevard", which is a little difficult to take.
Anyway, for fans of country-
~review by Alastaire Reece
review by MidwestBands.com
"Refugee is an incredible album! Kyle Knapp is an awesome guitarist, able to infuse every song with passionate, skillfully played rhythms and intricate finger-
~Mark Lush, MidwestBands.com