The epically '90s country group Hot Country Knights released its first album, The K Is Silent, on Friday, delivering on their satirical promise of partying, passion and plenty of double entendres. Led by frontman Doug Douglason (aka Dierks Bentley), Hot Country Knights is comprised of members Terry Dvoraczekynski, Monte Montgomery, Marty Ray Roburn, Trevor Travis and Barry Van Ricky, who all know exactly what their target audience of women 65 and older wants to hear.
"Guys like John Michael Montgomery, 'Be My Baby Tonight,' Travis Tritt's song 'T-R-O-U-B-L-E'... Songs that put the 'T' back in country, right?" Douglason told PopCulture.com and other media. "We've got to put the 'T' back in there, and you've got to get a little testosterone in that stuff. At least my gals have been telling me. Like I said, when the band has their own demo they talk to and get feedback from, girls 65 and older, they miss that. They miss the 'T.' They miss the 'T' in country. We're putting that High T back in it with our high kicks, and our high intensity shows, and our high waisted jeans."
Douglason shared that his favorite track on the album is "Mull It Over," a "tender song" that makes use of the group's signature double meaning. "People probably haven't gotten this yet," he said. "I know my mom hasn't gotten it yet. She thinks it's a song about taking your time to think about something. 'Mull It Over' is a dual meaning between mulling over a situation, thinking about it, and mullet over, which is the hairs. It's complicated, a lot of people aren't going to get it, but, yeah, 'Mull It Over.'"
The K Is Silent also features two collaborations with fellow '90s artists Travis Tritt and Terri Clark. The former joins the Knights for "Pick Her Up," while Clark duets with Douglason on the bedroom-ready "You Make It Hard." "I feel like we create that tension on stage," Douglason explained of "You Make It Hard. "I want to find a way to get that tension we create on stage that usually releases afterwards... How do I get that on the album? I don't know if you know this, but 'You Make it Hard' is not just about making it emotionally hard to leave a room, but there's a little extra. Well, you'll figure it out, but there's a lot going on here, and it's just really the genius of my songwriting."
Whether the Knights are trotting out country tropes ("Wrangler Danger," "The USA Begins With US") or sharing their take on genre classics (Garth Brooks fans might note some startling similarities to a certain Brooks song in the Knights' "Then It Rained), the group just wants their debut effort to show their audience who they are, mullets and all.
"I think we try to be real honest with our fans. I think when fans think of the word 'authentic' and 'authenticity,' they think of bands like the Hot Country Knights, and pretty much no one else," Douglason mused. "A lot of these guys, a lot of country singers right now, they wear these long t-shirts," he continued. "We want you to see the whole package. When you watch us on stage, what you see is what you get. This is what you're going to get if you want to come see after the show. We don't hide anything, physically or emotionally, with our fans. And by fans, I mean ladies."
Listen to The K Is Silent here.