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Scott Allan Knost
Uche and the Crash
Singer/songwriters are everywhere now, heard on radios and playing in coffee shops and open mic nights all over the country. Scott Allan Knost is one of them, and the Wichita-based artist wants to make a mark without having to change for his audience. “I don’t think I’ve ever written anything where it was like, ‘People will love this, but I can’t really stand this,’” Knost says. “Once people see me live, they know what I’m about.”

Knost will play at 9 p.m. tonight at Cafe Acoustic, 2605 Frederick Ave. The show is free.

The 31-year-old grew up in the Midwest on a healthy diet of church music and The Judds, only to find his inspiration to pick up guitar in the licks of Prince and Poison lead guitarist C.C. DeVille.

After 17 years of playing, he feeds his ego and scratches his guitar-soloing itch in the Wichita group Uche and the Crash. But when it comes to his songs, the message is clearer when acoustic guitar and vocals are the only elements.

“I’ve always kind of done it because I feel like by myself, it’s translated better,” he says.

Knost gave up the whole day job thing back in March 2007 to pursue music full time, mainly playing in the Midwest. His music mixes the style of John Mayer with the emotional, “tell it like it is” honesty of Ryan Adams. Whether he opens listeners up to his own life experiences or incorporates the true tales of others (“It’s kind of like the names have been changed to protect the guilty,” he says), honest tales win out over imaginative fabrications.

“My market is people that can see right through me if I try to fake them out,” Knost says. “I don’t think people have time for fake feelings.”

With a studio and live EP and his 2006 full-length album “Dream of Consciousness” behind him, Knost continues to hit the road before he heads down to Texas to record his next release. Knost’s performance at 9 p.m. tonight at Cafe Acoustic will be the first time he’s played the Cafe in two years, but owner Lisa Hancock recalls certain characteristics about Knost that stick out.

“He’s pretty folk-rocky,” Hancock says. “I think he takes a lot of his stuff from real life and writes a lot about love and the ups-and-downs.”

In a recent show in Chicago, Knost played for a crowd of 12 people. Out of the 12 that saw his show, three people bought a CD. Not a bad ratio for a guy whose sole focus is writing for himself and performing for others, hoping that everybody can get on the same page.

“For me, my underlying goal is not to be dismissible folk,” Knost says. “I don’t want to try too hard to be different. I want to write what I believe.”