Times have finally caught up with them — the rarely-touring Knitters perform on Thursday, May 19, at the Great American Music Hall. 8 p.m., $26; www.gamh.com.
While rock and country music have come together at many junctures, it's often been a skittish relationship — which is why the Knitters' debut, Poor Little Critter on the Road, was an oddity upon its 1985 release. Consisting of three-quarters of the iconic punk combo X — Exene Cervenka, John Doe, and D.J. Bonebrake — plus former Blaster Dave Alvin and bassist Johnny Ray Bartel, the Knitters played traditional country styles. At that time — as now, alas — country radio had disregarded the likes of Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and the Carter Family; the concepts of "alternative country" and "roots rock" hadn't yet been invented.