Mark Knopfler: Privateering

Album review
Mark Knopfler: Privateering

Mark Knopfler


Label: Mercury
Media: CD
Genre: Rock/pop

Nearly 35 years into a recording career that began with the self-titled Dire Straits album, singer-songwriter-guitarist-produ- cer Knopfler holds as steady on his course as such older baby-boom peers as Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, and J.J. Cale. He's amassed a boggling résumé of collaboration—Tina Turner, Bob Dylan, Chet Atkins, Steely Dan, Randy Newman, Buddy Guy, the Chieftains, Prince, and others—and soundtrack credits. However, on this 20-song double CD, his seventh solo studio recording, he narrows his focus to Celtic-inspired folk tunes and laid-back folk-rock and blues. If not particularly venturesome, it’s all warmly satisfying. His eloquent, note-bending electric, acoustic, and slide guitar solos, and the locked-in grooves of his band (augmented by accordionist Phil Cunningham, fiddler John McCusker, whistle and pipes player Mike McGoldrick, harmonica ace Kim Wilson, and mandolinist Tim O’Brien) sumptuously support Knopfler’s sleepy vocal rumble as he intones narratives drawn from legend, story-telling traditions, and his own experience on the road. The folk material is mystical and memorable; the blues more predictable and dispensable. The rather congealed mix de-emphasizes the supporting players, but forefronts Knopfler’s comfortable singing and playing. 

More Info

  • primary artist, Mark Knopfler
  • CD

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