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Author: Subject: Mark Knopfler Hopes To 'Get Lucky' With New Album, Tour

Peach Master

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  posted on 9/1/2009 at 10:02 PM
With his sixth solo studio album, "Get Lucky," coming Sept. 15, Mark Knopfler is plotting out tour plans for 2010.

"It'll be four, five months," he tells "Springtime -- April, May -- in the U.S., and June and July in Europe. And I'd like a week at the Royal Albert Hall (in London). Just doing a week is nice; it's not too far from where I live, and it's a good atmosphere in there."

Knopfler will be using the same group of players who were part of "Get Lucky" and most of his recent albums -- "It's like a great little ship out there that I get to be the captain of," he says -- and he adds that the opportunity to hit the road has become one of the lures to keep recording and releasing new albums these days.

"I do get a lot of pleasure form touring and playing live," Knopfler says. "It's kind of an affirmation. It's certainly something I don't have to do financially; I just do it because I have a compulsion to out and play every now and again, and it's an important part of what a traveling musician does. It's enjoyable just taking a look at everything and doing various things with the songs and working them up in different ways. It's very enjoyable."

Knopfler is anxious to play the news songs from "Get Lucky," which he recorded at his award-winning British Grove Studios in West London, but he promises that he'll still dip generously into the hits, especially from his Dire Straits catalog.

"When I'm playing the old Dire Straits stuff...these (songs) have become like milestones for people, and when you play them you have to pay attention to that," Knopfler explains. "I never like to play things the same, but with, like, 'Brothers in Arms,' the first four notes I probably do play them the same because they've become part of this fabric and the way people live with the song. And the end of 'Sultans of Swing,' I've tried doing different things but if you don't go back to the exact same set of notes that they know from the album, things just don't seem right with the world. So I try to be somewhat aware of that."

"Get Lucky" is the follow-up to 2007's "Kills to Get Crimson," which debuted at No. 26 on the Billboard 200. Proceeds from the first single, "Remembrance Day," are going to the Poppy Appeal, which supports the Royal British Legion, an organization for present and former members of the British armed services.


Maximum Peach

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  posted on 9/2/2009 at 01:08 PM
Two folks I would definitely like to see live in my lifetime that I probably never will:

Mark Knopfler
David Byrne


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Maximum Peach

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  posted on 9/2/2009 at 01:53 PM
Mark seems to be the exception to the rule that artists become less productive as they get older. He keeps cranking out new material, with new releases coming out like clockwork every two years. Reading some of the blogs of guys that tour and record with him, they say he's constantly writing new stuff, even while on tour. There's a stash of tunes ready or partly finished that we'll probably never hear.

He's mellowed as he aged, forgoing the flashy guitar break for more song focus. It seems to disappoint some of his fans (those who can't progress past the DS days), but I usually end up wishing for more of his recent work in the set than the old favs. Last tour, he thankfully dropped Money For Nothing and Walk Of Life. They were better shows for it.

While his turn of phrase on guitar may be lessened versus the past, he still has an uncanny ability to squeeze more emotion out of fewer notes than anyone I know. Maybe its the Geordie influences - little hints of Celtic or Scottish phrasing that surface in his melodies.

One thing I can say for sure: his ticketing is the most fan-fair of any artist I have seen. For the last tour, his management instituted a process where the first 10-15 rows were all exclusively ticketed through his website, fulfilled by his staff, on a first-come first-served basis, available only if you had an account on his site. You logged on at the appointed hour, grabbed the number of tickets you wanted, but didn't know the exact seating (only that it would be in those close rows). A few weeks later they emailed seat locations, and a few weeks after that they sent tickets. Of the four shows I bought tickets for, I got 1st or 2nd row for each one - at face value.

Some of the new tunes have surfaced on YouTube -

Get Lucky -

Border Reiver -

Cleaning My Gun -

You Can't Beat The House -

And a promo video for the new release -

And, if you want to watch a full show from the 2005 tour -

Part 1 -

Part 2 -


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True Peach

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  posted on 9/2/2009 at 02:41 PM
^Rich, that is one great post there! Thanks for your many contributions to the site.

I saw Knopfler a few years ago and it was very enjoyable. Need to do it again.


Maximum Peach

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  posted on 9/2/2009 at 05:04 PM
Brock; he'll be touring here next spring, but from the sounds of it, it may not be as extensive as the last tour. Looks like just a two month swing, where the '08 tour had him here for about twice that long. And like a lot of bands from across the sea, he tends to book more northern cities than southern ones. Although he did come to Charlotte last year, and I believe Atlanta, as well as a couple of dates in FL.

He's starting to announce European dates for next summer, so the US dates won't be far behind. More than most, he announces dates really far in advance, which is likely connected to the way he wants to manage tickets for his fans.


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Zen Peach

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  posted on 9/2/2009 at 05:44 PM
I am going to concentrate my thoughts on getting a Mark Knopfler show this next tour. He's long been one of my faves - since the early Dire Straits days and now with his 'solo' stuff.

Great post Rich!!! Thanks!


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Extreme Peach

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  posted on 9/2/2009 at 06:15 PM
I hope he comes to Dallas, cause I'd love to see him live. I think the last time he was here was in 2001 when he played at the Bronco Bowl. If he comes here this time, he could play at Nextstage in Grand prairie, now known as Nokia Theatre.

Maximum Peach

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  posted on 9/7/2009 at 03:38 AM
I thought I'd resurrect this thread with some new Knopfler info. Following is a recent interview...

Get Lucky
Mark Knopfler

By Jesse Kornbluth
Published: Aug 28, 2009

“I’m writing too many songs, and then I have to put them out --- I’m sorry,” Mark Knopfler said at the start of what seems like our annual phone call.

But if Knopfler is going to make CDs like Get Lucky, he can call me every few months --- these eleven songs are completely original short stories and character sketches, set against music by one of the planet’s greater guitarists. That the quality is uniformly high is no surprise.

What did take me aback --- and what will make fans of Dire Straits and Knopfler’s previous solo releases shake their heads --- is that Knopfler seems to have assembled this CD without regard for the marketplace. Nothing jumps out at you like “Punish the Monkey (Let the Organ Grinder Go)” from Kill to Get Crimson or “Boom Like That” from Shangri-La. The likely result: The guy whose band sold 120 million records has made a CD that will be appreciated mostly by the smallest cohort of music lovers: smart, literate grownups who can read without moving their lips. [Click to listen to the CD's hottest song.]

An unwillingness –-- or is it an inability? --- to compromise. A curiosity, at 60, about songwriting that explores new personal territory. A concern, in all things, for authenticity. You don’t have to talk to Mark Knopfler long before you realize that these are bred in the bone. Listen:

Jesse Kornbluth: Three words: Dire Straits reunion.

Mark Knopfler (audible sigh): These days, it does seem to be the style. But putting the brakes on when I did [he disbanded Dire Straits in 1995] was right. I’m happy with the way things are.

JK: We’re talking about the easiest $300 million you’ll ever make!

MK: I’m looking to do more of what I do --- improve my recordings and playing the new music live, enjoying the variations that brings.

JK: At a conference, I heard Steve Jobs quote The Beatles: “You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.” I hear that idea running through your new CD. There’s a lot of life experience --- people on the far side of young love, lost comrades, memories of a distant childhood.

MK: The road ahead --- yes, it’s a different picture. I have become a bit of a veteran at this music thing, so there’s some of what made me. One song, “Cleaning My Gun”, is from the vet’s viewpoint, the survivor’s viewpoint. I’ve made a couple of notes where it’s possible to tell you the background of some of the songs. But I try not to interfere too much or explain. I don’t want to spoil the songs for you; I’d prefer that it’s going to be what you want it to be.

JK: In “Remembrance Day”, you sing the names of those --- war dead, it seems --- now under the “earthen roof”. Are they men you knew?

MK: It’s just a list of boys. It begins with a cricket team. In a lot of communities, cricket teams and football teams --- and in America, baseball teams --- were the kids who went to war.

JK: That’s the closest you come to social criticism on this CD. There’s no wry, angry song like “Punish the Monkey”. Is Knopfler mellowing?

MK: The older I get, the more grouchy I become. I have some equally disagreeable friends who are walking partners with me in the morning. We get most of our bile out then. By the time I get home, I feel better.

JK: I think of a Bruce Springsteen CD that, according to his manager, had no obvious hit single. Bruce went home and dashed off “Dancing in the Dark”. And the entire world bought “Born in the USA”. In contrast, I fear that “Get Lucky” will be under-appreciated because it’s merely gorgeous.

MK: It does occur to me I need to have someone like that.

JK: I see you have one concert scheduled this month --- then your schedule looks blank until May of 2010. This can’t be.

MK: I’m trying to work out a way to pop over to America and do Prairie Home Companion or Letterman, just by myself. And there will be a tour from April to July.

JK: Didn’t Dire Straits once do 250 concerts in a year?

MK: When you’re young and in a band, it’s like you have a football under your arm ---- you’re running. But some of that is running away.

JK: Fender has just launched the Mark Knopfler Stratocaster. Do you use it or just endorse it?

MK: I play it on stage instead of my old one. It works better. It has all the things I specified: a rosewood finger board, nice big smooth frets. Other owners seem to like it too.

JK: Michael Jordan wore a new pair of Nike shoes every night. Do you have more than one Knopfler Strat?

MK: I can make a lot of money for charity by playing one at an event and then selling it. So I’ll generally be using a new one….

JK: I see your high standards as an affront to our rapidly deteriorating culture. They reassure those of us who care about these things that we’re not alone, not crazy. In that sense, “Get Lucky” is a comfort. Can you relate?

MK: There’s been an erosion, and not just in the United States. It becomes more important for people who regard themselves as having the ability to discern and feel to stand tall.

JK: So market-directed music….

MK: I'm sorry. Those words are meaningless to me.

Consider "Get Lucky" Exhibit A.


If the Ukrainians didn't know, there ain't no quid pro quo


Ultimate Peach

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  posted on 9/7/2009 at 06:06 AM
great guitar player


Extreme Peach

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  posted on 9/7/2009 at 11:11 AM
MK's live performance is really fine...he plays his Gibson most of the time and the tone is so nice.




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