180 Gram Double Vinyl! 8th Studio Solo Album from Dire Straits' Frontman! One of the Greatest Guitarists in the World! Lyrically Sound and Musically Flawless!
Mark Knopfler's eighth solo studio album shows he's still going strong 35 years after his start with Dire Straits.
"A privateer is what I am, really," says Mark Knopfler.
The title track of the legendary singer-songwriter and guitarist's eighth solo album evokes a swashbuckling era of seafaring plunder, merchant raiders and licensed pirates. But Mark finds an analogy with the modern rock and roll life. "I really get a buzz out of having this little group of people that sallies forth across the world. I enjoy being in command of it, the band, the crew, traveling through this ever changing landscape and playing in all these different places. You get where you get without any kind of assistance, really, making your own way in the world. There are no government grants to play this music. You're a privateer. And that's the way I like it."
Privateering is Mark Knopfler's first double album in a 35-year recording career. "The older I get, the more I want to write," he says. "Whether that is just panic at time running out, I'm not sure. I'm enjoying the process more than ever, writing, recording and playing live, I enjoy all of it. I'm almost tripping over songs."
These 20 tracks of consummately crafted folk, blues, country and rock originals reflect the creative exuberance of an artist whose exceptional abilities were recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Ivor Novellos. He has performed live in front of countless millions. He has collaborated with artists of the stature of Bob Dylan, Randy Newman, Emmylou Harris and Van Morrison. He has composed distinctive soundtracks for such classic films as Local Hero, The Princess Bride, Last Exit To Brooklyn and Wag The Dog. He has been regularly acclaimed as one of the greatest guitarists in the world. But what he sees himself as, first and foremost, is a songwriter. And this may be his finest-ever collection.
"Thirty-five years since Dire Straits first came together, guitar legend Knopfler is still going strong with this... solo studio album and it's a double. His voice is sounding more like Leonard Cohen than ever and while the melancholy flavor we expect of this all-time great is still very much in evidence, there are forays out into classic blues and bluesy rock, both of which suit him down to the ground.
"Lyrically sound and musically flawless, there’s nothing here that won’t delight Knopfler fans and it’s abundantly clear there’s still plenty of mileage in the 63-year-old yet." - Simon Gage, express.co.uk, August 31, 2012
"Relieved to shrug off the Dire Straits brand in 1995, Knopfler has relaxed into an admirable solo career of low-key country blues. His seventh solo outing is a backwoods ramble through two discs of the rootsy Anglo-American sounds in which Knopfler is now (mostly) so comfortable. There’s old-timers’ country, roadhouse blues, a Tom Waitsian piano ballad and yearning Celtic pipe.
"One of Knopfler’s skills is to write melodramatic folk lyrics then deliver them like he’s leaning against a petrol pump. Yon Two Crows is a grim shepherd’s tale, while Redbud Tree finds him “pledged” to a tree “as to my only one”. Some of the noisier blues are cheesy, but, in the main, this is a warm, authentic and durable record: the musical equivalent of a well-worn plaid shirt." - Helen Brown, telegraph.co.uk, September 5, 2012
"Redbud Tree," a highlight of Mark Knopfler's eighth solo album, could've been written 100 years ago. But given our ecocrisis, this tree-hugging folk gem, embossed with a shimmering fingerpicked Strat, feels cannily modern. Knopfler's sueded voice has changed little since his 1980s heyday, and his elegant electric-guitar work sounds better than ever. The 20 songs, most top-shelf, are a textbook of folk styles, from Irish ballads ("Kingdom of Gold") and country-flavored weepers ("Seattle") to slide-driven blues ("Don't Forget Your Hat") and Tin Pan Alley nostalgia ("Radio City Serenade"). On the title track, he shows off his acoustic playing, a folk-rock vet returning to the source." - Rolling Stone
"For a fan of folk and blues, we can’t recommend Mark Knopfler’s latest enough. Whilst the days of Dire Straits are behind this inspiring songwriter, no matter what internet rumours say, there’s a lot left in this legitimate legend." - bringthenoiseuk.com
"Privateering is Mark Knopfler’s eighth studio album and his first double album. Packing in twenty songs, it’s a record that has soul, is relaxed and shows off an impressive collection of great musicians including Kim Wilson on harp, mandolin player Tim O’Brien, and vocalist Ruth Moody along with his regular band. Mark is an absolute master in what he does and it’s such a rare beauty that he continues to have the passion to create the types of songs on Privateering with the highlights ‘Don’t Forget Your Hat’ ‘Miss You Blues’ and ‘Seattle’." - beatreview.com