Sunday, 3 June 2018

Mark Knopfler - Tracker (2015)


Released March 2015

Recorded at British Grove Studios

A laid-back album of beautiful, thoughtful songs in a folky style by the guitar genius that is Mark Knopfler. If you are one if those still desperately searching for some hint of Dire Straits-style sound, then you will be disappointed, just give up. Time has moved on.


1. Laughs And Jokes And Drinks And Smokes
2. Basil
3. River Towns
4. Skydiver
5. Mighty Man
6. Broken Bones
7. Long Cool Girl
8. Lights Of Taormina
9. Silver Eagle
10. Beryl
11. Wherever I Go
12. .38 Special
13. My Heart Has Never Changed
14. Terminal Of Tribute To
15. Heart Of Oak

“Basil” fondly recalls Knopfler’s early years working on the “Newcastle Chronicle” with a hard-bitten old journalist. Newcastle landmarks are mentioned like the “black church” which refers to the soiled stone blackened by the smoke of the industrial revolution, and “Mark Toney’s Ice Cream Parlour”, which is still there on Grainger Street.

“Laughs And Jokes And Drinks And Smokes” is similarly nostalgic, with its jazzy intro that breaks out into Celtic/Northumbrian majesty.  “Lights Of Taormina” is just beautiful and “Beryl” gives the only tiny hint of Dire Straits. The gritty “River Towns” and “Skydiver” are impressive too, as is “Silver Eagle”. The bonus material is nothing special, however, so if money is tight, stick to the basic eleven track album.

There is a trustworthiness to Knopfler’s honest, bluesy work. Like Van Morrison, you know what you are going to get. Long may he continue.


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