MARK KNOPFLER – One Deep River (2xCD Deluxe Edition) (2024) *HQ*

MARK KNOPFLER - One Deep River (2xCD Deluxe Edition) (2024) *HQ* - full

MARK KNOPFLER‘s upcoming tenth solo studio album, ”One Deep River”, features 12 unhurriedly elegant new songs, with his warm Geordie vocal tone, poetic storytelling lyrics and deft, richly melodic guitar playing all present and dazzling as ever.
”One Deep River” offers an unstoppable flow of future Knopfler classics, with their customarily learned lyrics and refined guitar textures. They draw on a lifetime of genre-crossing ingredients and influences in blues, folk, rock and beyond, and as usual, reveal their charms with unhurried grace and depth.
This Deluxe Edition includes a bonus disc with no less than 5 bonus tracks.

All these years later, the indelible sound of those classic Dire Straits songs remains, and through nine solo albums over the past two decades, almost three now, the first few words or first few guitar notes have one immediately recognizing Mark Knopfler.
It’s hard to believe that he now presents his tenth solo album since disbanding the group in 1995. The tried and true have stayed with him on his solo journey, marked by his poetic storytelling and one-of-a-kind deep voice. Those dulcet tones of Knopfler’s voice remain immaculately intact.

Now 74, every aspect of his artistry remains at its consistently high quality. As with the past few releases, Knopfler waxes mostly nostalgic here again on ”One Deep River”. The band features mostly his longtime collaborators, Jim Cox and Guy Fletcher on keyboards, Glenn Worf on bass, Ian Thomas on drums, Danny Cummings (percussion), Richard Bennett (guitar), Mike McGoldrick (whistle and Uilleann pipes), John McCusker (fiddle), and newcomer the in-demand Greg Leisz on pedal and lap steel.

“Two Pairs of Hands” lands in that most familiar groove, like sinking into one’s favorite cushioning couch. The sneaky groove and ringing guitar are trademark Knopfler, as he tries to explain what it’s like leading a band that’s playing to a packed house, resorting to that old saying “I’ve only got two pairs of hands.”
“Ahead of the Game” has Knopfler recalling his earliest days playing for tips in the clubs, and brimming with a satisfied pride that he’s still able to do so. Piano and background vocals imbue the buoyant “Smart Money,” which has all those Knopfler traits of infectious melodicism, unhurried but spot-on fretwork, and his eminently cool, understated vocals.

“Scavenger’s Yard” plays to an impossibly funky groove with spiraling, twisting guitar surfing above the insistent backbeat as the story unwinds with its blues references. Invariably, a slow waltz follows with Knopfler crooning through “Black Tie Jobs,” using just a few well-placed sustained guitar notes to color the tune.
The ethereal “Tunnel 13” places his signature voice front and center with a largely acoustic, spare accompaniment, burnished by Leisz’s deft touches. Going beyond the affecting sonics, this is another one of Knopfler’s storytelling songs in the vein of Mason and Dixon in “Sailing to Philadelphia.” In this case he recounts a real-life Western tale of a train robbery staged in the Siskiyou Mountains in 1923.

Knopfler continues the Western motif with the tale of a boomtown gone bust and a busted love in “Janine,” with his soaring guitar inevitably evoking the score of Local Hero. Leisz colors the humble, but rather sly recounting of presumably how his career rocketed upward in “Watch Me Gone”, the backgrounds giving a soft touch to the chorus. The gently swaying “Before My Train Comes” is the third song that invokes trains, this time a nod to mortality.
The use of trains and mention of Dylan re-kindles 1979 when Knopfler performed on Slow Train Coming. This album feels very much like every other Knopfler solo album and could certainly benefit from those age-old grooves and punch that graced the early Dire Straits releases.

There appears to be an implicit warning about emerging global tyranny in “This One’s Not Going to End Well.” Yet, maybe the sequencing is at issue. As was true of his previous effort, the back half of the album does drag a bit until we reach the title track, an endearing ode to River Tyne, connecting his childhood to present day, rendered exquisitely as his guitar weaves with the pedal steel, one of his best songs in years.
Knopfler remains that singular, comforting voice that’s nourished us for nearly five decades now.


CD 1:
01. Two Pairs Of Hands
02. Ahead Of The Game
03. Smart Money
04. Scavengers Yard
05. Black Tie Jobs
06. Tunnel 13
07. Janine
08. Watch Me Gone
09. Sweeter Than The Rain
10. Before My Train Comes
11. This One’s Not Going To End Well
12. One Deep River

CD 2:
01. The Living End
02. Fat Chance Dupree
03. Along A Foreign Coast
04. What I’m Gonna Need
05. Nothing But Rain

Guitars, Vocals – Mark Knopfler
Guitars – Richard Bennett
Pedal Steel, Lap Steel, Additional Guitars – Greg Leisz
Synths, Keyboards – Guy Fletcher
Piano, Keyboards – Jim Cox
Electric and Upright Bass – Glenn Worf
Drums – Ian ‘Ianto’ Thomas
Percussion – Danny Cummings
Fiddle – John McCusker
Wood Flute – Mike McGoldrick
Backing Vocals – Emma Topolski, Tamsin Topolski


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