Country Singer — Mark Knopfler

Mark Knopfler Freuder OBE (born August 12, 1949, in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom) is a guitarist, singer, song writer and previously journalist and Professor.

Mainly known as Dire Straits singer and guitarist. He has also played in other bands (Notting Hillbillies, Brewer’s Droop), for other artists (Bob Dylan in Slow Train Coming) and has carried out projects in solo. In addition, he has composed music for several films, including Local Hero, Comfort and Joy, CAL, the Princess Bride, Last Exit To Brooklyn, HuMo De La Cortina (Wag the dog), Metroland and A shot at glory and for other singers like Tina Turner, Private Dancer. Currently carries a race alone, with a somewhat different from that which was created with Dire Straits, based on a unique style, blending various sources such as blues, rock and folk, e.g. style. Rolling Stone magazine ranked it the twenty-seventh placed in the list of 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

Childhood and early

Mark Knopfler was born in Glasgow on August 12, 1949. It is the second of three children of the marriage formed by Jewish Hungarian architect Earwin Knopfler, exiled for his country in 1939 the nazis fleeing and Louisa Mary Laidler, Newcastle English. At 9 years his family moved to this city on the banks of the River Tyne and already then he has caught taste music hearing his uncle Kingsley playing boggie-boggie with piano. During these years of childhood, his father tries, with the help of his uncle, who learn how to play the piano and violin, but what more striking you is the guitar.

13, Mark attends primary school in Gosforth and already used to collect photos of musical groups particularly guitarists. Begins to insist to his father to have a guitar, and with 15 years can finally buy a guitar V2 Solid colors red and black, with features of the brand “Fender” Stratocaster guitar. In 1966, with only 16 years old, debuted in TV singing the song “Chilly Winds” with Sue Hercombe. Even came to recording a demo called “summer’s coming my Way” (only in the hands of collectors). After completing his education in English literature, he moved to Leeds to early 1970s. Working for the Yorkshire Evening Post and Loughton College newspapers. At this time is when he met Steve Phillips that became friends and recorded several songs of country music that would not light until 1996 when Steve Phillips published the album Just Pickin’ with a series of songs recorded between late 1960s and mid 1970s with different musicians. Steve and mark would find their careers with the formation of the Notting Hillbillies group.

Mark moved to London with his brother David Knopfler. Mark became a part of a group called Brewer’s Droop who had already published an album Opening Time. In 1973, they recorded their second album, Booze Brothers, produced by Dave Edmunds Rockpile. However, due to various problems, the album was not published until 1989. During recording, mark met drummer group, Pick Whiters.

Rise to fame

Once dissolved the group “Brewer’s Droop”, mark returned to the routine living with his brother. In 1977, during a party, mark met John Illsley, who played bass. It was then when they decided to form a group: mark, his brother David, John, and former drummer Pick Withers, “Brewer’s Broop”. Initially, the band’s name was “Cafe Racers”. Interpreted his repertoire (mainly composed by mark, but with David songs and versions of other musicians) in pubs in London, like many other bands when British (which became known as pub rock). Finally, was Pick which proposed renaming Dire Straits (English coming to mean “big trouble” or “desperate” due to the economic plight who lived in those days.)

In 1978, they release their first album, entitled simply Dire Straits. Generated the Sultans of Swing success. After that album continued publishing discs as the staff of the band was changing. David and mark met for the protagonism that had this last band. During the 1980s, the band evolved musically towards a greater complexity while became a set of larger and more diverse musicians. In 1985, only John and mark continued in the band. It was then when published Brothers In Arms, finally launched them unprecedented success. Artists such as Sting and Eric Clapton collaborated with the band at this time.

After a phase of silence at the end of the 1980s, Dire Straits returned early 1990s that country would be their last album ‘On Every Street’, with a clear influence. Failed the same sales as “Brothers in Arms” and had polarized criticism. Finally, in 1995 the band dissolved.

Side projects

Knopfler had gained a reputation as a studio musician. In 1979, Bob Dylan called him for Slow Train Coming, including the well-known “Man Gave Names To All The Animals” sessions. Dylan had heard the single “Sultans of Swing” and he had contacted March 29 after a concert in Los Angeles. For recording in Alabama, Knopfler recommended to Pick Withers, Dire Straits.En 1980 drummer collaborates on disk “Solo in Soho” of Phil Lynnott, bassist and singer of Thin Lizzy, specifically on the topic “King’s Call.”

In 1983, while playing with Dire Straits, Knopfler composed the first of a long series of soundtracks, “Local Hero”, which worked most of his peers. Guy Fletcher, keyboardist joined training shortly after, met him in 1984, during the recording of one of these soundtracks. Fletcher would continue to collaborate with Knopfler career solo and other soundtracks as the Last Exit To Brooklyn (1989): his most ambitious work as a composer. Knopfler style in their soundtracks in general approaching sound called Celtic (“Local Hero”, “Cal”, “A Shot At Glory”) but you can also find examples of other styles such as country (“La Cortina smoke”). Screenplaying; was released in 1993, a compilation of the best tracks from some of their soundtracks.

At the stage of silence of Dire Straits in the late 1980s, mark was saturated with the effort that had involved the world tour “Brothers in Arms”. In addition, the band’s musical style prevented publish more minority as the country or the blues styles most personal songs. Therefore, in those years that Dire Straits published anything, mark took the opportunity to publish a disk with guitarist Chet Atkins country in 1990 (later in the year 2006 would publish an album in collaboration with another musician, singer-songwriter Emmylou Harris). In 1988 he returned to collaborate with Bob Dylan in Down in the Groove, in which matches other greats, such as Clapton. Steve Phillips, Brendan Croker and Guy Fletcher grouped the Notting Hillbillies, band released an only album, although reúnido have frequently to make tours throughout the 1990s.

Solo career

In the middle of the 1990s, mark felt less free increasingly as a musician in Dire Straits. This sentiment coupled with the fact that album the band had a lukewarm reception made Mark decided to launch a full solo career after the dissolution of Dire Straits. In 1996, Golden Heart saw the light. In it, we find a series of songs that continue the style of the last albums Dire straits; but at the same time we find other unthinkable in an album of pop-rock to use songs as Dire Straits used to publish. On this album he started playing with a number of partners who would be called by the own Knopfler as “The 96ers” (which comes to mean something like “the of 96”) and you would still collaborating onwards. Noteworthy is the collaboration of Celtic music group The Chieftains interpreters.

Away gradually style that had followed in the 1980s, Knopfler published Sailing to Philadelphia in 2000, a stylish primarily blues it collaborating musicians such as Van Morrison, James Taylor or Squeeze Duo. Later The ragpicker’s Dream in 2002 with a style folk.

In 2003, Mark Knopfler accident Moto in London which forced him to cancel his world tour. At the end of 2004, he released the album Shangri – La, recorded in Studio Shangri – La Malibu; where recorded groups as The Band.

In 2006, Mark Knopfler along with Emmylou Harris published the album “All the Roadrunning”, in containing collaborations between the two musicians between 2000 and 2006. The release came accompanied by concerts in Europe and America during the year 2006; that gave rise to the live album and DVD “Real Live Roadrunning”.

September 10, 2007 released a new album titled Kill To Get Crimson, which include collaborations of the former member of Dire Straits, the tenor sax Chris White Guy Fletcher on keyboards and Danny Cummings on percussion. For this new album, Knopfler broke with which came to be usual formation of his band since the mid-1980s (two guitars, two keyboards, bass and a battery) to pass to a much smaller band (guitar, keyboard, bass and a battery). Thus sought to reach the musical style of the songs from the 1960s.

Get Lucky is the title chosen for the sixth album by Knopfler. Published on September 15, 2009, was again co-produced by Chuck Ainlay and Guy Fletcher.

Mark Knopfler has two twin sons (Benji and Joseph, his second marriage), and two daughters, Isabella and Katya Ruby Rose (current); holds a degree in English literature from the University of Leeds, Newcastle University has awarded an honorary degree in music.


It is left-handed, but dexterous playing the guitar. Plays guitar using his fingers (fingerpicking) instead of a spike (i.e. playing by tapping and produce a clean and own sound peculiarity), when the fingers are often used with the classical guitar.

Knopfler normally plays electric guitar, e.g. the Fender Stratocaster, although sometimes does with acoustics. This peculiar style and little practiced by great guitarists in rock, makes characteristic of an unmistakable, giving his works about harmony, nuances and cadences who drink of 50 and 60 years music sound and that his own Knopfler has commissioned also evolve with the introduction of dissonances.

1,206 thoughts on “Country Singer — Mark Knopfler

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