Knopfler And Emmylou Harris: All The Roadrunning
Peden, CSO Staff Journalist
they sizzle. Collectively they’re electric. He’s the mild-mannered musical
mumbler. She’s the feisty and creative wrecking ball. He’s the innovative
guitarist, singer and songwriter who warbled about money for nothing and chicks
for free: the guy who got to play his guitar on MTV. She’s the celebrated and
established chanteuse recognized for her stylish vocals and earnest pursuit of
music that’s real, vibrant and traditional. Now with a CD that’s been years
in the making, seven in fact, they unveil their collaborative strengths on the
duet prize, All The Roadrunning.
With a sprinkling of folk, blues and country, the album, with
its 12 tracks, 10 written by Knopfler and two by Harris, is a listening treat
sure to polarize. On one hand, given the number of listeners I’ve spoken to
through my radio show, there is an opinion it’s a safe and limited venture.
But to counter that, I’ve also heard from people inspired with the moody
brilliance of the union. So enamored was one listener, he told me this is one of
the best albums he’s heard…ever. Whatever the fallout, the matter comes
captured in the carefree truth in one of the album’s song titles, "This
Knopfler, a left-hander who plays his guitar right-handed,
believing this makes his style is a finger-picking guitar virtuoso. Not only can
he play and sing, he can write. Paired to the talented Harris, the two deliver a
unique and rootsy listen. Moody, cloudy, spirited and revealing, the album comes
polished, inspired and catches you gently, convincingly and honestly. The
beauty, the musical beauty, is the album grows with continued plays. Its ideal
for firesides, it’s ideal for work, and it’s ideal for play – a record
that not so much matches moods and circumstances, but rather creates them.
While Knopfler’s famed for his headband days with arena
rockers Dire Straits, his passion for the twang thang is obvious in his crafted
writing. Tunes like "Beachcombing", a melodic and wistful look at
emotional loss is a modern album opener to the poignancy of the album’s last
track, "If This Is Goodbye".
"My famous last words/
are laying around in tatters/ sounding absurd/whatever I try/but I love you/ and
that’s all that really matters/ if this is goodbye/if this is goodbye." These
are dark and shadowed lyrics, made all the more gray due to being written as a
remembrance to the tragedy of 9/11.
Personal standout tracks, and there are many, include the
infectious "Belle Star (written by Harris), "Red Staggerwing" and
"Donkey Town", both tracks were earlier cuts on Knopfler’s 2000 solo
effort, Sailing To Philadelphia. "This Is Us", a chronological
lovers’ saunter and the pensive "Beyond My Wildest Dreams" are also
This is an album of sheer delight. It’s a unique melding of
Knopfler’s trademarked ease and lazy vocals and Harris’s spirited and
effective recording style. Much more could be said about this album, but I won’t
take any more of your heading-to-the-store-to-buy time. I’ll leave you with my
wrap: essential and compelling.
A must have.
Check out the video interview!
Click on the CD cover to order yours!
2. I Dug Up A Diamond
3. This Is Us
4. Red Staggerwing
5. Rollin' On
6. Love and Happiness for You
|7. Right Now
8. Donkey Town
9. Belle Star
10. Beyond My Wildest Dreams
11. All the Roadrunning
12. If This is Goodbye
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BUY IT!! If you have ever been in love with music, with lyricists, with a person, with life...buy this album...absolutely one of the best CD's I've ever heard and I have over 600 in my collection...and buy it for any couple you know who is in love as a gift....best gift you could give them!