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Mark Knopfler And Emmylou Harris: All The Roadrunning
By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist

Individually 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 Is Us".

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 worthy.

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!

1. Beachcombing 
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

Related Links:
Emmylou's Official Website 
Mark's Official Website  

MySpace  

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Real People Reviews

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!
VP---Austin, Tx.

 

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