While many big groups from back in the day when Dire Straits was at the top of the charts still tour, playing their long-in-the-tooth rock anthems in dreadful arenas, Mark Knopfler continues to write solid, fresh, meaningful songs, and to perform them in smaller, acoustically-friendly venues with some of the best instrumentalists around.
Get Lucky is the latest in a series of post-Straits CDs that reward the listener again and again with lyrics drawn from Knopfler's childhood reminiscences, wide travels, and ever-active ear for a compelling story, whether from history, the media, fellow musicians, or acquaintances in the pub.
At times nostalgic, but never maudlin, and with a return to some Celtic overtones, the 11 new tunes on Get Lucky are all solid, each with its own appeal. I look forward to hearing Knopfler play them and others live on his upcoming tour.
While many performers, Live Nation, and Ticketmaster treat fans poorly at times, every Knopfler concert projects respect for the audience through genuine communication, great playing, an intriguing opening act, and at least two hours of music, both old and new, by the master. Another symbol of that respect is the free copy of Mark's current CD which each ticket buyer receives by mail.
In my view, Knopfler remains a class act in every way, and his most recent is well worth purchasing or downloading.
And, yes, he still plays Sultans of Swing at his concerts, at least he did in Vancouver last year.