Mark Knopfler’s solo career has proven wider-reaching than his days with Dire Straits. The big rock productions may be gone forever (though a song like “Corned Beef City” certainly rocks in its own way), but his full investigations into traditional folk, blues, Celtic, and country styles have established Knopfler as a modern musical treasure. For Privateering, Knopfler went into his West London recording studio with his well-seasoned friends and nailed down the 20 songs that appear here. (The deluxe version adds five first-rate live performances from 2011.) Knopfler’s songwriting muse is speaking to him clearly, and songs such as “Redbud Tree,” “Haul Away,” “Go, Love," and “Miss You Blues” are as touching and as modest as anything else he’s ever committed to tape. Mike McGoldrick’s whistle and flute and John McCusker’s fiddle are crucial in coloring the songs, and special guests such as Paul Franklin (pedal steel), Kim Wilson (harmonica), Tim O’Brien (mandolin), and Ruth Moody (singer of The Wailin’ Jennys) greatly complement the band. Knopfler’s talents distinguish the sessions, but always to create a natural performance.

Other Versions

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada