Mark Knopfler

Deep into Mark Knopfler's solo career the ghost of Dire Straits lurks in his melodies, turns of phrase, and, of course, his voice, which is more likely to croon gentle ballads these days than snap off lines competing with his roiling electric guitar. Guitar heroics and rock 'n' roll in general, alas, are largely distant memories for Knopfler, who nevertheless has become an accomplished writer of songs that are often character studies, chronicles of history, or reminiscences. There's a tantalizing taste of Knopfler's classic guitar fire on a single cut, "Cleaning My Gun,"on his latest album, Get Lucky (Reprise). The rest of the songs have a folk feel, often with Celtic overtones, as Knopfler's guitar gently noodles while he reflects on memories from his youth: lorry drivers, itinerant workers, racing cars, an uncle lost during World War II. Most are vividly evocative of another time, many are poignant and bittersweet. Meanwhile, Knopfler has promised some Dire Straits nuggets in concert. Opening here and throughout Knopfler's North American tour will be Pieta Brown, whose fine new album on Red House, One and All, matches her wistful singing and keenly introspective lyrics with a fuller band sound, anchored by Bo Ramsey's evocative guitar. (Photo by hugochrisholm)
Sun., April 25, 7:30 p.m., 2010

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