Music To Play While Guests Are Being Seated At Wedding Mark Knopfler and His Fascination with America

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Mark Knopfler and His Fascination with America

Like many English musicians, Mark Knopfler appreciated and admired the rebels across the pond in the United States. Before Dire Straits and his 1977 hit Sultans of Swing, Knopfler was influenced by a wide range of American artists, including Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers, JJ Cale and Chet Atkins.

In the summer of 1976, he took an extended vacation in the United States. According to Miles Palmer’s unauthorized biography, Knopfler stayed with friends, talked to strangers, and absorbed his excess. By this time, he was building the confidence to leave behind his work as a teacher and journalist to pursue music in a bigger way.

While many of the songs on Dire Straits’ first three albums were strongly influenced by his experiences in the UK, it wasn’t until 1982’s Love Over Gold that he began to tap into the American psyche. The song, “Telegraph Road”, was written during the band’s first US tour and was written about the birth and eventual demise of an American town. The Telegraph Trail appeared to be somewhere in Michigan, Knopfler observed from the seat of the tour bus.

As Dire Straits’ fame and stardom faded with the success of Brothers in Arms, Mark’s interest in country and country-blues music continued. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, Knopfler had the good fortune to play with his hero, Chet Akins, on a Nashville television special. Their special friendship and mutual admiration society lasted until Atkins’ death in 2001. Knopfler’s hobby band, The Notting Hillbillies, was 100% pure country and blues.

Dire Straits’ last album, On Every Street, had several very specific references to the United States (“Fireworks over Liberty explode in the heat” was inspired by his experiences in New York) and “The Planet of New Orleans”— includes .” “Calling Elvis” continues Knopfler’s fascination with the King. One of Nashville’s brightest stars at the time, singer-songwriter Vince Gill worked on the album.

His second solo album, 2000’s Sailing in Philadelphia, left England behind with only a handful of homegrown tunes. Instead, songs like “Do America,” “Speedway at Nazareth,” “The Sands of Nevada,” and “Prairie Wedding” oozed America. It’s the country that Knopfler brings to his music that he appreciates and admires; It is rarely offensive. The 2004 Shangri-La paid tribute to famous (infamous?) Americans like McDonalds founder Ray Kroc, boxer Sonny Liston and Elvis.

Mark Knopfler’s latest album of duets with Emmylou Harris has left England behind and replaced it with a country passion and pleasure born of age and experience. Knopfler has been widely quoted as saying that the 9/11/01 tragedy in New York influenced several songs on the album. Isn’t it a coincidence that his touring band has featured some of the most successful players from anywhere else in the last 10 years? — Nashville, Tennessee.

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