As I write this, Mark Knopfler’s gravelly voice and gently strummed guitar flow through my head. Like a fine wine, his musicianship and performing has matured and become richer with time. Originally the lead vocalist of 1970’s rock band Dire Straits, he has now become an Internationally applauded solo artist. Why am I so inspired? Because for over 56 years he has continued to produce thought-provoking, hauntingly beautiful music and lyrics, and still prides himself on playing live, regardless of how small the audience is. In our age of fame and fortune, he has spent his days grafting on the road, travelling from gig to gig to play to old fans and new followers alike. He is that rarest of musicians, namely a grounded and down to earth celebrity.
Perhaps what inspires me so deeply is that I discovered him at the tender age of Five. His album Brothers In Arms was and is the first album that I remember recognising as something unique. As I was deciding who I was and gaining confidence, I remember this album as a constant background to car journeys and evenings at home. Knopfler’s music has taught me many, many things, from how to describe love to how to swear incredibly offensively (and make it sound cool). Perhaps what inspires me most, though, is how prolifically he plays the guitar. He possesses the ability to blend his voice with musical instruments seamlessly. In his album Tracker, his voice has only been enhanced by the dulcet tones of Ruth Moody. For me, listening to his work is like staring in to a spinning prism, with beautiful glimmers shining out from every facet. There are familiar riffs and licks to rediscover, like a caress from a lover. There is his virtuosic handling of the guitar. There is everything in between.
© Tom Tide 2016