Mark Knopfler announces ninth solo album 'Down The Road Wherever'

A follow-up to the 2015 nostalgic album 'Tracker', Mark Knopfler's newest album is a journey back into the days with Dire Straits and everything else that came along with it

                            Mark Knopfler announces ninth solo album 'Down The Road Wherever'

Mark Knopfler is the true journeyman. Always known to pen songs that make you long for the road, the Dire Straits frontman is out with his newest album, justifiably titled 'Down the Road Wherever'. The 14-track record, his ninth solo album, is a follow-up to 2015's 'Tracker' and is set to release on November 16, available in standard formats along with a deluxe CD version and a box set.

In the 2015 album, the co-founder and leader of the dormant Dire Straits had taken a look back on the road behind him. Knopfler's songs have always reflected a longing for a journey of both the mind and the soul, and during the making of 'Tracker', the singer had composed several songs that reflected his sense of taking inspiration from his journeys. Regarding 'Tracker', the singer had said, "Over the years I've learned to write on the go. But they come for all kinds of reasons -- because of the place you're physically, geographically in at the time or from a remark someone makes or something you happen to read. It's always by...accident." 


The singer's nostalgia was evident in the opening track, 'Laughing and Jokes and Drinks and Smokes', where he sang: "We were young, so young/ And always broke/ Not that we ever cared." It seemed like a throwback to Knopfler's pre-Dire Straits days when instead of making plans about production and stage shows, Knopfler and his younger brother David (who co-founded Dire Straits in 1977) would rather spend time creating music for themselves. From tracking his days as a carefree soul in 'Tracker', his latest offering 'Down the Road Wherever' is pegged to lend an ear to the journey in his younger days, including all the complications that tag along when it comes to making music for the masses. 

Listen to the track below:

Quoting a press release, Rolling Stone mentioned, that the record is a collection of "unhurriedly elegant new Knopfler songs inspired by a wide range of subjects, including his early days in Deptford with Dire Straits, a stray football fan lost in a strange town, the compulsion of a musician hitching home through the snow, and a man out of time in his local greasy spoon.” Knopfler himself has noted that his album's title was inspired from something that his pal had once said to him, something on the lines of taking one thing at a time and not mixing it all together. 

"‘Down the road wherever' is a line from 'One Song at a Time'. I remember my pal Chet Atkins once saying that he picked his way out of poverty one song at a time, and it just stuck in my mind." Probably that one line stuck with him because often producing music does not remain to pick up one track at a time. It is more than often a mess of ideas, comments, and arguments. Recalling his own experiences with music production, Knopfler had said, "You can end up in the occasional cul-de-sac, then you have to do a 16-point turn to try to get your truck back out on the main road, as unobtrusively as you can...It’s not just motorways all the way."

The title of the album was inspired by a conversation with Chet Atkins (Facebook)
The title of the album was inspired by a conversation with Chet Atkins (Facebook)

The singer, who is known for his Geordie vocal tones which when accompanied by his melodic guitar rhythms creates nothing less than magic, will probably render a mellower soundscape in 'Down The Road Wherever' as compared to 'Tracker'. While the album is certainly worth waiting for, the tracklist can be viewed below:

1. “Trapper Man”
2. “Back On The Dance Floor”
3. “Nobody’s Child”
4. “Just A Boy Away From Home”
5. “When You Leave”
6. “Good On You Son”
7. “My Bacon Roll”
8. “Nobody Does That”
9. “Drovers’ Road”
10. “One Song At A Time”
11. “Floating Away”
12. “Slow Learner”
13. “Heavy Up”
14. “Matchstick Man”