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Mark Knopfler is better at creating on the go
Since the demise of Dire Straits during the early 90s, Mark Knopfler has been a prolific solo artist, with eight albums, collaborations with Emmylou Harris and the late Chet Atkins, and eight film scores.
During the past five years, even, he's released the two-disc "Privateering" and this year`s "Tracker," receiving rave reviews for both. And Knopfler is clear about why he's been so productive.
"I'm not as distracted as I once was," the 66-year-old singer and guitarist says by phone from his home in London. "If you're thinking the road ahead is a little shorter than the one behind you, you're thinking about trying to write a good song and hoping to make a decent record of it.
"I suppose over the years you learn to respect what bit of talent you've got, so you're trying to make the most of it. These songs keep showing up. I just keep taking a look at them and wondering if they're ever going to see the light of day, and I'm just going to try my best to make some of them do that."
Knopfler says that over time he's "learned to write on the go" more than he used to. So when Knopfler's on the road these days, you're more likely to find him in his hotel room with a guitar in his hand and some recording device nearby rather than more cliched rock 'n' roll "accessories."
"If you saw me in the elevator with a chair, it would be because there was a chair with arms in my room and I've gone in search of an ordinary chair so I can play guitar and get at the song in the hotel," Knopfler explains. "I've got speakers that carry in a little case and they're easy to get up and running, so I can actually get on with the music no matter where I am."
The good news for Knopfler fans is that there's plenty more to come. He counts up a backlog of several dozen songs and song ideas ready to be worked on as time allows.
"They won't all be songs, I promise you," he says. "I would think that a really good bunch of those will fall by the wayside. I can't think there'll be more than two or three decent songs in all of that. It's really hard to know,but I'd say most of them aren't going to make it across no man's land.
"But, boy, it's fun to try."
7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4.
Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor.
Tickets are sold out.
Call 734-668-8397 or visit michtheater.org.
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