The guitarist Mark Knopfler said was one of the best he ever heard

Born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1949, singer-guitarist Mark Knopfler began his musical career in 1965. But it wasn’t until 12 years later, upon the formation of Dire Straits, that he found success. Because of the song “Sultans of Swing,” which peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 list at the time, their 1978 self-titled first album became a global smash.

The band continued to expand throughout the 1980s, reaching its pinnacle in 1985 with the publication of the iconic album “Brothers In Arms.” The group disbanded in 1995 after releasing their last album, “On Every Street,” in 1991. Nevertheless, with an estimated 120 million albums sold worldwide, they continue to rank among the best-selling bands of all time.

Following his prosperous tenure with Dire Straits, Knopfler concentrated on advancing his solo career, putting out several albums. The musician spoke highly of several of his contemporaries throughout the years, even naming one guitarist as the greatest he had ever heard.

The guitarist Mark Knopfler said it was one of the best he had ever heard

In the 1980s, there were a ton of bands performing in packed stadiums, and the music industry was booming. Bands that could provide their audience with the most relatable music had a thriving industry. Thus, it was a decade in which a great deal of music from all over the world was being enjoyed by new audiences.

Many of Dire Straits’ songs from that era include “Romeo and Juliet,” “Telegraph Road,” “So Far Away,” “Money for Nothing,” “Walk of Life,” and “Brothers in Arms.” They were undoubtedly one of the most popular rock and roll acts of the day, and new performers were emerging. One of them, according to Mark Knopfler, was the late, great American guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, who was among the greatest he had ever heard.

Dire Straits had three albums out when Vaughan released his debut album “Texas Flood” in 1983. Knopfler therefore got to see Stevie’s development over time. Vaughan opened for Dire Straits in the middle of the 1980s.

The American musician’s career was cruelly cut short in 1990 following a helicopter disaster, at the age of 35. Knopfler gave him high marks during an interview on the television program “A Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan – An Up Close Extra.”

Mark Knopfler said, “He was one of the best ever. You know, he was really, really tremendous, especially later on. You know, I thought that uhm…something was happening where the Hendrix and Buddy Guy influences were giving way to some real powerful stuff. He’s one of the best I’ve ever heard, no question.”

Knopfler loved the Blues and was influenced by the music genre

Mark Knopfler was influenced by the Blues, as seen in his playing, and he became aware of the genre when he was just sixteen years old. In a 1979 interview with Guitar Player magazine, he talked about that motivation. He listed Blind Blake, Lonnie Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, and B.B. King as guitar heroes.

“I’ve got R&B in me. I got into the Chicago blues and B.B. King when I was 16. I think I could call Lonnie Johnson an influence, in some ways. And the last time I heard B.B. King was on the record ‘Live At The Regal’. That struck me as being a really terrific thing. But I never sat down with a record player and tried to play things note-for-note. Instead, it was always more of absorbing something of the spirit of the music.”

He added, “I was into playing American music, especially the blues. First, I learned how to fingerpick – just the basic stuff . Then I began developing a clawhammer style. And all during this time I was playing my solidbody without an amp of my own. While I was into many different types of music, and played with many different local groups, I really didn’t have a band to call my own until Dire Straits was formed in 1977.”

Nine studio albums have been released by Mark Knopfler since the dissolution of Dire Straits in 1995. “Down The Road Wherever,” which was released in 2018, is the most recent one. In addition, he produced several soundtrack albums and worked with musicians such as Emmylou Harris and Chet Atkins.


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