Mark Knopfler: Kill to Get Crimson


Mark Knopfler turned heads on 2006’s collaboration with Emmylou Harris, All the Roadrunning, as he let his twangy guitar leads and gentle baritone age "countrified." Sure, Knopfler is not the head banded guitar gonzo singing about “banging on the drums like a chipanzee” or riffing up the tail end of “Sultans of Swing” these days in the studio, but he hasn’t exactly been putting crap out either, just listen to 2000’s Sailing to Philadelphia.

Kill to Get Crimson, his fifth solo album is an easy going folksy joint- not unlike a 70’s Gordon Lightfoot record. Trading in the stinging solos for narrative song writing, Knopfler gives Kill to Get Crimson an old timely eminence with Celtic melodies, accordions and fiddles.

From the Scottish folk song, “Heart of Holes” to the pub sing-along “Secondary Waltz,” Kill to Get Crimson could be sponsored by Guiness.  Knopfler gets more Dire Straits with the rockin country twang of “Punish the Monkey.” The simple “Let it all Go,” proves that Knopfler can make subtle sound so complete. But like a good book, Kill to Get Crimson needs some time to get comfortable with, but it’s worth the effort. 

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