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Review: Mark Knopfler, 'Ragpicker's Dream'

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michaelr 19 Oct 02 - 06:47 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 19 Oct 02 - 08:00 PM
michaelr 20 Oct 02 - 12:29 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 20 Oct 02 - 04:22 AM
C-flat 20 Oct 02 - 04:23 AM
katlaughing 20 Oct 02 - 06:25 AM
michaelr 20 Oct 02 - 07:48 PM
katlaughing 20 Oct 02 - 11:07 PM
Grab 22 Oct 02 - 09:47 AM
katlaughing 22 Oct 02 - 10:32 AM
Caz 22 Oct 02 - 12:02 PM
michaelr 22 Oct 02 - 09:45 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 22 Oct 02 - 09:59 PM
katlaughing 23 Oct 02 - 12:15 AM
Grab 23 Oct 02 - 08:27 AM
katlaughing 22 Nov 02 - 07:27 PM
katlaughing 22 Nov 02 - 07:32 PM
michaelr 22 Nov 02 - 07:35 PM
katlaughing 22 Nov 02 - 07:35 PM
katlaughing 22 Nov 02 - 07:36 PM
michaelr 22 Nov 02 - 08:13 PM
katlaughing 23 Nov 02 - 01:07 AM
katlaughing 27 Nov 02 - 03:21 PM
winniemih 28 Nov 02 - 12:12 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: WHY AYE MAN (Mark Knopfler)
From: michaelr
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 06:47 PM

Mark Knopfler's new album "The Ragpicker's Dream" has not been off my CD player since I got it last week -- it's that good. You may think of the former Dire Straits frontman as a rock star and hot-shot electric guitarist, but he's much more than that. Here he delves deep into his Geordie roots, as well as classic American styles, and rolls it all together with keenly observed song lyrics and his impeccably tasteful (mostly acoustic) guitar playing.

Knopfler has always been a wonderful storyteller (remember "Romeo and Juliet", "Sultans of Swing" and "Telegraph Road"?), and he's pared down his epic style to what you might call short stories or vignettes, which are told with incredible efficiency and emotional impact. He takes us into the minds of Newcastle expatriates working in Germany (are you there, alanabit?) on "Why Aye Man" and "Fare Thee Well Northumberland" (the latter sung to a variant of "Poor Wayfaring Stranger");

of circus freaks (the John Prine-ish "Devil Baby", complete with a dig at Jerry Springer), a cuckolded redneck ("Hill Farmer's Blues"), a Pennies-from-Heaven-type traveling salesman ("Quality Shoe"), a rail-riding hobo ("Marbletown" and "Old Pigweed") and even the cartoon Roadrunner ("Coyote" -- sample lyric: "It must be hard having dog dreams/ That never come true/ And don't you just wish you could/ Make half the speed I do").

Knopfler even throws in a Jacques Brel-type chanson in "A Place Where We Used To Live" and a Dickensian Christmas story in the title song "Ragpicker's Dream". The scope of his musicality is immense, and all delivered with his trademark laid-back drawl and gorgeous fingerpicking, backed with a light touch by a small ensemble including piano, pedal steel, and harmonica.

If you were (as I was) a bit disappointed in his previous effort "Sailing to Philadelphia", you owe it to yourself to check out this album. I could not recommend it any more highly. It's a great folk album!

I'll add the lyrics to the CD's first cut:


WHY AYE MAN
Written by Mark Knopfler
© 2002 Will Decide Ltd/Hornall Brothers Music Ltd

We had no way of staying afloat
Had to leave on the ferry boat
Economic refugees
On the run to Germany
We had the back of Maggie's hand
Times were tough in Geordieland
We got wor tools and working gear
Humped it all from Newcastle to here

CH: Why aye man, why aye, why aye man

We're the nomad tribes, travelling boys
In the dust and dirt and the racket and the noise
Drills and hammers, diggers and picks
Mixing concrete, laying bricks
There's English, Irish, Scots, the lot
United nations is what we got
Brickes, chippies, every trade
German building, British-made (CH)

Nae more work on Maggie's farm
Hadaway down the Autobahn
Mine's a portacabin bed
Or a bunk in a Nissen hut instead

There's plenty deutschmarks here to earn
And German tarts are wunderschoen
German beer is chemical-free
Germany's alreet with me
Sometimes I miss my River Tyne
But you're my pretty fraulein
Tonight we'll drink the Old Town dry
Keep wor spirit levels high   (CH)



Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Review: Mark Knopfler, 'Ragpicker's Dream'
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 08:00 PM

It sounds like it will be great. I have a copy coming in the mail, or I'd buy it. I just copied Sailing to Philadelphia for someone, and I agree... there are some good tracks on there, but it's not one of his stornger albums. I DO love Do America, though..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Review: Mark Knopfler, 'Ragpicker's Dream'
From: michaelr
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 12:29 AM

"Do America" is great fun, Jerry, and "What It Is" is not bad, either. I thought the duet with Mr Bland, James Taylor, was underwhelming.

If you like Mark's playing, you'll love this CD. Let me know what you think when you get it!

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Review: Mark Knopfler, 'Ragpicker's Dream'
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 04:22 AM

I have hreard this CD, it is really nice.john


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Subject: RE: Review: Mark Knopfler, 'Ragpicker's Dream'
From: C-flat
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 04:23 AM

I was going to start a review thread myself Michaelr, but not only did you beat me to it, you describe the album far better than I could.
It is a masterfully understated mixture of styles, each track sitting comfortably with the other, bound together by Knopflers distinctive voice and tasteful guitar.
Difficult to pigeon-hole, as it touches on many different musical roots, but a real delight.
Jerry, I promise it is well on its way!


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Subject: RE: Review: Mark Knopfler, 'Ragpicker's Dream'
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 06:25 AM

Michael, I don't have the knowledge or skill to write such a review, but if I did I couldn't have said it any better. This album if really fantastic. We've been playing ours over and over since getting Saturday morning. Love that man's voice, arrangements, and picking. Already singing along; the lyrics are great, poignant, funny, sad, striking and a few other wonderfuls.

The lyrics to the title cut are in this thread: Ragpicker's Dream.

Thanks for starting this thread.

kat


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Subject: RE: Review: Mark Knopfler, 'Ragpicker's Dream'
From: michaelr
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 07:48 PM

Ah kat, it is I who must thank you! I saw your posting of the title song and thought, hmmm, that's pretty interesting... should get the CD...

And I did, and was blown away! Musical epiphanies make me verbose...

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Review: Mark Knopfler, 'Ragpicker's Dream'
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 11:07 PM

*kewl*:-)


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Subject: RE: Review: Mark Knopfler, 'Ragpicker's Dream'
From: Grab
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 09:47 AM

Gotta get that! I heard one on the radio (can't remember the name) which I'm dying to try as a solo slide-guitar number.

One question - is there any good guitar in there? My main complaint on "Sailing to Philadelphia" was that it stayed too buttoned-up - every time a song looked like getting to one of those stunning "let-it-rip" kind of moments, it just faded out (What it is, Silvertown Blues, Speedway at Nazareth). And not much of the lyrical ballad-style guitar (ala Ruediger, Private Investigations) either. Some good songs in there, but all showing a bit of lack of commitment.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Review: Mark Knopfler, 'Ragpicker's Dream'
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 10:32 AM

Guitar in there is one of the reasons I love this one, Graham, though I've not heard the others you've mentioned. The main things I loved about Dire Straits were Knopfler's voice and guitar; same things I love about this CD!


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Subject: RE: Review: Mark Knopfler, 'Ragpicker's Dream'
From: Caz
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 12:02 PM

I've heard some of it on the radio and thought to myself I'm gonna buy that for Michael (hubby) 1. because he is a huge fan of MK, 2. because Mike has just taken up the guitar again after 15 years, 3. becasue I love him (Mike that is), 4. because I think it will be an inspiration for Mike and 5. becuase your review have just spurred me into action. THANKS.

Carole


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Subject: RE: Review: Mark Knopfler, 'Ragpicker's Dream'
From: michaelr
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 09:45 PM

Grab -- "Ragpicker's Dream" is quite a laid-back record, over all. There's plenty of tasty guitar, acoustic and electric, but if you're looking for fireworks, you may be disappointed.

What you call "lack of commitment" I would put down to MK's maturing as a musician... it seems to me that song craft is more important to him than letting it rip.

But as I said above, I think this one is better than "Sailing". I say check it out, and give the songs a chance to work their way under your skin...

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Review: Mark Knopfler, 'Ragpicker's Dream'
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 09:59 PM

Just got my copy and had a first listen. It's nice to get a CD you really want to sit down and give your full attention. I would have liked a couple more energetic songs like The Bug, or Do America, but that's nitpicking. It's a fine album...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Review: Mark Knopfler, 'Ragpicker's Dream'
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 12:15 AM

Jerry, I thought the Quality Shoe one was plenty energetic. I cannot sit still to it!*bg*


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Subject: RE: Review: Mark Knopfler, 'Ragpicker's Dream'
From: Grab
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 08:27 AM

OK, that's one Xmas prezzie sorted then... :-)

Graham.


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD PIGWEED (Mark Knopfler)
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 07:27 PM

Still listening to this CD - it's really superb! Here are the lyrics to another favourite off of it, though they are all becoming favs!

OLD PIGWEED - Mark Knopfler

Everything was in there
That you'd want to see
Corned beef and onions
And true love
Turnips and tinned tomatoes
Parsnips and a few potatoes
A couple extra blessings
From above

Now this here mingle-mangle
Was my best one yet
A big old bad goulash
Worth waiting for
And I'm just about to dip my can
Taste some brotherhood of man
When I get a feeling
That there's a flaw

Who put old pigweed
In the mulligan
Was it you
Who put old pigweed
In the mulligan stew
I close my eyes
For just a minute
What do you do
Who put old pigweed
In the mulligan stew

You won't find self-improvement
Or philosophy
In a dumpster sitting by
The kitchen door
There's plenty leek and humble pie
Ain't too much ham on rye
Sometimes I wonder
What I'm looking for

But a spoonful of forgiveness
Goes a long, long way
And we all should do our best
To get along
Add a pinch of kindness crumbling
To your loving dumpling
Okra for thickening
When something's wrong

But who put old pigweed
In the mulligan
Was it you
Who put old pigweed
In the mulligan stew
I close my eyes
For just a minute
What do you do
Who put old pigweed
In the mulligan stew


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Subject: Lyr Add: QUALITY SHOE (Mark Knopfler)
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 07:32 PM

QUALITY SHOE - Mark Knopfler

You got your toecaps reinforced with steel
Hard-wearing sole and heel
Make those tired feet feel like new
Take your pick, black or brown
Great for the country or the man in town
You're gonna need a quality shoe

You don't want no stand-by pair
'Cos these'll take the wear and tear
Made to take good care of you
For that trip by road or rail
For extra grip on those rocky trails
You're gonna need a quality shoe

Now they maybe ain't too hot for dancing
But I don't foresee too much of that
You ain't exactly gonna be prancing
Around in the moonlight with a cane and a top hat

If you could use a change of pace
And be excused from the rat race
Just take a look at what's on view
Lace 'em up, walk around
I guarantee you can't wear 'em down
You're gonna need a quality shoe

Now I wish you sunny skies
And happiness wherever you may go
But you got to realise
There'll be wind, there'll be rain and occasional snow

You're gonna want to smile in them
If you're gonna walk a mile in them
There'll be times when you'll be blue
To laugh at rainy days and then
Make your getaways in them
You're gonna need a quality shoe

You got your toecaps reinforced with steel
Hard-wearing sole and heel
Make those tired feet feel like new
Take your pick, black or brown
Great for the country or the man in town
You're gonna need a quality shoe


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Subject: RE: Review: Mark Knopfler, 'Ragpicker's Dream'
From: michaelr
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 07:35 PM

I wonder what pigweed might be?

Michael


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Subject: Lyr Add: HILL FARMER'S BLUES (Mark Knopfler)
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 07:35 PM

HILL FARMER'S BLUES - Mark Knopfler

I'm going into Tow Law
For what I need
Chain for the ripsaw
Killer for the weed
The dog's at the back door
Leave him be
Don't feed him Jack
And don't wait up for me

Going into Tow Law
To fuel my fire
Shells for the twelve
And razor wire
The dog's at the back door
Leave him be
Don't do Jack
And don't wait up for me

So bad so bad
So bad so bad

I'm going into Tow Law
To have my fun
Don't get me wrong
You were the only one
Behind my back Lord
You made a fool of me
Don't do Jack
And don't wait up for me

So bad so bad
So bad so bad


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Subject: RE: Review: Mark Knopfler, 'Ragpicker's Dream'
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 07:36 PM

Should I post the rest? I found a great site with all of them available.


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Subject: RE: Review: Mark Knopfler, 'Ragpicker's Dream'
From: michaelr
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 08:13 PM

Why not post the link to that site, kat?

Oh, and then there's the cover photo. It makes me feel all squishy inside, it's so pretty.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Review: Mark Knopfler, 'Ragpicker's Dream'
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 01:07 AM

Sure, Michael, good idea. Thanks! Here it is LYRICS.

I know, I love that photo, too!!

kat


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Subject: RE: Review: Mark Knopfler, 'Ragpicker's Dream'
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Nov 02 - 03:21 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Review: Mark Knopfler, 'Ragpicker's Dream'
From: winniemih
Date: 28 Nov 02 - 12:12 PM

I also love "Ragpicker's Dream". Are any of you familiar with the Mark Knopfler/Chet Atkins work that came out years ago called "Neck to Neck"? It's style in very different from the usual offering by MK, but I have found it lighthearted and enjoyable; I'm just glad that these two masters of the guitar got a chance to get together and share it with the rest of us.


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