Universal Music Group announced a worldwide deal with legendary musician and songwriter Mark Knopfler. Knopfler's new record Privateering will debut on UMG's Verve Records September 10 after a 35 year relationship with Warner Brother Records. Max Hole, Chairman and CEO UMG International comments, "Mark has long been one of the most innovative and successful artists in music and we're thrilled he's decided to sign to Verve so that we are now working with him everywhere across the world." The new music is Knopfler's first double album of new music in his entire recording career. "The older I get, the more I want to write," Knopfler notes. "I'm enjoying the process more than ever, writing, recording and playing live, I enjoy all of it. I'm almost tripping over songs."
Recorded at Knopfler's award-winning British Grove Studios in West London, Privateering is a collection of tough tales of real people, living hard lives in difficult times. The record features musicians Knopfler has been working with for years—Guy Fletcher (keyboards), Richard Bennett (guitar), Jim Cox (piano), Glenn Worf (bass), Mike McGoldrick (whistle and flute), John McCusker (fiddle) and the recent addition of Ian Thomas (drums). Special guests include Paul Franklin (pedal steel), Kim Wilson (harmonica), Tim O'Brien (mandolin), and rising singing star Ruth Moody, who is also a member of the leading roots group, The Wailin' Jennys.
Of the new release, Knopfler explains, "I chose to make a double album this time just because of the sheer volume of material. I didn't want to separate songs into genres and I didn't want to leave too many songs on the shelf. I just wanted it to be a reflection of the fantastic sessions we had. With a great bunch of players, it's the same as a great group of actors reading a script from the page, the thing can come alive in ways it just never has before. This is the band I have been working towards my whole life."
A multiple Grammy award winner as the lead singer/songwriter for Dire Straits, Knopfler combined his wry lyrics with his guitar prowess to create such major hits as "Money For Nothing," "Sultans Of Swing," "Romeo and Juliet," and "Walk of Life." He has collaborated with artists such as Bob Dylan, Randy Newman, Emmylou Harris, and Van Morrison, as well as scoring several films including Cal, Local Hero, Princess Bride, and A Shot at Glory.