Artist: Mark Knopfler
Title:Sailing To Philadelphia
Label: Warner Bros
Musicians: Mark Knopfler-vocals, guitar, Richard Bennett-guitars, Jim Cox-piano & Hammond organ, Guy Fletcher-keyboards & backing vocals, Glenn Worf-bass, Chad Cromwell-drums, Aubrey Haynie – violin on What It Is, Paul Franklin-pedal steel, Danny Cummings-percussion, Jim Hoke-harmonica, autoharp, Jim Horn & Harvey Thompson-sax, Wayne Jackson-trumpet, Frank Ricotti-marimba, Mike Haynes-fugal horn, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings-vocals, Mike Henderson-mandolin
Producer:Chuck Ainlay & Mark Knopfler
Recording Engineer: Chuck Ainlay
Mastering Engineer: Denny Purcell at Georgetown Masters
Mark Knopfler, (born 12 August 1949) is a British singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer and film score composer. He is best known as the lead guitarist, lead singer and songwriter for the rock band Dire Straits, which he co-founded with his younger brother, David Knopfler, in 1977.
Since Dire Straits disbanded in 1995, Knopfler has recorded and produced eight solo albums, and, as with his previous band, produced many hit songs. He has composed and produced film scores for nine films, including Local Hero (1983), Cal (1984), The Princess Bride (1987), Wag the Dog (1997) and Altamira (2016).
Sailing to Philadelphia is the second solo studio album by British singer-songwriter and guitarist Mark Knopfler, released on 26 September 2000.
The title track is drawn from Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon, a novel about Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon,the two English surveyors who established the border between Pennsylvania and Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia in the 1760s. The border later became known as the Mason–Dixon line and has been used since the 1820s to denote the border between the Southern United States and the Northern United States.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sailing_to_Philadelphia
There are two special guest artists featured in vocals on this album. James Taylor is guest vocals on the title track, Sailing To Philadelphia and Van Morrison guest stars on The Last Laugh.
Highlights: The opening track “What It Is” is one of my favorites on the album. It’s a homage to his hometown in Scotland. It has a sound in the vein of his album Shang-ra-la. Violin is in this track interestingly enough. The second track “Sailing To Philadelphia” is the title track obviously. It is a sudden dive in tempo and feel from the first track. While it is low energy, it’s enjoyable and if you note a James Taylor kind of feel, that’s because James Taylor is actually a guest artist on it handling some vocal duties.
Uh, sailing along (pun) we come to track number four “Baloney Again” there is an interesting use of the element of cricket sounds and the lyrics are also interesting. The song is pretty much about segregation in the south.
Coming to track seven, “El Macho” there is something different about this song as it also has a subtle spanish flavor with the use of trumpet. I found it enjoyable. Track eight, “Prairie Wedding” brings us back to the familiar Mark Knopfler sound, but in slower tempo. This is another of my favorite tracks on the album. Getting to “Junkie Doll”, while I found it to be just “meh”, it is worth a good listen though for the guitar work and structure. The song is about a junkie obviously enough.