Mark Knopfler's ninth solo album, "On the Road Wherever" is a sturdy blues-roots blend of songs filled with images of memory and remembrance. This is a GREAT album infused with a fresh dose of jazz and funk with horns and stellar female backup vocals. The first half of the album has a bit more energy than the second half but overall, this is a solid showing from Mark Knopfler.
RIYL: Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder, Dire Straits, Van Morrison, Robbie Robertson, Jackson Browne
Recommended Tracks: 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10
1) ***Trapper Man (6:01) Starts with softly picked guitar and finally 30 seconds in, the drums kick out into moderate rock, funky groove. Female backing vocals with Knopfler’s trademarked snakelike guitar.
2) ***Back on the Dance Floor (5:30) Mid-tempo rocker, blues funk. Bryan Ferry-esq restrained party vibe.
3) **Nobody’s Child (4:10) Slow, haunting
4) ***Just a Boy Away From Home (5:12) Shared writing credits with Rogers and Hammerstein. Slow yet insistent rhythm (with refined horns again), not far from Little Feat territory. Slide guitar twang.
5) When You Leave (4:12) Sweet, smokey, sultry ballad. Nice trumpet and strings.
6) ***Good on You Son (5:37) Echoes his Dire Straits days complete with a good hook and a nifty sax/guitar call and response.
7)** My Bacon Roll (5:35) Vintage Dire Straits sound. Song about a man in a diner.
8) ***Nobody Does That (5:15) Upbeat with punchy horns Jazzy and catchy.
9) One Song at a Time (6:17) Celtic-lilted, documents his personal musical journey in life.
10)** Floating Away (5:02) jazzy and breezy, stellar vocals from female backup singers.
11) Slow Learner (4:34) Piano-based supper club jazz.
12) *Heavy Up (6:00) Fun, upbeat, calypso-styled tune.
13) *Matchstick Man (2:54) James Taylor-influenced sung in Knopfler's intimate voice. Slow and sweet guitar.