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Sailing To Philadelphia
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel includes: Mark Knopfler (vocals, guitar); James Taylor, Van Morrison, Gillian Welch, Glenn Tilbrook, Chris Difford, Chris Rodriguez, Tim Davis (vocals); Richard Bennett (guitar); Paul Franklin (lap steel, pedal steel); Mike Henderson (mandolin); Aubrey Haynie (violin); Jim HOrn (tenor & baritone saxophone); Wayne Jackson (trumpet); Mike Haynes (flugelhorn); Jim Cox (piano, keyboards); Guy Fletcher (keyboards, background vocals); Frank Ricotti (marimba); Glenn Worf (bass); Chad Cromwell (drums); Danny Cummings (percussion).
  • Personnel: Mark Knopfler (vocals, guitar); Guy Fletcher (vocals, keyboards); Chris Difford, Duawne Starling, Gillian Welch, Glenn Tilbrook, Van Morrison, Chris Willis (vocals); Richard Bennett (guitar, strings); Paul Franklin (lap steel guitar); Jim Hoke (autoharp, harmonica); Aubrey Haynie (violin); Jim Horn (tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone); Harvey Thompson (tenor saxophone); Wayne Jackson (trumpet); Mike Haynes (flugelhorn); Jim Cox (piano); Frank Ricotti (marimba); Chad Cromwell (drums); Danny Cummings (percussion).
  • Audio Mixer: Chuck Ainlay.
  • Editor: Eric Conn.
  • Having crafted such a singular sound for himself both in Dire Straits and as a respected film composer, it's gratifying to hear that Mark Knopfler's consummate musicianship has only gotten better on what is only his second solo album in a career that began in the mid- '70s. For SAILING TO PHILADELPHIA, Knopfler once again looks to America for inspiration, starting with the stirring title track that draws from Thomas Pynchon's fictionalized account of English adventurers/surveyors Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon and which finds James Taylor playing Mason to Knopfler's Dixon. Other numbers benefiting from this American muse are the ethereal "Sands of Nevada," the Farfisa-driven "Do America" and the low-key "Prairie Wedding" (featuring alt country stalwarts Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, who also appear on the chugging "Speedway At Nazareth").
  • Elsewhere, Knopfler entertains a host of famous friends throughout a slew of tasty tracks. Van Morrison duets on the laid-back "The Last Laugh" while Squeeze's Chris Difford and Glen Tilbrook add harmonies to the nostalgic twang of "Silvertown." The most impressive cameo comes from famed bluegrass fiddler Aubrey Haynie whose playing fuses with Knopfler's fat guitar tone to transform the crackling "What It Is" into the quintessential Dire Straits song.
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (1/4/01, p.106) - Ranked #7 in Rolling Stone's Top 10 Albums of 2000.

Rolling Stone (10/26/00, p.116) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...A welcome flashback....evoking some of the granduer of prime Dire Straits."

Q (10/00, p.119) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...A model of tasteful understatement. SAILING is all country and blues flavors, hushed melodies and drowsy vocals..."

CMJ (10/16/00, p.53) - "...Impressive and inspired..."
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