The Ragpicker's Dream review by Mark Knopfler

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Oct 1, 2002
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 8.4 (8 votes)
Mark Knopfler: The Ragpicker's Dream

Sound — 8
Mark Knopfler, is of course, known for his enormous career in Dire Straits... Not everyone is as familiar with his solo stuff, which is actually pretty good! Part of this album is acoustic, and part is electric. It's a two-disc set, the first disc including twelve studio recordings, and the second including four live tracks, including a nine-minute version of the well-known Straits' song, "Brothers in Arms". The first track of the first disc, "Why Aye Man" has a great catchy tune, with plenty of acoustic and some fantastic Knopfler-solos. "Quality Shoe" is another particularly good song, that sounds very 'countrified', but is still good, all the same. Some of the songs are reminiscent of those found on Mark and Chet Atkins' CDs. It's not exactly a CD that you will fall for immediately, and don't expect it to sound too much like the Dire Straits.

Lyrics — 8
Mark Knopfler's 'unconventional' singing-style is instantly recognisable. Any Straits fan will love his voice, but it's very alien and unusual to others who aren't familiar with him. The lyrics on the CD are good, but not spectacular. Knopfler's singing skills seem to be very limited, as he often talks through songs, rather than singing, though after listening to enough of him and the Dire Straits, you'll love his voice.

Overall Impression — 7
In my opinion, the songs on this CD don't match up to any of the Dire Straits stuff (except "Brothers in Arms", of course). Though if you're a fan of Mark Knopfler's playing, you'll still like this CD. "Why Aye Man" and "You Don't Know You're Born" are some of the most impressive songs on the album, which have some really good memorable riffs. My advice is: if you love the Dire Straits/Mark Knopfler, then buy this CD, if you're not dead-keen, don't bother.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    God's Guitarist
    i love dire/knopfler and i did not dig this album at all - too different from the early stuff (that i like). sailing to phili had some good tracks on it - silvertown is the bomb, pity he never plays it live
    I love Mark but I don't like this album! If you want a good one, buy Sailing to Philadelphia!! 5.0
    One of his greatest album as solo artist is my opinion. To me as good as STP, if not better. The single "Why Aye Man" tops the album just before "Devil Baby" and "Hillfarmer's Blues",, and not to forget, the beautiful titel song.