The Cinch Review

Ramona, in straits that are dire

During Bob Dylan’s current tour of Europe (which finishes up on the 21st in London) Mark Knopfler has been the opening act, along with his band. Knopfler has also made a habit of sitting in on guitar during Bob Dylan’s set for the first three or four numbers. It being a Bob Dylan set, those numbers vary significantly from gig to gig. So, for people attending or those collecting the recordings, it’s really quite a neat treat: you get to hear a broad range of Dylan songs with that distinctive Mark Knopfler guitar texture added in. It’s different. Knopfler and Dylan go way back, of-course, to 1979’s Slow Train Coming, which featured Mark on guitar, and 1983’s Infidels, which was also co-produced by him and could well be said to sound like a quasi-Dire-Straits album. Mark Knopfler’s own style of singing has I think rightly been described as Dylanesque, but on Infidels it almost sounds like Dylan is imitating Mark imitating him, if you know what I mean. (And it works, too.)


Anyhow, the clip from YouTube embedded below is of Bob Dylan performing his sweet old song “To Ramona,” in Stockholm, with Mark Knopfler noodling along nicely. And indeed, it is a nice thing that they’ve had the chance to work together again like this.