Album review: 'All The Roadrunning' by Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris

All The Roadrunning

Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris

"All The Roadrunning," the collaboration between Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris, is an album that beautifully melds the talents of these two renowned artists. Despite its lengthy seven-year creation period, the album emerges as a surprisingly seamless blend of country, folk, and blues, showcasing the strengths of both musicians.

The synergy between Knopfler and Harris is evident throughout the album. Their voices and musical sensibilities intertwine effortlessly, creating a sense of long-established partnership, despite this being their first full album together. The project started with a few tracks for Knopfler's "Sailing to Philadelphia," but eventually expanded into a full album. This decision allowed for a more thorough exploration of their combined artistry, leading to some of the album's most exquisite moments, like the tender duet "Donkey Town" and the lively "Red Staggerwing."

The album's tracks vary in mood and style, yet maintain a cohesive sound that fits neatly within the Americana genre. "This Is Us" stands out as a particularly balanced blend of Knopfler's modernist leanings with Emmylou's traditional roots. The album's title track showcases Harris's playful demeanor and guarded confidence, which effectively complements Knopfler's sometimes lavish guitar solos.

Knopfler and Harris have been described as blue-collar workers in their approach to music, building songs meticulously, a note at a time, which results in a collection that feels both solid and honest. This laborious process has culminated in an album that serves as a place of refuge, with the gentle guitar work and the angelic clarity of the vocals creating a comforting listening experience.

In summary, "All The Roadrunning" is a testament to the combined talents of Knopfler and Harris. It's a collection that exudes subtlety and sophistication, offering a rich tapestry of emotional intensity and musical mastery that rewards listeners with each subsequent play. This album is not just a meeting of two musical minds but a harmonious blend that creates something unique and enduring.


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