Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris

All the Roadrunning

By spending seven years “stealing a few precious hours of studio time here and there” to record their album of duets, Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris have created a cohesive and beautiful album. Ten of the 12 compositions are Knopfler’s, and his songcraft, as well as his comforting baritone voice, is perfectly matched to Harris’ sweet but always powerfully honest voice. And the two songs written by Harris fit into the album like natural pearls dropped into a bag of gems. Lyrically, the album’s theme is the relationships between men and women whose love remains constant despite the difficulties of lives lived on the road. Musically, the arrangements are shaped by Knopfler’s trademark combination of ornate perfection and melodic simplicity. There is plenty of immaculate lead guitar woven into each song, supported by organ, piano, bass and drums, with an occasional embellishment of accordion, fiddle or mandolin. Like the man says, “My famous last words could never tell the story, spinning unheard in the dark of the sky, but I love you and this is our glory.”