Tuesday, June 20, 2006

All the Roadrunning

Thunder and lightening threatened all day, the subway shut down, and no one else could join me, but I managed to take in the North American launch of Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris’ All the Roadrunning Tour. After a sluggish start on Right Now, where Knopfler was barely audible, the hillbilly queen's raspy voice threaded through Michelangelo and Knopfler’s microphone was turned on in time for I Dug Up a Diamond, where he broke free with his signature guitar work. The show eventually found its stride on Done with Bonaparte where Knopfler and Richard Bennett’s dueling guitars lit a fire under the placid crowd.

Judging by their reaction to Speedway at Nazareth and Romeo and Juliet, these were Knopfler fans, few likely having bought or downloaded the masterpiece album, All the Roadrunning. Not an Emmylou Harris or Gram Parsons fan among them, they may have been disappointed in the show’s quiet contrast to last year’s Shangri-La Tour, but this is a city in need of a little slide guitar and mandolin, which last night summoned both the sights and smells of Birmingham, Alabama on Harris’ Red Dirt Girl.

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