Mark Knopfler Signs Worldwide Deal with Universal Music

Fabio Lovin

The Dire Straits singer will release "Privateering," a double album of new music, on UMG's Verve Records on Sept. 10.

Universal Music Group announced a worldwide deal with singer/songwriter Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits fame. Knopfler, who was previously signed to Warner Brother Records for 35 years, will release his forthcoming album, Privateering, his first double album of new music, on UMG's Verve Records on Sept. 10.

Max Hole, Chairman and CEO of UMG International, said in a statement that, "Mark has long been one of the most innovative and successful artists in music and we're thrilled he's decided to sign to Verve so that we are now working with him everywhere across the world."

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In the statement, Knopfler also touched on why he chose to make a double album. "The older I get, the more I want to write," he said. "I'm enjoying the process more than ever, writing, recording and playing live, I enjoy all of it. I'm almost tripping over songs"

Knopfler's forthcoming album, which was recorded at Knopfler's British Grove Stuidos in West London, will feature musicians Guy Fletcher (keyboards), Richard Bennett (guitar), Jim Cox (piano), Glenn Worf (bass), Mike McGoldrick (whistle and flute), John McCusker (fiddle) and Ian Thomas (drums), all of whom Knopfler has worked with on past projects. Privateering will also feature collaborations with Paul Franklin (pedal steel), Kim Wilson (harmonica), Tim O'Brien (mandolin), and rising singer Ruth Moody, who is also a member of the leading roots group, The Wailin' Jennys.

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"I didn't want to separate songs into genres and I didn't want to leave too many songs on the shelf," Knopfler continued, "I just wanted it to be a reflection of the fantastic sessions we had. With a great bunch of players, it's the same as a great group of actors reading a script from the page, the thing can come alive in ways it just never has before. This is the band I have been working towards my whole life." said Knopfler.

Mark Knopfler is a multiple Grammy award winner for his work as lead singer and songwriter for Dire Straits; he has collaborated with artists such as Bob Dylan, Randy Newman, Emmylou Harris and Van Morrison, and has additionally been credited for scoring several films including Cal, Local Hero, Princess Bride and A Shot at Glory.

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