UK pressing includes one bonus track. 14 tracks in all. Universal. 2000.
Former Dire Straits leader Mark Knopfler's second proper solo album (he's remained preoccupied with soundtrack work through the years) is a stirring and considered set of transatlantic blues. The collection is bolstered by contributions from Van Morrison ("The Last Laugh") and James Taylor (the title track), while Knopfler's guitar playing remains fresh and alive as he merges country and folk picking with electric blues. But it's as a writer that he really impresses: "Baloney Again" is a sensitive portrayal of a black gospel outfit in Jim Crow America; the title track is an intriguing distillation of Thomas Pynchon's doorstopper novel, Mason & Dixon; and "Silvertown Blues" is a stirring appreciation of blue-collar endeavor. A lovingly and honestly crafted collection, Sailing to Philadelphia shows Knopfler's talent and commitment remain as strong as ever. --Gavin Martin
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