This 2015 effort from Mark Knopfler is a gorgeous affair. Laid back, introspective, and superbly done all around. There’s a real celtic feel to a lot of the tracks, but not in a slavish way. Album opener Laughs And Jokes And Drinks And Smokes (linked below) is just brilliant. It swings, reels, and is jazzy too. One of the best songs I’ve heard, by anybody, in ages!
There are ballads (Basil, Silver Eagle), funky workouts (Broken Bones), and even a Dire Straits-ish track (Beryl), but they all serve the whole without one being stronger than any other. There’s even a gorgeous ballad duet with Ruth Moody (Wailin’ Jennys) called Wherever I Go (linked below) at the end of the album.
Overall, there’s a pure simplicity to it all, and the songwriting is simpy excellent. Lyrically it’s heartfelt, reflecting back as one does at his stage in life, but only in the best ways. The guitar work you expect is here, but it’s only one of many excellent instrumental components of these songs. Listen with the good headphones on and catch all the extra little bits being added by everyone in the band!