…. Actually we are soul mates. As far as guitar playing goes he never steps all over with fancy licks. Yeah, Mark was incredible. He helped make this record in a thousand ways, not only musically, which in itself would have been enough. Brilliant guy, I can’t say enough about him.
~Bob Dylan (Talking about Knopfler part in the making of “Infidels” – July 1983 to Martin Killer)
The most celebrated British guitar hero to emerge in the 1970s and ’80s, Mark Knopfler rose to fame as the leader of Dire Straits, and his songwriting and incisive guitar work played a decisive role in making them an international success story. At a time when punk and new wave were making technique for its own sake seem irrelevant, and metal was taking the guitar solo in noisier and unpredictable directions, Knopfler’s clean but dexterous picking proved there was still room for traditionalism and chops in mainstream rock & roll.
~Mark Deming (allmusic.com)
Dire Straits – Sultans Of Swing (Alchemy Live – 1983):
It was good to be back in Bergen for another Bergenfest. The Festival area is upgraded and it looks nice and the enhanced Magic Mirrors is especially welcome. This Wednesday was just a warm-up with only two acts on the bill. The headliner was former Dire Straits man, Mark Knopfler. He is a solid performer, but maybe not so inspired these days… The be brutally honest [Egil] found the gig a bit boring… solid but boring nevertheless.
Our award for best concert on the first day goes to the Oregon band, Larry and his Flask. Its not an easy task to start a festival as the early act, and almost as a “support act” to Mark Knopfler. We have to be honest, almost everyone out this night came to see the famous guitar picker & thus Magic Mirrors was not packed.
Larry and his Flask gave it all and they won the audience over (after a bit of a uncertainty in the beginning). They would have benefittet with a more varied set and the two highlights for us was a good (and interesting) cover version of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Goin’ On and the one that came right after it, Slow it Down (…at least we believe that was the title). Lot’s of energy – Ian Cook (lead vocal & guitar) was literally on his toes the whole set..
Alvis Edgar Owens, Jr. (August 12, 1929 – March 25, 2006), better known as Buck Owens which then was one of the most enthusiastic musicians in country music history, was an American singer and guitarist who had 21 No. 1 hits on the Billboard country music charts with his band, the Buckaroos. They pioneered what came to be called the Bakersfield sound—a reference to Bakersfield, California, the city Owens called home and from which he drew inspiration for what he preferred to call American music.
While Owens originally used fiddle and retained pedal steel guitar into the 1970s, his sound on records and onstage was always more stripped-down and elemental, incorporating elements of rock and roll. His signature style was based on simple storylines, infectious choruses, a twangy electric guitar, an insistent rhythm supplied by a drum track placed forward in the mix, and high two-part harmonies featuring Owens and his guitarist Don Rich.
From Allmusic (Stephen Thomas Erlewine):
Buck Owens, along with Merle Haggard, was the leader of the Bakersfield sound, a twangy, electricified, rock-influenced interpretation of hardcore honky tonk that emerged in the ’60s. Owens was the first bona fide country star to emerge from Bakersfield, scoring a total of 15 consecutive number one hits in the mid-’60s. In the process, he provided an edgy alternative to the string-laden country-pop that was being produced during the ’60s. Later in his career, his musical impact was forgotten by some as he became a television personality through the country comedy show Hee Haw. Nevertheless, several generations of musicians — from Gram Parsons in the late ’60s to Dwight Yoakam in the ’80s — were influenced by his music, which wound up being one of the blueprints for modern country music.