In the middle of 1986 and 1987 a wonderful story was born through a joke, one project by Mark Knopfler and his old partners and friends. Mark then started his process of “rebirth”.
Joining old friends and partners like Steve Phillips and Brendan Croker, these three ‘British Cowboys’ resolved to founding a band called ‘The Notting Hillbillies’. This cool band, started with a handful of ‘cover songs’, and finally at the end, they released a very nice album called ‘Missing…Presumed Having a Good Time’.
This album has three songs composed by each of the members. The difference is in the philosophical question because Mark Knopfler as everybody know, he was always the ‘front man’ of everything that he’s done. He takes it the lead role in some of the bands and now, in ‘The Notting Hillbillies’ he had a comfortable position for playing his things, even though he’s not the ‘lead voice’ of the band he has still the right of saying something important to the members of the band, because he has very long experience.
An interesting thing about this single album of ‘The Notting Hillbillies’, is that you will noticed on the disc very sharp tones of Pensa Suhr guitars which was not same before. And after these recordings, that tone was repeated and in the next recordings which were in Dire Straits songs.
You can hear that in the video above, where Mark Knopfler played on one of the Pensa Suhr guitars. “I Think I Love You Too Much” is a classical song, with a big doze of riffs and chords, very sharp tones and music vibrations. You know, if Mark Knopfler plays that must be good. Mark also with Dire Straits played this song a lot during their ‘On Every Street’ tour from ’91/’92.
The song is a little different from usual. That crystal sound and a little ‘drive’ around the guitar give a special sound. In short ‘Missing… Presumed Having a Good Time’ had amazing time around the music studios, while album was in the process of recording.
The whole thing was made on the keyboards by Guy Fletcher, Paul Franklin’s acoustic guitars, instrumental stuffs by the sound of Dire Straits…interesting thing is that most of the songs are traditional which are of unknown authorship, which canceled the payment of the copyrights.
But what people want more is of course more guitar, and Mark and his friends give it to them that!
Another pearl of this album is jazzy ‘Your Own Sweet Way’ song written by Mark Knopfler. The special ‘charm’ of song is very nice to listen to. The guitar sound is cool, active caps and everything else.
Of course the whole project of ‘The Notting Hillbillies’ had a help from the greatest Mr. Chet Atkins, which he and Mark had been long time friends and partners. Obviously, Chet always was a great inspiration to Knopfler. Even at one of the Chet Atkins’ TV shows, Mark was one of the most entertaining guests.
Chet was very good person, fun and big lover of coffee. The secret of partnership between him and Mark was their specific guitar style of playing. You know, the finger-picking style.
So, after NBH and album with Chet Atkins ‘Neck and Neck’, Mark decide to record another album in 1991 with Dire Straits and that were ‘On Every Street’ album. Of course, before the recordings began he picked the best guitars.
Godin L.R. Baggs Tele
Dobro National Style O
Pensa Suhr MK1
Pensa de Compensado