Mark Knopfler is a pretty understated guy, and has been getting increasingly understated with each album project — until now, that is. After three years of relative silence, he’s about to release his ninth solo effort called Down The Road Wherever on November 9th. I pre-ordered the CD today and it came with an mp3 download of the song, “Good On You Son.” I’ve given the song quite a few spins throughout the day and it harkens back to Knopfler’s Dire Straits days. The song is upbeat, the guitar playing much more rhythmic, and there’s even some tasty sax work by Nigel Hitchcock.

After Knopfler’s last record, Tracker, it’s really refreshing to hear the music on “Good On You Son” so upbeat. Some of the songs on Tracker were quite good, but oh-so-sleepy. “Laughs and Jokes and Drinks and Smokes” was a nice riff on Dave Brubeck, and his duet with Ruth Moody, “Wherever I Go” was excellent. But Knopfler seemed stuck on that record — like he lost his sense of groove. Now, not having listened to Down The Road Wherever in full, I can’t say that he won’t go back to Sleepytown, but if “Good On You Son” is any indication, looks like, at age 69, Mark Knopfler still knows how to craft upbeat, catchy songs that kind of swings.