Guy Fletcher: Keyboards & Musical Director
Guy has worked on stage and in studio with many world renowned artists such as Cockney Rebel, Tina Turner, Randy Newman, Dire Straits, Mick Jagger, Difford/Tillbrook, Roxy Music, Bill Wyman and Vicente Amigo as keyboard player, arranger and Musical Director. Yet it is with Mark Knopfler that Guy has been most involved, in particular as Producer and Engineer for Mark’s recent solo albums, film and musical projects.
Mark first met Guy in 1983, when Guy knocked on Mark’s door with a synthesiser under his arm. Guy’s technical and musical abilities became essential to Mark, and the pair immediately started work on two film soundtracks, Cal and Comfort and Joy. It was a natural progression that Guy would join Mark’s band, Dire Straits.
Guy’s solo projects are all available on his website www.guyfletcher.co.uk, which continues to host the ever popular diaries from tour and studio since 2001.
Danny Cummings: Percussion
Danny Cummings was born in Sheffield in 1957, where he lived in the district of Pitsmoor. Throughout his childhood and adolescence he was captivated by the music of the sixties. ‘Every generation will experience a revolution of some kind and as I grew up, it was youth culture, art and fashion, united in rebellion!’
He internalised the music of the time. Meanwhile his dad Bill, who was an operatic tenor, also worked in different spheres of the music world.
Danny witnessed much of this. Aged 4, Danny remembers listening to Bob Dylan and The Beach Boys, with those wonderful harmonies played loudly at neighbour John Gilling’s house. ‘Nothing else could ever reach me in quite that way and I knew it’.
Later came his own personal rebellion. “What…you want to play Conga?” “Oh you bet!”
Danny continued following his passion as a professional, which led him to play in diverse genres for many high profile artists and bands. Having played previously for Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler, he’s back once more; this time playing percussion on Mark’s latest Down The Road Wherever album and tour.
Mike McGoldrick: Pipes, Whistle & Flute
“One of the greatest flute players in the world” (BBC Music)
“Mike is in a class of his own – it’s always a joy to share a stage or a studio (or a beer) with him.” (Mark Knopfler)
Mike McGoldrick, from Manchester, England, is also a multi-instrumentalist and composer. His versatility includes wooden flute, low whistles and uilleann pipes, to sound just right in a wide variety of settings; making him a go-to contributor for many artists, including Vicente Amigo, Zac Brown Band, Xosé Manuel Budiño, Jerry Douglas, Julie Fowlis, Darrell Scott, Nolwenn Leroy, Tim O’Brien, Dirk Powell and Kate Rusby. Mike has played with Mark Knopfler since 2009, and with the Transatlantic Sessions since 2007. Steeped in Irish traditional music, he has from his ground-breaking 2000 solo album Fused onwards, assimilated a wide range of other musical styles – jazz, funk, African and Indian rhythms – into his work. In 2018 Mike released ARC, his fifth solo album, The Wishing Tree with John Doyle and John McCusker, and Dog in the Fog with Dezi Donnelly.
Graeme Blevins: Saxophone
Graeme Blevins is a London-based, Australian born saxophonist. After graduating from the West Australian Conservatorium of Music in Perth, Graeme spent time in New York studying with Chris Potter and Seamus Blake, before relocating to London.
Graeme has recorded and toured with Phil Collins (Going Back, 2009-2010), Robbie Williams (Swings Both Ways, 2013-2014), Kylie Minogue (X, 2008-2010), and was a member of the Kyle Eastwood Band (Clint’s bass playing son) from 2006-2014.
As a freelance musician, Graeme has performed with Quincy Jones, Charlie Hunter, Mark Ronson, Tom Jones, Taylor Swift, Martha Reeves, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, amongst others; in addition to recording many albums, film scores and TV shows.
Graeme is a member of the Delta Saxophone Quartet, presents workshops and masterclasses at the Royal College of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
John McCusker: Fiddle & Cittern
John has long been renowned for his skill at transcending musical boundaries: striving to keep his music fresh and exciting, never leaving the past behind, but always embracing new sonic adventures. As a live and studio guest he has shared stages with Paul Weller, Paolo Nutini, The Proclaimers, Teenage Fanclub & Graham Coxon.
An expanding portfolio as a producer features albums by Kris Drever, Roddy Woomble, Eddi Reader, Heidi Talbot, Eliza Carthy & Linda Thompson. Film and TV work includes soundtracks for the movies Heartlands, 16 Years of Alcohol, Billy Connolly’s World Tour of New Zealand & Jennifer Saunder’s BBC sitcom Jam and Jerusalem.
John was awarded the coveted BBC Radio 2 Musician of the Year in 2003, and also The Spirit of Scotland Award for music in 1999 and again in 2009. 2016 saw John receive the Good Tradition Award at the BBC Folk Awards at The Royal Albert Hall.
Ian Thomas: Washboard & Drums
Over his career, Ian Thomas has worked in almost every musical style, playing everywhere from basement jazz clubs to Madison Square Garden, and has recorded with some of the most successful artists in the world.
Ian was born in Cardiff, Wales, in 1963 and began playing drums at the age of 12. Throughout his teens, Ian played in organ and drum duos for local dance and cabaret clubs, which lead to his first professional job at Barry Island, Butlins, in 1979.
Ian subsequently played summer seasons, cruise ships and worked in the Cardiff and South Wales area, until moving to London in 1984. After joining the National Youth Jazz Orchestra in 1985, which lead to numerous London gigs. Ian was asked to play on his first major session in 1987. The track was ‘Kissing a Fool’ by George Michael for the album Faith. His next major break was being asked to tour with Seal in 1990, and he did so for two years, playing live and recording.
Glenn Worf: Bass
Growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, Glenn was exposed to the great Chicago blues singers, classic country artists, and many of the premier rock bands of the late 60s and early 70s. His love of all genres of music lead him to Nashville, Tennessee, where he eventually became a first call studio bassist. His diverse recording credits include artists such as Ray Charles, Buddy Guy, Dusty Springfield, Tammy Wynette, Bob Seger, Don Henley, Sheryl Crow, George Jones, Merle Haggard, George Strait, Delbert McClinton, and Peter Frampton. Glenn is also a Grammy winning record producer, having worked on recent albums with Miranda Lambert, Lee Ann Womack, Willie Nelson, and the Pistol Annies.
Tom Walsh: Trumpet
Tom Walsh, born in 1991, graduated from the Royal Academy of Music’s Jazz course in 2013, and since then has gone on to work with artists such as Quincy Jones, Al Jarreau & Randy Brecker. Tom has played with some of the premier large ensembles and orchestras in Europe, including WDR Big Band, BBC Big Band, Philharmonia Orchestra and the English National Ballet Orchestra. Alongside his role as Professor of Trumpet at Londons Guildhall School of Music and Trinity College of Music, he is an active session musician and arranger, having recorded on over 1000 tracks from his home studio.
Jim Cox: Piano
Jim Cox, a native of California, has been playing the piano since the age of 4. He has developed a passion for many genres of music, and in one given week you might find him in a big band or a jazz trio, an eclectic oldies/country bar band with top studio players, a recording session conducting a string section, a blues group with college pals, a soundstage for a major motion picture, or at home working on arrangements for any of the above. His extensive collection of recordings continues to grow and the local record store is usually his first stop in a new town.
Composing, arranging, and/or touring credits include Barbra Streisand, Aerosmith, Boz Scaggs, Pink, Ray Charles, Ringo Starr, Robbie Williams, Adam Sandler, Queen Latifah, Leonard Cohen, Elton John, Arturo Sandoval, Willie Nelson, Burt Bacharach, B.B. King, Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris and Faith Hill.
Jim has recorded and toured with Mark Knopfler since 1996, and is honoured to be reunited in 2019 with some of his all-time favourite people.
Richard Bennett: Guitar
Richard Bennett’s resume is staggering. Not only has the guy been with Mark Knopfler’s studio and road band since the mid-90s, but he spent 17 years as Neil Diamond’s guitar player before that. You’d think that would be about enough for most players, but from almost the moment a teenage Bennett hit Los Angeles (after taking the necessary time for birth and learning to walk in Chicago, and for high school in Phoenix, Arizona) he has been in demand as a session player whose reputation amongst his fellow players is as impressive as his track record and record of tracks.
Richard has played with and/or handled production chores for Beatle Ringo Starr, and the man responsible for the skiffle craze in England that inspired the Beatles (and most of the greatest British groups who burst upon the 60s pop scene) to pick up guitars in the first place – Lonnie Donegan. He’s performed or recorded with some of the very founders and pioneers of rock and roll – Brenda Lee, Gene Vincent, an Everly Brother or two, and put his skills to work in service of some of the greatest pop singers ever – Andy Williams, Vicki Carr, Sammy Davis Jr, Peggy Lee and Johnny Mathis.
Richard’s new solo album, Ballads In Otherness was released in 2018. Please visit www.richard-bennett.com for more information, full biography, discography, photos, tour diaries and more