Neck and Neck Has Mark Knopfler gone soft in his old age? Last year he and three British cronies put together the Notting Hillbillies. That pickup band turned… Neck and Neck Has Mark Knopfler gone soft in his old age? Last year he and three British cronies put together the Notting Hillbillies. That pickup band turned… Chet Atkins Mark Knopfler Country
Music Review

Neck and Neck (1991)

EW's GRADE
C-

Details Lead Performances: Chet Atkins and Mark Knopfler; Genre: Country

Has Mark Knopfler gone soft in his old age? Last year he and three British cronies put together the Notting Hillbillies. That pickup band turned out a self-named album in homage to the American South that was well-intentioned but a total snore. And now, Neck and Neck, is a cornball duet record with Chet Atkins, Nashville's Mr. Guitar. Lately Atkins has concentrated on New Age jazz and fusion, but on this collaboration producer Knopfler simply gives those styles a nod and then moves on to ''aw-shucks'' country dreck. Worst offerings: Knopfler's back-patting ''The Next Time I'm in Town'' and an excrutiating parody of ''There'll Be Some Changes Made'' in which the 66-year-old Atkins declares a taste for ''groupie girls.'' Just because Knopfler wanted to make a vanity album with his guitar hero is no excuse to foist it on the rest of us. C-

Originally posted Jan 11, 1991 Published in issue #48 Jan 11, 1991 Order article reprints