With his sixth solo studio album, "Get Lucky," coming Sept. 15, Mark Knopfler is plotting out tour plans for 2010.
"It'll be four, five months," he tells Billboard.com. "Springtime -- April, May -- in the U.S., and June and July in Europe. And I'd like a week at the Royal Albert Hall (in London). Just doing a week is nice; it's not too far from where I live, and it's a good atmosphere in there."
Knopfler will be using the same group of players who were part of "Get Lucky" and most of his recent albums -- "It's like a great little ship out there that I get to be the captain of," he says -- and he adds that the opportunity to hit the road has become one of the lures to keep recording and releasing new albums these days.
"I do get a lot of pleasure form touring and playing live," Knopfler says. "It's kind of an affirmation. It's certainly something I don't have to do financially; I just do it because I have a compulsion to out and play every now and again, and it's an important part of what a traveling musician does. It's enjoyable just taking a look at everything and doing various things with the songs and working them up in different ways. It's very enjoyable."
Knopfler is anxious to play the news songs from "Get Lucky," which he recorded at his award-winning British Grove Studios in West London, but he promises that he'll still dip generously into the hits, especially from his Dire Straits catalog.
"When I'm playing the old Dire Straits stuff...these (songs) have become like milestones for people, and when you play them you have to pay attention to that," Knopfler explains. "I never like to play things the same, but with, like, 'Brothers in Arms,' the first four notes I probably do play them the same because they've become part of this fabric and the way people live with the song. And the end of 'Sultans of Swing,' I've tried doing different things but if you don't go back to the exact same set of notes that they know from the album, things just don't seem right with the world. So I try to be somewhat aware of that."
"Get Lucky" is the follow-up to 2007's "Kills to Get Crimson," which debuted at No. 26 on the Billboard 200. Proceeds from the first single, "Remembrance Day," are going to the Poppy Appeal, which supports the Royal British Legion, an organization for present and former members of the British armed services.