Knopfler Plans Tour, Duets Album

Former Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler has lined up a 30-date North American tour in support of his third Warner Bros. solo set, "The Ragpicker's Dream." The outing launches June 26 in Portsmouth,

Former Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler has lined up a 30-date North American tour in support of his third Warner Bros. solo set, "The Ragpicker's Dream." The outing launches June 26 in Portsmouth, Va., and wraps July 31 in Vancouver. The tour will immediately follow Knopfler's European outing, which launches March 25 at a Teenage Cancer Trust benefit in London, and will include a stop at the Montreal Jazz festival on July 4.

Knopfler's touring band will include keyboardist and Dire Straits member Guy Fletcher, drummer Danny Cummings, bassist Marcus Cliffe, keyboardist Jim Cox, guitarist Richard Bennett, and multi-instrumentalist Fats Kaplin.

Knopfler's Teenage Cancer Trust show is a double bill with Eric Clapton. Other headliners across the six-night benefit event are Coldplay (March 24), Richard Ashcroft and special guests (March 26), Doves and special guests (March 27), Supergrass and Ash (March 28), and Madness and special guests (March 29).

In other Knopfler news, the artist was recently in Nashville with Emmylou Harris to record a duets album with the country singer. A release date and song listing is unknown, but much of Knopfler's backing band was along for the trip.

Outside of Dire Straits and his own solo releases, Knopfler has also made a name for himself in Hollywood with his film scores. Since 1983, he has contributed music to such films as "Local Hero," "Metroland," "The Princess Bride," "Last Exit to Brooklyn," "Wag the Dog," and most recently, this year's "A Shot at Glory," starring Robert Duvall and Michael Keaton.

"The Ragpicker's Dream" opened last October at No. 38 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 143,000 units to date in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Here are Mark Knopfler's North American tour dates:

June 26: Portsmouth, Va. (Harbor Center)
June 27: Philadelphia (Mann Center)
June 28: Newark, N.J. (New Jersey PAC)
June 30: New York (Radio City Music Hall)
July 1: Vienna, Va. (Wolf Trap Filene Center)
July 2: Boston (FleetBoston Pavillion)
July 3: Ottawa (Cisco Systems Bluesfest)
July 4: Montreal (Place Des Arts)
July 5: Toronto (Molson Amphitheater)
July 6: London, Ontario (John Labatt Centre)
July 8: Nashville (Ryman Auditorium)
July 9: Atlanta (Chastain Park)
July 11: Cleveland (Nautica Stage)
July 12: Chicago (Chicago Theater)
July 13: Dayton, Ohio (Fraze Pavillion)
July 14: Milwaukee (Riverside Theater)
July 15: Minneapolis (Orpheum Theater)
July 17: Denver (Red Rocks)
July 18: Salt Lake City (Abravanel Hall)
July 19: Las Vegas (The Joint)
July 20: Phoenix (Dodge Theater)
July 22: San Diego (Copley Symphony Hall)
July 23: Santa Barbara, Calif. (Santa Barbara Bowl)
July 24: Los Angeles (Greek Theater)
July 25: Saratoga, Calif. (Mountain Winery)
July 26: Berkeley, Calif. (Greek Theater)
July 27: Kelseyville, Calif. (Konocti Field)
July 29: Portland, Ore. (Arlene Schnitzer Hall)
July 30: Seattle (Paramount)
July 31: Vancouver (Queen Elizabeth Theater)