Notting Hillbillies, The

Band members               Related acts

- Brendan Croker - vocals, guitar

- Guy Fletcher - vocals, keyboards

- Mark Knopfler - vocals, guitar

- Steve Phillips - vocals, guitar



- Dire Straits (Mark Knopfler)

- Mark Knopfler (solo efforts)




Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Missing ... Presumed Having a Good Time

Company: Warner Brothers

Catalog: 26147-1

Year: 1990

Country/State: US/UK

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: original inner sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4461

Price: $5.00

Cost: $66.00


So you want to know a little bit about these guys?  Knopfler you obviously know as the head Dire Strait.  Singer/guitarist Steve Phillips was an old Knopfler buddy.  The two shared an interest in American country and western and blues.  They even spent a couple of years playing together as 'The Duolian String Pickers'.  Singer/guitarist Brendan Croker was a friend of Phillips, having played in The Steve Phillips Juke Band for a number of years. 


By the mid-1980s Dire Straits had attained mega commercial success and so it was probably only natural that Knopfler started looking for a way out of the spotlight.  One of those efforts was to form The Notting Hillbillies with Phillips, Croker, drummer Ed Bicknell (who was also Dire Straits manager), guitarist Guy Fletcher, pedal steel guitarist Paul Franklin and bassist Marcus Cliff.  The Hillbillies were initially a rather casual affair, playing occasional dates.  Surprised by their success, they eventually undertook a UK tour and recorded a one-shot 1990 album.


Co-produced by Fletcher and Knopfler, "Missing ... Presumed Having a Good Time" is one of those LP's that isn't going to appeal to everyone.  It's probably too country for pop fans expecting something along the lines of The Traveling Wilburies.  By the same token it's too pop for C&W fans ...  Moreover folks expecting to hear a Mark Knopfler solo effort are going to be disappointed since this is a true group effort with Knopfler largely avoiding the spotlight.  As someone who isn't a big blues or country fan, I have to admit that I'm surprised how much I like this album.  There's a quiet and laidback elegance to the performances and it's refreshing to listen to an album full of music that was recorded because the musicians loved it, rather than because their record company wanted a hit.  Sporting a nice mixture of originals and popular and obscure covers, tracks such as 'Railroad Worksong', 'Blues Stay Away From Me' and '' feature some dazzling vocals harmonies and first rate guitar.  Personal favorites - Knopfler's sole contribution: 'Your Own Sweet Way' and the Caribbean flavored 'One Way Gal'. 



"Missing ... Presumed Having a Good Time" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Railroad Worksong   (Traditional - arranged by The Notting Hillbillies) - 

2.) Bewildered   (Whitcup - Powell) - 

3.) Your Own Sweet Way   (Mark Knopfler) - 

4.) Run Me Down   (Traditional - arranged by The Notting Hillbillies) - 

5.) One Way Gal   (Traditional - arranged by The Notting Hillbillies) - 

6.) Blues Stay Away From Me   (A. Delmore - R. Delmore - Raney Glover) - 


(side 2)

1.) Will You Miss Me   (Steve Phillips) - 

2.) Please Baby   (Traditional - arranged by The Notting Hillbillies) - 

3.) Weapon of Prayer   (I. Louvin - G. Louvin) - 

4.) That's Where I Belong   (Brendan Croker) - 

5.) Feel Like Going Home   (Charlie Rich) - 




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