While the title of One Deep River refers to a treasured body of water that runs through Mark Knopfler’s Newcastle hometown, it could double as a metaphor for the musician’s extensive and boundless body of work. And, even as it’s been over 30 years since the final notes of Dire Straits echoed into the night, and Knopfler still is likely best known as that famed band’s captain, it’s his solo output, starting in 1996, that with this tenth effort nearly doubles his total with Straits; for all of which Knopfler’s been, essentially, the exclusive songwriter. Fortunately, the depth of his songcraft matches the rolling Tyne, with Knopfler helming a meticulously assembled, dozen-song set.

The LP unfolds immediately into the charcoaled groove of “Two Pairs of Hands,” flecked with rich filigree of guitar from Knopfler, countered by an ensemble of gifted players that includes ace session vet, Richard Bennett, and the newly-recruited pedal steel master, Greg Leisz. There are the strolling, melodic hooks of “Ahead of the Game,” and the laid back sway of “Smart Money,” before the growling six-strings, gritty downbeat, and grim narrative infest “Scavenger’s Yard.” Four songs in, and it’s a feast of fretwork and Knopfler’s unique lyrical bent in full grandeur.

A waltz-like elegance leads “Black Tie Jobs,” while a celestial chorus of keyboard and voice intros the story-song, “Tunnel 13.” Leisz provides his ethereal steel to “Janine,” as Knopfler follows with a series of ballads, featuring a vulnerable and unaffected vocal on “Sweeter Than the Rain,” in a production choice made by Knopfler and his longstanding co-producer (and keyboardist) Guy Fletcher that pays off beautifully well. Then, there is the contrasting gentle piano against a foreboding opening sentiment on “This One’s Not Going To End Well,” that, in fact, belies the album’s actual ending- the title track and its ode to the Tyne that’s the best entry on the second-half of the record. Akin to the waters’ perpetual flow, so, too rolls Knopfler, taking us on another poetic, pastoral, and often Promethean ride downstream.