MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 29: Mark Knopfler performs in concert at Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas on July 29, 2010 in Madrid, Spain.

We’re celebrating Dire Straits founder, Mark Knopfler’s birthday (8/12) by getting his thoughts on one of his most impactful influences, Van Morrison, and giving you his rendition of ‘Irish Heartbeat’ from Van’s ‘Duets’ album



Mark talked about what it was like to sing with and play guitar for one of his all-time heroes:

“I just put some guitar on and sang it with Van…I’ve loved Van, of course, and he’s been part of my life, his voice has been part of my life since I was a kid, from Them onwards. And so it’s a natural thing for me, and ‘Irish Heartbeat’ was my choice because I love that song. He does a beautiful version of that as well with the Chieftains.”

The release of the Knopfler track follows “Real Real Gone” with Michael Buble and “Some Peace of Mind” with the late Bobby Womack. Other guests on “Duets” include Steve Winwood, Mavis Staples, George Benson and Morrison’s daughter Shana.


Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.