McGoldrick and McCusker join Mark Knopfler
Mike joined Knopfler for the US leg of the tour after being introduced to the Dire Straits legend by John McCusker - another multi-instrumentalist folk genius - who has been performing with Knopfler for a few years and couldn't do the US dates. Bluegrass whizz Tim O'Brien also joined the band while in the States.
As the tour continues into Europe, Knopfler has invited both McGoldrick and McCusker to stay with him and perform to vast non-folky audiences in Italy, France, Monaco, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal.
Unfortunately for us in the UK, that means Mike's own band will have to pull out of some festivals, notably Cambridge (where he'll be replaced by The Wonder Stuff) and Folk By The Oak (where he'll be replaced by the Martin Simpson Quartet).
Obviously it's a fantastic opportunity for the musicians, and arguably an even better one for the UK folk scene as a whole. The Knopfler set now features some extended spotlights on Mike and John, duelling with citterns in front of audiences who couldn't previously tell you what a cittern was. Now they can, and perhaps they'll seek out folk gigs and albums on the strength of these two great ambassadors for the genre.
Have any of you seen these Mark Knopfler concerts? What did you think of Mike and John's contributions?