Mark Knopfler is back with lucky number seven. Get Lucky is the former Dire Straits frontman's seventh non-soundtrack solo album and it might very well be his best and one of the reasons for that is “Can't Beat The House.”
The ambler is not a new character in blues and rock music and neither is the idea of playing against a stacked deck, trying to overcome seemingly impossible odds. Where many songs on Get Lucky are stories, “House” is a character sketch.
“Can't Beat The House” has the DNA of the blues but comes at a more subdued pace, with some of the edges rounded. The song recalls Dylan's “The Groom's Still Waiting At The Altar” but sonically has more in common with recent Dylan records like Modern Times and Together Through Life.
Knopfler worked with Dylan, playing on his Slow Train Coming album and producing and providing guitar on Infidels. “The Groom's Still Waiting At The Altar” was recorded between those two albums.
The guitar doesn't have the same distinctive tone we've grown accustomed to hearing on many of his memorable solos. The lead on “House” falls somewhere between Knopfler's beautiful echo and a standard blues. The notes are carefully chosen and this has all the characteristics of a blues lead but without the sting.