First, a happy belated birthday to the musician that Rolling Stone magazine ranks at #27 of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of all Time".

He was born August 12, 1949 in Glasgow, Scotland.

In addition to his work as lead guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for Dire Straits, he's released six solo albums and composed and produced eight film scores.

Mark's a unique player in that he plays right-handed while actually being a southpaw, and doesn't use a pick (instead employing fingerstyle playing)--except for rhythm work while recording.

His new album, Privateering, will be released September 3 and will be his first double album solo release.