NASHVILLE, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Former Dire Straits members Alan Clark and Chris White say they started a new rock 'n' roll band and will kick off a U.S. concert tour next month.
The musicians will be performing with Terence Reis, Steve Ferrone, Mickey Feat, Adam Phillips and Jamie Squire under the name The Straits.
"There was only ever going to be one drummer: Steve Ferrone, probably the best rock drummer in the world, and a good mate," Clark said in a statement.
"We'd played together for some years when we were in Eric Clapton's band and he is godfather to my son and daughter," Clark added. "As for a front man, I'd always thought it would be impossible to replace the huge talent that is Mark Knopfler until I discovered the brilliant Terence Reis. Next we needed a bass player. We'd briefly considered using a lineup of ex-Dire Straits players -- and believe me, there were plenty offers -- but we decided to go our own way. To hand-pick the absolute best, so Mickey Feat was recruited on bass. As for the additional keyboard player role, I'd watched Jamie Squire grow up -- his family were neighbors of mine in a village in Northumberland - and develop into the amazing multi-instrumental singer/songwriter he is today. Suddenly we had a band, and what a band!"
The Straits' concert tour is to kick off Feb. 28 in Manistee, Mich.
Mark Knopfler, David Knopfler and John Illsley formed Dire Straits in 1977. The musicians broke up in 1988, then got back together from 1991-95. Clark joined Dire Straits in 1980 and White in 1985.