After several years of producing and performing on other people’s recordings and scoring soundtracks since the demise of the band that made him famous, Knopfler is back with only his second solo recording, Sailing To Philadelphia. The disc was released in September.

A tour supporting the album is scheduled to launch March 27 at the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City, according to the guitar virtuoso’s Web site.

So far, the tour will keep Knopfler on the road until at least July 31, where he will perform at the Kremlin Palace in Moscow.

Dates are confirmed for legs in South America, United Kingdom and Europe. The North American leg is still being nailed down and the initial draft itinerary includes 26 dates in major cities.

Knopfler and Dire Straits were at the peak of their career in the mid-1980s, particularly with the release of 1985’s Brothers In Arms. The band reportedly played 234 shows in 12 months to a combined audience of 2.5 million during the Brothers In Arms world tour.

He also took up scoring movie soundtracks, starting auspiciously with “Local Hero” in 1983. He produced Tina Turner, toured with Chet Atkins, and started a side project – The Notting Hillbillies – before finally declaring Dire Straits dead in 1995.

His solo debut didn’t come until the release of Golden Heart in 1996. Since then, he’s scored the films “Wag The Dog” and “Metroland” before starting work on