A Well Kept Secret: Richard Thompson

Well hello there! We’re back from a most refreshing vacation in the greater London area. While there, our host Magic Fingers introduced me to a fantastic musician: Richard Thompson.

Prior, I had heard some minor radio hits of his — genre “I Feel So Good”, “Misunderstood”, “Crawl Back” and, notably, Thompson’s Britney Spears cover Oops, I Did It Again.

Tip of the iceberg.

The way this guy plays masters the guitar is just unbelievable.
No effects — nothing but Naked Fender:

Thompson started out as part of the legendary English band Fairport Convention, but went his own way soon thereafter. He is I guess, to that formation, what Neil Young is to CSN&Y.

One fantastic musician. Do check out his tunes if you hadn’t already.

Wait — I’m preaching to the choir, right?

13 Responses to “A Well Kept Secret: Richard Thompson”

  1. Birdman! says:

    Uh, not really. Pros — where are the three best places to start loving Richard Thompson?

  2. dfan says:

    I wouldn’t make this recommendation to most crowds, but for Zappa fans the best introduction might be Live, Love, Larf & Loaf by French Frith Kaiser Thompson, a supergroup of Thompson and three experimental musicians (including Drumbo from Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band!) having a ton of fun.

  3. Hugh says:

    I always admire someone who can sing & play guitar simultaneously. And RT is definitely a stand out. Does miss his version of Joni Mitchell’s Woodstock on the link above. I love that song. Richard’s performance was spectacular. It gave me the chills.

    French Frith Kaiser Thompson sounds cool. I’ll have to check that out. Thanks dfan.

  4. P-Rip says:

    Is this performance on DVD?

  5. Dirk Laforce says:

    The best to start is the 3 CD set: Watching the dark – The History of Richard Thompson. If you can still find it…

  6. Matt says:

    I saw RT live this past June–solo acoustic gig in Kent, Ohio. Excellent.

    Another good starting point is the 2-CD set You? Me? Us?, which is half-electric and half-acoustic.

  7. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    Good suggestions all. I’ll add “Semi-Detached Mock Tudor Live” to the bunch — if only for the epic 12:31 minute guitar-solo that is “Hard On Me”. You can only buy this one from RT’s site though.

  8. Sterbus says:

    Don’t forget he was also a song-writer… this one is one of the best, and he was only 16 years old…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avX5VlU7MXM

  9. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    A quote from Sterbus:

    Don’t forget he was also a song-writer… this one is one of the best, and he was only 16 years old…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avX5VlU7MXM

    Ah, “Meet on the Ledge”. I’m told every Fairport Convention concert ends with this tune. Didn’t know RT wrote this at the tender age of 16 though.

  10. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    A quote from P-Rip:

    Is this performance on DVD?

    P-Rip: I *think* the above YT video is a compilation of the “Semi-Detached Mock Tudor Live” DVD. So yes…

  11. peter says:

    Without a doubt the starting point is he and ex-wife Linda’s “I want to see the bright lights tonight.” Unfortunately, RT’s all guitar no vocals “strict tempo” has been out of print for years and years.

  12. P-Rip says:

    Two years ago, I bought “Sweet Warrior”, which was his latest. Thsi was my first real exposure to Richard Thompson. A review at the time said it was a good overview of his style, even though it was more on the electric side. I think the reviwer said you would be satisfied if you were a log-time fan or a newbie. With any artist that has been around for a long time and had various styles, it is hard to know where to start. Sometimes I like to start with current releases and work backwards as I learn more about them.

  13. Bunk Strutts says:

    Richard & Linda Thompson’s “Shoot Out the Lights” is my pick. “Wall of Death” is one of my favorites.

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