Richard Thompson "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" - A song he usually includes in his live sets
Even the dedicated legions of lifetime Richard Thompson fans agree, essential as the guitarist/singer/songwriter's records are, to fully appreciate the brilliance of this British folk legend you simply have to witness him live in concert. The good news is that you will have a chance to see the songwriting guitarist extraordinaire play live for free when he graces the stage at Amoeba Hollywood tomorrow, Sunday, September 19th at 5pm.
The Amoeba Music instore is in support of Thompson's just released new album Dream Attic, which captures the man (and his band) at their best, live in concert. Available to buy online from Amoeba for just $10.98, Dream Attic features thirteen all new songs that were recorded live earlier this year during a West Coast tour by Thompson and band (including mandolin, violin, sax, bass and drums).
Thompson, whose guitar skills have elevated him alongside such other greats as Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page (although he has never gotten the level of mainstream attention of these two lauded guitarists) and who Rolling Stone placed in the Top 20 tier of the magazine's list of The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, started out in the legendary British folk-rock group Fairport Convention. Penning such classic early Fairport songs as "Meet On The Ledge" and "Crazy Man Michael," Thompson was a member of Fairport Convention for four years, through 1971. And while no longer officially a member, he occasionally gets together with his old band mates for reunion concerts, typically at the annual August Fairport's Cropredy Convention.
Richard Thompson "Haul Me Up" (from Dream Attic) (2010)
After Fairport the next landmark stage of Thompson's career began when he released his first solo album in 1972 on which Linda Peters (soon to be wife Linda Thompson) sang. After getting married, the couple became a musical tour-de-force, recording/performing as a duo up until 1982, releasing a total of six albums together including I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight and Hokey Pokey.
Over the past few decades, Thompson, who these days lives in LA, has remained extremely prolific (and relevant) as a solo artist, continually building on his dedicated cult following that includes many musicians such as Elvis Costello, Shawn Colvin, Bonnie Raitt, and Loudon Wainwright III -- all of whom he has also recorded with over the years. In all, the prolific artist has recorded over 40 albums to date, both solo and collaborative recordings.
If you miss Richard Thompson's Amoeba set this weekend he will be playing in the LA area again in a couple of months when is scheduled to perform at UCLA's Royce Hall, November 19th. Ticket information here. And for concert news and general information on Richard Thompson click here. You can also watch an interview and performance from Thompson at Amoeba Hollywood a few years back.
Richard & Linda Thompson "A Heart Needs A Home" live on BBC TV (1975)