If there is such a thing as folk rock royalty, then Linda Thompson deserves a gold throne at the head of the table. Her story definitely has the makings of an episode of VH1's Behind The Music, full of drama, heartbreak and drug addicted co-stars. Her circle of friends included many great singer-songwriters who played major roles in the folk rock boom of the '60s and '70s. Such friends include Nick Drake, Sandy Denny, John Martyn, Tim Buckley and, of course, her ex-husband Richard Thompson. During the '70s, Linda and Richard Thompson married and released several albums as a duo for Island Records before taking a three year hiatus to study Sufism. In 1982, they partnered with famed producer Joe Boyd to release Shoot Out The Lights (Hannibal), which critics today hail has one of the greatest folk rock records of all time. (You can watch our "What's In My Bag?" episode with Joe Boyd here.)
Despite battling a rare throat condition that hampered Linda's ability to talk and sing (resulting in an eleven year hiatus), Thomspon has released four solo records including 2013's Won't Be Long (Pettifer Sounds). This new album finds her collaborating with her son, singer-songwriter Teddy Thompson, including backing vocals by her daughters (Kami & Muna) and accompaniment from her ex, Richard Thompson. The end result is a cohesive, timeless batch of covers and originals that marks a definite milestone for the singer in her 60s.
Our Amoeba camera crew had the pleasure of hanging out with Linda for another great episode of What's In My Bag? Listening to Linda Thompson talk about the early folk era is like taking a time machine back to the '60s. She is part historian, part student, part storyteller, and part fan! She kicks things off with country legend Hank Williams' Gold collection, a great rough guide to the singer's catalog. Linda also picks up a copy of Nick Drake's Five Leaves Left, a must have for any aspiring singer-songwriter. Linda then goes way back and picks up the "Father of Delta Blues," Charley Patton's The Best of Charley Patton. She definitely knows her stuff and is very much a student and master of her craft. Check out the full episode for all her picks (and the stories she tells) about each one.
Linda Thompson - What's In My Bag?
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