Richard Thompson Tears It Up On Two New Songs

One of the greatest living guitarists, Richard Thompson has shared two new brilliant songs from his just-announced album 13 Rivers.

I’m thrilled to have two new songs from one of our greatest living guitarists and songwriters, Richard Thompson. His just-announced 19th solo album, 13 Rivers, still finds him brimming with bursts of guitar magic and storytelling. It’s a trademark sound that has been incredibly influential since the days when he electrified British folk music in the 1960s as part of Fairport Convention and, later, some of the most brilliant records of the 1970s with his wife at the time Linda Thompson. But Richard Thompson is not stuck in any one era and his solo records continue to influence younger musicians with it’s deft playing and the way he spins a tale.


The two new songs today continue his tradition of turning life’s journey into song. “The Storm Won’t Come” tackles the desire for change and comes to the conclusion that you can’t hurry it. In an email, Richard Thompson wrote to say it’s “a song about change – out with the old, in with the new. In spite of your efforts, you cannot synthesize change, it is a natural process.”

The second song we have from 13 Rivers is a stuttering, fast-paced tune called “Bones of Gilead.” Richard Thompson says “this is about an impending crisis, but it’s a good crisis. It’s an uncomfortable process to go through, one you may barely survive, but it brings knowledge and growth and love.”

What’s my name? My name is heartbreak
Heartbreak of the giving kind
I will come and whisper sweetness
Sweetness that will dawn your mind
No rib cage can hold me
No loving cup
I don’t fit your wise world
I tear it up

And tear it up he does on these cuts and the other 11 on the 13 Rivers. The self-produced album was recorded and mixed by Clay Blair at Boulevard Recording, an old, famed studio in Hollywood. “It used to be Hollywood trendy, but it fell into total disrepair,” says Thompson. “It’s still got some gaps in the walls. I like studios that are honest. It’s about the décor of the sound, and there’s a specific sound to Boulevard.”

These songs were written at what Richard Thompson describes as a dark time in his life without being specific. These songs came “as if they’d been channeled from somewhere else. You find deeper meaning in the best records as time goes on. The reward comes later.”

13 Rivers will be out on New West Records September 14.

Source NPR: Richard Thompson Tears It Up On Two New Songs : All Songs Considered : NPR

Read more stories about RICHARD THOMPSON on The Hobbledehoy


Review: Fairport Convention’s “What We Did On Our Saturday”

Who knows whether we can expect to see so many Fairports together on a stage again, but for now what we have is a brilliant best-of collection performed with the musicianship you might expect, but a vibrancy you possibly wouldn’t from a band with a half-century heritage.

A glorious celebration of 50 years of Fairport with a family gathering of former members (and 20,000 friends in a field in Oxfordshire). This two-CD set mostly features classic music from the first 10 years of the folk-rock pioneers, but it also serves as a showcase for the current (and most enduring) lineup of the band

It was a glorious evening at Fairport’s Cropredy Convention on Saturday 12 August last year. My best mate and I stood in the crowd just a few feet away from the stage as Fairport bandmates old and even older performed a 31-strong setlist. By Fairport standards, it was relatively short: three hours and only one evening headline performance from the band. But every moment is a treasured memory.

Now that momentous concert has been whittled down to 25 tracks across two discs, is it more than a memento for the fans in the field? Well, I can’t say for absolute certain, but it still sounds pretty fine ten months later [ . . . ]

Continue at FOLK RADIO: Fairport Convention: What We Did On Our Saturday | Folk Radio


By Mary Wadland / THE ZEBRA

So what does Richard Thompson, one of music’s most unique, gifted and eclectic singer/songwriters — and lest we forget, an astonishingly good guitar player and oh yes, also an Officer of the Order of the British Empire bestowed by the Queen herself — do for thrills as he approaches 70?

I mean, this is a guy who who the L.A. Times said was “the best rock songwriter after Dylan and the best guitarist since Hendrix,” a guy who is still so sharp, vital and dynamic, playing and writing music as powerfully as ever, as evidenced by 2015’s Still as well as his recent Acoustic Classics Vol II + Rarities release, and has a record in the can that’s due out this summer. With a catalog behind him comprised of 14 solo studio and two live albums — in addition to six studio albums credited to Richard and ex-wife Linda Thompson, and five studio albums as a member of folk rock pioneers Fairport Convention —  Thompson can still churn out his one-in-a-billion type of folk-tinged troubadour rock at a time when many musicians are waning.

But at the moment, actually for about the last year, he’s chosen a different type of art that many musicians try —  U2, John Mellencamp, Jimmy Buffett and Matthew Sweet come to mind — to see if their brand of expression will translate seamlessly to the stage. Knowing the brilliant and evocative imagery that Thompson conveys with his songs, it is sure to be something very special indeed.

“I’ve been working on a musical play for a while,” Thompson told me as he prepared for a solo acoustic tour that brings him to the Birchmere on April 4th. “I’m quite excited by the prospect of it. It’s a dream I had, kind of a ‘Greek tragedy’ in the sense that a family is faced with an impossible dilemma, that whichever way they jump, there is pain and disaster. I’m enjoying the music. I think the music’s very strong. I think the story’s very strong, but it is kind of dark.”

Continue reading

Sandy Denny and the poetic beauty of “Who Knows Where the Time Goes?” 

It has been more than 50 years since the original recording of “Who Knows Where the Time Goes?” Singer/songwriter Sandy Denny wrote the song while performing with the band, The Strawbs. The tune was made more famous when Denny performed it as part of the folk-rock group, Fairport Convention. “Who Knows Where the Time Goes?” […]

More: Sandy Denny and the poetic beauty of “Who Knows Where the Time Goes?” – LemonWire