Richard Thompson at 2018 Folk Alliance
Richard Thompson and John Oates separately discussed what’s kept their careers sustainable.
Thompson said his guitar-playing technique also evolved with the times. By using alternate tunings and bending the strings and the neck, he used the electric six-stringed instrument to create a sound “closer to the human voice” or to a bagpipe, especially when interpreting or extending Scottish folk traditions on songs like “A Sailor’s Life, “Matty Groves” and “Meet on the Ledge.”
Regarding his practice in recent decades of alternating solo acoustic performances and recordings with those of an electric band, Thompson said he likes the intimate solo concert because it’s “sort of like being in church. It’s heart to heart.”