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Tag: richard thompson

Best Guitarist In The World Speaks

Hey look, Richard Thompson is writing an autobiography! This is stupendously exciting to me, particularly since he’s apparently going to focus on the late 60s and early 70s. Nothing against his prodigious and high quality output subsequent to those years, but that was the period of tumultuous change. I am curious to see what he has to say.

I assume that Scott Timberg is doing the heavy lifting on the writing. I don’t know his work but he has a blog. He says “Few living musicians fascinate me as much as Richard Thompson” in a brief blog entry which links to a longer chewy interview. Getting Thompson to open up on the process of learning Classical Greek is kind of cool. I am optimistic.

Waiting for a year and a half for this is no fun at all.

Please Please Me

Even after downloading and playing this I’m still substantially surprised that Richard Thompson found his way onto Rock Band. But it’s awesome!

The fan reaction has also been pretty gratifying. There’s a lot of “it started badly but then I got to the solo, whoa.” It’s weird realizing that this track has the potential to be the top selling Thompson song ever.

My favorite comment on the video: “Is all of that solo really played on a guitar though? Man, I wish mine sounded like that. ;P”

Richard Thompson, 6/30

Richard Thompson’s one of the most depressing lyricists in the world. He’s also one of the artists I admire the most for his skill. In retrospect, a bit of emotion on my part could have been expected, since Susan and I saw him five days after we found out about the Benoit tragedy.

I teared up hard during the first song. You’ve got a viewpoint character singing about bad relationships, you’ve got guitar playing that echoes through the minor keys and embraces atonal harmony as a metaphor for futile rage, and somewhere in there Thompson’s voice has become just about as effective an instrument as his guitar. I think it was cathartic: despite what the world’s lost, life goes on, and talent goes on, and there’s aught yet to admire.

It’d been a while since I’d seen him live; the last time must have been seven or eight years ago. He’s really been pushing his singing skills. He’s more resonant and less gruff than he was back in the 80s by far.

So, yeah: a great concert. Lots of cuts from Sweet Warrior, plus enough older stuff. “Dad’s Gonna Kill Me” is a brutally despairing anti-war song that’d get much more attention in any sane world; and his solo acoustic “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” — bass line plus solos simultaneously, of course — was deeply gratifying. But it was all good.

You can hear the whole concert here. That’s from the DC date of the current tour.