LIVE: Richard Thompson @ The Egg, 10/12/14

October 16th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg
Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson

Review by Erin Harkes
Photographs by Rudy Lu

I would never listen to Richard Thompson on Pandora or Spotify. I would probably end up being insulted by whomever they pick to be similar music. Because in my opinion, nothing compares to Richard Thompson.

As a professional musician, I never take a night off of work. No ‘vacation leave’ or ‘sick time’ when you’re self employed. But when Richard Thompson comes to town, I am there.

For his solo concert at The Egg last Saturday evening, he started softly with “Stony Ground” and “The Ghost of You Walks” before blasting us with “Valerie” in a manner that would make you think the concert was over – it was an encore caliber rendition. “Saving the Good Stuff For You” is one of his newer songs yet is reminiscent of a traditional Irish tune. It was my first time hearing it, and yet I was singing it to myself later that night.

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LIVE: Richard Thompson & Friends @ the Bearsville Theater, 7/19/12

July 24th, 2012, 3:00 pm by Greg

Review by Richard Brody

Leaving his day job for the week – he is the head guitar instructor at the Frets & Refrains Music Camp at the nearby Full Moon Resort – Richard Thompson, along with his other music counselors, put on a nearly three-hour show at the sold-out Bearsville Theater in Woodstock. It captured the full breadth of his 45-year career. I have had the good fortune of seeing him many times over the last 30 years, and he has set the bar for his performances at an incredibly high level. Thompson has achieved legendary status among his fans and other musicians for his prowess on the guitar, but it was his songwriting that was center stage for this evening of acoustic music.

He is well known for his dark songs that detail romantic trials and tribulations when love goes wrong. Lines such as “Where’s the justice and where’s the sense when all the pain is on my side of the fence” from “Walking on a Wire,” (heard early in his set) reflect a relationship reality that most of us have experienced. But his songs about romance are not all grim. Thompson’s dry, acidic wit in both the introduction to and the lyrics of “Johnny’s Far Away,” a song about marital boredom, the missionary position and the opportunistic infidelity by both husband and wife, left the audience howling with laughter.

And, yes, he played some guitar. “Crawl Back (Under My Stone),” a caustic love song, got a fiery guitar bridge and a right hand that was a blur during the crescendo ending. His best known song – “1952 Vincent Black Lightning,” about motorcycles, black leather and red hair – showed off his hybrid style of playing bass and rhythm with his pick while his bottom three fingers create melody lines that run with and counter to what he is picking. With eyes closed, you would swear that there were at least two if not three guitars being played, and the loud standing ovation testified to that.

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Live: The Richard Thompson Band @ The Egg, 10/30/10

November 3rd, 2010, 2:01 pm by Greg

I’ve probably seen Richard Thompson in concert nearly two dozen times, and what surprises me about him is that he still surprises me.

At The Egg on Saturday night, Thompson and his band – fiddler Joel Zifkin, drummer Michael Jerome, bassist Taras Prodaniuk and multi-instrumentalist Pete Zorn – opened the show with an 80-minute set spotlighting a dozen new songs from his latest album, “Dream Attic” (skipping over only “Burning Man”).

It was a risky move on his part, but a rewarding one of the RT faithful. He launched the night with the biting sarcasm of “The Money Shuffle,” a rocking little ditty about shyster investment bankers. The song brought middle eastern musical flavors to the fore, and sliced deep with such typically witty Thompson lyrics as, “If you’ll just bend over a little, I think you’ll feel my financial muscle.”

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LIVE: Loudon Wainwright III & Richard Thompson @ The Egg, 10/18/09

October 19th, 2009, 2:51 pm by Greg

Richard Thompson (photo by Joe Putrock)

Richard Thompson (photo by Joe Putrock)

I’m guessing that I’ve seen Richard Thompson and Loudon Wainwright III at least a dozen times each – heck, I once watched four Thompson shows in two days at the Iron Horse – and they’re both among my very favorite singer-songwriters. So the opportunity to see the two of them together on stage brought with it some mighty high expectations.

And I was not disappointed.

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Richard Thompson, What Was the First Album You Ever Bought?

October 14th, 2009, 2:58 pm by Greg

“The first actual album? Oh, Jiminy Cricket! I don’t know. Probably the first Kinks album or something like that. Or maybe an early Beatles album from 1964. You know, that British stuff.

Although I do remember buying a Debussy album when I was quite young. And I think I also bought the first albums by the Lovin’ Spoonful and Paul Butterfield, as well.

Mostly, the first records that I bought were singles, however.”

Richard Thompson teams up with Loudon Wainwright III for the Loud & Rich Tour, which is slated to make a stop at The Egg in Albany on Sunday, October 18.

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