Article and Photos by: Michael W. Bright
Louisville, KY –– Richard Thompson has enjoyed a fair amount of success in the UK, but forges on as an artist who’s enjoyed cult status (by his own reckoning) in the U.S. for nearly five decades. It was no wonder that tickets for the devout had gone on sale months before the show and nearly sold out beforehand. On the night of the show those few that were left were scooped up in a hurry.
There was a pretty good chance that if you were there, you were a member of the fan club. The 68 year-old singer-player-songwriter attained his status for style and skill as well as longevity. Those who were vigilant enough to have scooped up one or two of the 750 plus tickets got a trip through time, from his genesis in 1967, at age 18, with seminal British folk-rock group Fairport Convention all the way to, 13 Rivers, a solo album released just this year.
Anticipating early requests for oldies from Fairport Convention, he opened the set with, “Bones of Gilead,” a rollicking sample from, 13 Rivers. Peering into the crowd, he was clearly pleased that so many turned out, and, that they appeared so adoring. Steeled by the reception and after a brief welcome, he rolled into, “Her Love Was Meant For Me,” an irresistible heavy hitting blues tinged romp, again from the new album. When your catalog stretches across 30 or more albums its pretty gutsy to start the evening with two songs from a new album. But the style and appeal of Thompson’s new collection fits so well into his discography that they could have been released five years ago or thirty-five.
By the time he covered, “Dimming of the Day,” one notable result of his years writing, recording and performing with his then-wife, Linda Thompson, he had unwrapped his legendary finger-style guitar picking skills on, “1952 Vincent Black Lightning,” (Rumor and Sigh, 1991) and covered, “Meet Me On the Ledge,” his best known Fairport Convention composition. The open, freewheeling six string solo in, “Can’t Win,” completed a rare evening.R
Richard Thompson continues touring well into 2019 both with his electric trio and solo. Dates, news, and other information may be found at http://www.richardthompson-music.com/