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Richard Thompson, Irving Plaza, June 20

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So, for my first official entry at BC, I thought I’d share a trip I took to NY’s Irving Plaza last weekend to catch Richard Thompson, a guitar god is ever there was one.
RT sounded incredible as he ranged through a set full of some of his sturdiest tunes: “I Misunderstood,” “Waltzing’s for Dreamers,” “Tear-Stained Letter,” “Wall of Death,” Razor Dance,” “Shoot Out the Lights,” and a bunch of others all got the treatment.
This guy can absolutely play. At times, he sounded uncannily like Chet Atkins or some other chicken-pickin’ player, and at times he sounded absolutely Frippy, all jagged and noisy. But always recognizably himself. Amazing.

“Valerie,” which was blistering last Saturday, is a very funny song, and gave RT the opportunity to flail out some unreal Chuck Berry licks.
RT also came out with his handsome son Teddy and sang a duet of “Persuasion” that was spell-binding. Teddy’a decent guitarist, and his gorgeous tenor voice sounds great with Dad’s.
In an era of no-talent pop stars, let’s all celebrate and support a guy who can really play his instrument and write real songs.

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  • bhw

    I looooooove Richard Thompson, and I only learned of him about 2.5 years ago. I’ve bought six of his albums in that time, and I love his electric stuff as much as the folky stuff.

    Persuasion is a beautiful song … I remember reading on my liner notes that Thompson wrote it as an instrumental piece [for a movie, I think] and then someone else [the Tears for Fears guys?] wrote lyrics to it after they heard it. And Teddy’s smooth voice is definitely his mother’s DNA contribution.

    I saw Richard at the Boston Folk Festival two years ago, just him and his guitar. I’d love to see him with a full electric band, too.

    The guy is just amazing and writes just as well today as he did early in his career. Not too many people can say that. I’m not sure he’ll ever peak!

  • Eric Olsen

    Thanks CC, very fine job and welcome! So glad you are finally here on the other side.

  • Melzie

    The lyrics were written by Tim Finn – one of the Crowded House boys. There are actually other recordings with Tim singing. I’m hoping it’s part of the Tim and Neil’s tour this summer.

    (I was at the Richard Thompson concert as well.)

  • faninne

    I am also a recent convert. Persuasion is oneof the most beautiful songs I have heard in recent years and particularly painful for me. I cannot listen to it without thinking of my failed marriage and all the love we once had. it’s really sad. it’s also not very indicative of the bulk of thompson’s songs, though. I’m glad you relayed this concert to us and thanks again.