Rhythm & Views 

Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson was quoted somewhere a few years back saying he didn't like to listen to contemporary pop music, but that he didn't mind creating it and inflicting it on others. Good for us.

Tucson fans got a taste of several of the songs on this, the legendary English singer-songwriter and guitarist's latest album, during a solo acoustic gig when he opened a show for Patty Griffin in March at the Rialto Theatre. That night, he sounded more invigorated than he had in years.

That spirit holds true here, and he's joined by such prominent musicians as bassist Danny Thompson, harmony vocalist Judith Owen and fiddler Sara Watkins, from the American bluegrass band Nickel Creek.

The album opens with "Needle and Thread," an excellent example of what has become a Thompson trademark: country- and Celtic-tinged guitar rock. The central metaphor finds his protagonists attempting to save themselves from their own worst tendencies, i.e., sewing their souls back together again.

The unofficial master of gloom and doom, Thompson sends a dark warning with "Take Care the Road You Choose."

Through vehicles such as pub-rock dance numbers ("Bad Monkey"), bouncy sideshow music ("Mr. Stupid"), spooky swamp rock ("Dad's Gonna Kill Me") and luminescent folk ("Sunset Song"), Thompson explores themes of self-loathing, the dark heart of the soul, the war in Iraq, infidelity, waning love and "old Death a-walking."

Thompson makes some of the cheeriest scary music around.

More by Gene Armstrong

  • Primer

    Tony Furtado
    • May 29, 2014
  • Wills Meets Reinhardt

    L.A.'s Cow Bop blends bebop and Western swing into a superbly danceable combo
    • May 22, 2014
  • Finding (the Eighth) Mr. Right

    Superb performances drive the '60s satire of Live Theatre Workshop's Loot
    • May 15, 2014
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

Watch Live: OSIRIS-REx Sample Collection Today

Public Brewhouse Closes After 5 Years

Get Your Crescent Ballroom Voter Guide Today!

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2020 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation