Richard Thompson

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Andy from England, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

I don’t like “best of” lists or ranking systems, but I will say that my favorite songwriter of all-time is Richard Thompson.

He’s also one of my favorite guitarists, whether he’s wielding an acoustic or an electric. And as his voice deepened over the years, he became one of my favorite singers. I deeply respect the man’s artistic integrity.

I’ve seen him perform several times, always in relatively intimate settings rather than arenas or stadiums. That may explain the strength of my admiration for the man: he feels more real to me.

He’s certainly not perfect—no artist hits the mark every time, and every artist rides the highs and lows of creative effort. But over a career spanning decades, Richard Thompson has been on more than he has been off, and that’s the reason why June Tabor refers to him as the “blessed” Richard Thompson. The human race is very lucky to have him.

Here are my RT reviews, including one from Fairport Convention and two of his albums with Linda Thompson:

One response

  1. Altrockchick, you nailed it about RT. What an amazing songwriter, guitarist, singer, and human being he is. I’ve seen him at least 20 times playing solo or with his electric band, and he’s never disappointed me. He’s the best solo performer I’ve ever heard: a one-man-band guitarist who’s versatile and also writes great songs, like Robert Johnson or Reverend Gary Davis or Blind Willie McTell in their prime. He’s a full-spectrum writer and musician who goes from comedy to tragedy with stops everywhere in between. He’s also a wit and gentleman who does not suffer from a bloated ego. He’s the best. Thanks for pointing that out on your always-astute site.

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