A new release from Richard Thompson (Fairport Convention) is always a welcome sight. 'Acoustic Classics' are from his recent live shows covering his own compositions over 4 decades of work. Taking arrangements for a full band and stripping them bare he adds a new dimension to many of his classics. An inspirational guitarist and songwriter it's criminal negligence that the man still goes largely unnoticed or played on radio here in the UK except when they want to use an old Fairport track, which is rare enough in itself. Thompson's near unequaled reputation in folk music has left him unconsidered when compared to how other rock guitarists and songwriters of his generation are recognised .
Want to see why this is really dumb? How about his last years Electric Trio tour in the US. Here's a very good video taken in Iowa City by one of the audience (uploader 'bdball69') and with his typical good humour Thompson chats to the audience at this free concert, quite knowingly telling you "the story of my life" as it were.
"...to the classic power trio's of the 60's.. wish we could be that. Sometimes we even go so far as to play things like..um"
and as you'll hear proceeds to give you one mother of a reading of Creams "White Room".
With Taras Prodaniuk on bass/backing vocals and drummer Michael Jerome with a terrific rendition of Ginger Bakers instantly recognisable rhythm, when Thompson hits the wah and over drive pedal at 4.08 even Clapton would be hard pressed to improve on this solo.
Richard Thompson.. just a folk musician !
As one audience member describes "Two of the best shows I've ever seen have been in downtown Iowa City.. and this was one of them".
The new album is available from the Richard Thompson website