Richard Thompson is playing two solo shows at the Old Town School of Folk Music Tuesday and Wednesday nights, and though they're sold out, it’s worthwhile to check whether any last-minute tickets become available. It’ll be great to have him back.
Thompson was one of the more active online performers during the pandemic; he’s used to playing and wasn’t going to let the lack of in-person audiences stop him. I’ve said this many times before, but I think he’s maintained the most consistently high standard of any performer in the rock era. From the early Fairport Convention records, which he made while in his late teens, through his 2018 album 13 Rivers and subsequent digital releases, he has continued to write and perform songs that earn their spots in his set lists.
His guitar playing remains jaw-droppingly expressive as well, and his singing grew stronger over the years.
He was gracious enough to be the first guest on the Caropop podcast, and I couldn’t have asked for a better conversation. He discusses the differences between playing acoustic and electric guitars and performing solo and with a band. He recalls Fairport’s firing of lead singer Sandy Denny; tells tales of the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac and Badfinger; and digs into the sad backstory of his memoir Beeswing: Losing My Way and Finding My Voice 1967-1975, published in April: He’d been collaborating with journalist Scott Timberg, who took his own life in 2019 at age 50.
I loved listening to Richard Thompson talk, and I can’t wait to hear him perform live again.