The Full Wiki

More info on Richard Thompson (musician)

Richard Thompson (musician): Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

Richard John Thompson (born 3 April 1949 in Notting Hillmarker, West Londonmarker) is a British songwriter, guitar player and recording and performing musician.

Thompson is especially well regarded as a guitar player.In 1991 he was awarded the Orville H. Gibson award for best acoustic guitar player.

Thompson's songwriting has been recognised by an Ivor Novello Award and, in 2006, a lifetime achievement award from BBC Radio. Artists who have recorded Thompson compositions include Del McCoury, R.E.M., Bonnie Raitt, Christy Moore, David Gilmour, Mary Black, Elvis Costello, The Corrs, Shawn Colvin, Norma Waterson, Maura O'Connell and The Blind Boys of Alabama.

Richard Thompson made his debut as a recording artist as a member of Fairport Convention in September 1967. He continues to write and record new material and performs live frequently throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia.

Biography and career

Early life and career (1949 to 1972)

Richard John Thompson was born in Ladbroke Crescent, Notting Hillmarker, West London, England. His father, a Scotmarker, was by profession a Scotland Yardmarker detective, and an amateur guitar player; several other family members had played music professionally. Whilst still attending William Ellis Schoolmarker in Highgatemarker, he formed his first band "Emil and the Detectives" (named after a book and a movie by the same name) with classmate Hugh Cornwell, later lead singer and guitarist of The Stranglers, on bass guitar.

Although, like so many musicians of his generation, Thompson was exposed to and embraced rock and roll music at an early age, he was also exposed to his father’s collection of jazz and traditional Scottish music. All these various styles were to colour Thompson’s playing in the years to come.
Joe Boyd: "He can imitate almost any style, and often does, but is instantly identifiable. In his playing you can hear the evocation of the Scottish piper's drone and the melody of the chanter as well as echoes of Barney Kessell's and James Burton's guitars and Jerry Lee Lewis's piano. But no blues clichés."

By the age of 18 Thompson was playing with the newly formed Fairport Convention. It was Thompson’s guitar playing that caught the ear of American producer Joe Boyd. Largely on the strength of Thompson’s playing Boyd took them under his wing and signed them to his Witchseason production and management company.

Boyd: "And there was this group of very nice Muswell Hill grammar school boys and a girl playing American music. Leonard Cohen songs, and Richard Farina songs, and Bob Dylan songs, all being done in a kind of West-Coasty rock style. And then came the guitar solo, and Richard just played the most amazing solo. He played a solo which quotes from Django, from Charlie Christian, you know, an incredibly sophisticated little solo. And that really amazed me, the breadth of his sophistication... and so, you know, at the end of the gig I was in the dressing room saying 'would you guys like to make a record?'"

Shortly thereafter Thompson, already acquiring a reputation as an outstanding guitar player, started writing songs seriously. This seems to have been out of necessity — Fairport Convention were essentially a cover band at first.

"I remember saying to Ashley [[[Ashley Hutchings|Hutchings]], bassist] after a gig, that I was kind of embarrassed about doing the material we were doing, because it seemed that we should have outgrown doing covers — even though it was only 1967 — it somehow wasn’t good enough and other bands were writing their own stuff and we should too. I remember being angry and saying to Ashley this isn’t good enough, we’ve got to get some original material... and stuff started to trickle through."
By the time of Fairport’s second album, recorded and released in early 1969, Thompson was starting to emerge as a songwriter of distinction. As Fairport’s lineup and their sound evolved, Thompson continued to grow in stature as a player and as a songwriter with compositions like "Meet On The Ledge", "Genesis Hall" and "Crazy Man Michael". In January 1971 Thompson announced that he was leaving Fairport Convention. His decision seems to have been instinctive, rather than a calculated career move.
"I left Fairport as a gut reaction and didn't really know what I was doing, except writing. I was writing stuff and it seemed interesting and I thought it would be fun to make a record. And at the same time — 70-71 — I was doing a lot of [[session musician|session]] work as a way of avoiding any serious ideas about a career."
In April 1972 he released his first solo album ''[[Henry the Human Fly]]''. The album sold poorly and was panned by the press, especially the influential [[Melody Maker]] magazine. With time ''Henry'' has come to be more highly regarded, but at the time the critics' response hurt both Thompson and his career. By this time Thompson had struck up a relationship with the singer [[Linda Thompson (singer)|Linda Peters]], who had sung on ''Henry the Human Fly''. In October 1972 the couple were married, and Thompson, with Linda now effectively his frontwoman, regrouped for his next album and the next phase of his career. ===Richard and Linda Thompson (1973 to 1982)=== The first Richard and [[Linda Thompson (singer)|Linda Thompson]] album, ''[[I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight]]'', was recorded in May 1973 in short time and on a small budget. Largely because of the petrol shortage in Britain and its impact on the availability of vinyl for records, ''Bright Lights'' was held back by Island Records for nearly a year before being released in April 1974. The album was well received by the critics, though sales were less than stellar. Thompson’s lyrics expressed a rather dismal world view, and it has been suggested that the bleak subject matter of his songs helped to keep his recordings off the hit parade. A more likely explanation was given by ex-[[Island Records|Island]] [[Artist and repertoire|A&R]] man Richard Williams in the BBC TV documentary ''Solitary Life'' — Thompson was just not interested in fame and its trappings.''Richard Thompson: Solitary Life''. BBC 4. Producer Paul Bernays. February 2003. The Thompsons recorded two more albums — ''[[Hokey Pokey (album)|Hokey Pokey]]'' and ''[[Pour Down Like Silver]]'', both released in 1975 — before Richard Thompson decided to leave the music business. The couple moved to a [[Abdalqadir as-Sufi|Sufi community]] in East Anglia. It was not apparent from their records at first, but the Thompsons had embraced an esoteric [[Sufi]] strand of [[Islam]] in early 1974. ''I Want To See the Bright Lights Tonight'' was recorded before this conversion, but released sometime afterwards. The songs for the second Richard and Linda album, ''Hokey Pokey'', were similarly written some time ahead of the album's recording and eventual release. It was ''Pour Down Like Silver'', with its cover photo of a turbaned Richard Thompson gazing out at the world, that tipped the public off to the Thompsons' growing preoccupation with their faith. The trilogy of albums released either side of his sojourn in the commune was heavily influenced by Thompson's beliefs and by [[Sufi]] scripture, but in the long run his religious beliefs (he remains a committed [[Muslim]] ) have not influenced his work in an obvious manner. The outlook expressed in his songs, his musical style, the subjects addressed by his lyrics have not shown any fundamental change.[ ''The Great Valerio - A Study of the Songs of Richard Thompson'']. Dave Smith. 2004. Thompson started to re-engage with the world of professional music in 1977. He guested on an album by [[Sandy Denny]], and had undertaken a short tour and started recording with a group of musicians who were also Sufis. Thompson asked [[Joe Boyd]] to produce these sessions, and two days were spent on the initial recordings. Boyd recalls that the sessions were not a success: "It was really, I felt, very poor. I didn't have much confidence in the musicians that he was working with. The atmosphere was very strange and it just didn't seem to work." At about this time the Thompsons and their family moved out of the commune and back to their old home in [[Hampstead]]. Boyd had already invited Richard Thompson to play on [[Julie Covington]]’s debut album. With spare studio time and the American [[session musician]]s hired to work on the Covington album available, the Thompsons went back into the studio to record under their own name for the first time in three years. The resulting album, ''[[First Light (album)|First Light]]'', was warmly received by the critics but did not sell particularly well. Neither did its follow up, 1979's harder-edged and more cynical ''[[Sunnyvista]]''. [[Chrysalis Records]] did not take up their option to renew the contract, and the Thompsons found themselves without a contract, but not without admirers. [[Gerry Rafferty]] had booked the Thompsons as the support act for his 1980 tour, and had also used Richard as a session player on his ''Night Owl'' album. Rafferty offered to finance the recording of a new Richard and Linda Thompson album which he would then use to secure a contract for the Thompsons. Richard Thompson fell out with Rafferty during this project and was not happy with the finished product. Nevertheless Rafferty kept his side of the bargain and presented the album to several record companies — none of which expressed interest in signing the Thompsons. Rafferty did not recover his investment. About a year later [[Joe Boyd]] signed the Thompsons to his small Hannibal label and a new album was recorded. ''[[Shoot Out the Lights]]'' included new recordings of many of the songs recorded in 1980. Linda Thompson was pregnant at the time of the recording, and so the album’s release was delayed until they could tour behind the album. Breathing problems arising from her pregnancy also meant that Linda was not able to sing the lead part on some of these songs as she had done on demo tapes and the Rafferty-produced recordings. As an interim measure, Richard Thompson decided to arrange for a low-key tour of the U.S. This tour was set up by Nancy Covey who had been in the UK in 1981 trying to sign Thompson to play at the famous McCabe’s guitar shop in [[Santa Monica]]. During this tour Thompson and Covey grew closer to each other, and in December 1981 Richard and Linda Thompson separated. On its release in 1982, ''Shoot Out the Lights'' was lauded by critics and sold quite well — especially in the U.S. [,9171,921277-1,00.html ''Songs of Sad Experience'']. Jay Cocks, [[Time (magazine)|''Time'' Magazine]], 30 Aug 1982. The Thompsons, now a couple for professional purposes only, toured the U.S. to support the album and then went their separate ways. Both the album and their live shows were well received by the American media, and ''Shoot Out the Lights'' effectively relaunched their career — just as their marriage was falling apart. The performances were very strong, but the tension between Richard and Linda was all too obvious on stage. On occasion she would hit him during the performance or trip him up as the band was walking onstage. [[Image:Richard Thompson - Cropredy 2005 2.jpg|thumb|left|Richard Thompson at [[Fairport's Cropredy Convention]] 2005]] ===Solo (1983 to present)=== After a stormy tour of the U.S., the Thompsons separated professionally. Richard Thompson continued recording as a solo artist. His 1983 album ''[[Hand Of Kindness]]'' saw him working with [[Joe Boyd|Boyd]] again, but with a revised backing band and a more extroverted and up-tempo song selection. With his separation from Linda finalised, Richard Thompson began to commute between twin bases in London and Los Angeles and began to tour regularly in the USA. Encouraged by the success of his solo shows in late 1981 and early 1982, he began to perform solo with increasing frequency as well as continuing to tour with a band. In 1983 and 1984 he toured the USA and Europe with the Richard Thompson Big Band, which included two [[saxophone]] players in addition to the more usual rhythm section, second guitar and [[accordion]]. Set lists included covers of classic rock 'n roll songs and jazz standards such as "[[Tuxedo Junction]]". In 1985 Thompson returned to the big league when he signed with [[PolyGram]] and received a sizable advance. He also married Nancy Covey and moved his home and his working base to [[California]]. 1985's ''[[Across A Crowded Room]]'' was his last album to be recorded in England and the last to have [[Joe Boyd|Boyd]] as [[Record producer|producer]]. After sales failed to match the critics’ praises Thompson was under some pressure to repay [[PolyGram]]’s investment with a hit album. In 1986 he released ''[[Daring Adventures]]'', which was recorded in Los Angeles and produced by [[Mitchell Froom]]. ''Daring Adventures'', with its rich sound, markedly different production and use of American [[session musician|session players]], was perceived by some as evidence of Thompson’s increasing "Americanisation". Perhaps more significantly the album continued the trend, begun with ''Across A Crowded Room,'' of Thompson’s songs moving away from the seemingly personal and towards the character sketches and narratives for which he has since become famous. Froom and PolyGram had plans to target college and the growing "alternative" markets with ''Daring Adventures''. Sales improved, but not by enough. PolyGram declined an option to renew the contract. Thompson’s management negotiated a new deal with [[Capitol Records]] and Thompson released a string of albums between 1988 and 1996 with Froom in the producer's chair. For a short while a late career commercial breakthrough, like that enjoyed by [[Bonnie Raitt]], seemed likely. The [[Grammy]]-nominated 1991 album ''[[Rumor And Sigh]]'' sold well and a single, "I Feel So Good", achieved some chart success. The song "[[1952 Vincent Black Lightning]]" from ''Rumor and Sigh'' remains the most requested song on [[National Public Radio]].[ Richard Thompson's Understated Message ] Unfortunately, a boardroom shake-up at Capitol saw Thompson fan and champion Hale Milgrim replaced by Garry Gersh; Thompson's next album ''[[Mirror Blue (album)|Mirror Blue]]'' was held back for almost a year before being released; and ''Rumor And Sigh'''s success was not capitalised on. ''Mirror Blue'' was released in 1994, and Thompson took a band on the road to promote the album. This band was the smallest that Thompson had put together so far. He was joined by [[Dave Mattacks]] on [[Drum kit|drums]], [[Danny Thompson]] (no relation) on [[double bass]], and [[Pete Zorn]] on acoustic guitar, backing vocals, [[mandolin]] and various [[wind instrument]]s. This lineup toured with Thompson the following two years, and all subsequent Richard Thompson Band lineups have been built around Zorn and Danny Thompson. [[Image:Richard Thompson - Cambridge 2006 1.jpg|thumb|right|Richard Thompson at the [[Cambridge Folk Festival]], 2006]] Thompson continued recording for [[Capitol Records|Capitol]] until 1999, when ''[[Mock Tudor (album)|Mock Tudor]]'' was recorded and released. In addition Thompson modified his deal with Capitol so that he could release and directly market [[Live Album|live]], limited-quantity, not-for-retail albums. The first of these was ''[[Live at Crawley]]'', released in 1995. These "authorised [[Bootleg recording|bootlegs]]" are well-regarded by Thompson fans. In 2001 it was Thompson who refused the option to renew a contract, and he parted ways with Capitol. Hereafter Thompson would fund the recording of his own albums and have them distributed and marketed by smaller independent labels. The move away from big labels and big budgets brought a bigger marketing push and healthier sales. Thompson's first two self-funded releases, 2003's ''[[The Old Kit Bag]]'' and 2005’s ''[[Front Parlour Ballads]]'', did well in the [[Indie (music)|indie]] charts on both sides of the Atlantic. In May 2007 Thompson released ''[[Sweet Warrior (album)|Sweet Warrior]]''. The album was licensed to different labels in different territories: Shout Factory! in the USA, P-Vine in Japan, Planet Records in Australia, and Proper Records in the UK and Europe). In August of the same year [[Island Records]] released a live Richard and Linda Thompson album compiled from recordings made during the November 1975 tour to promote the ''[[Pour Down Like Silver]]'' album. ===Side projects and collaborations=== Over the years Thompson has participated in many projects with other musicians. Often these projects allow him to participate in music and experiments that would not fit well on his own albums.{{Fact|date=February 2008}} In between leaving [[Fairport Convention]] in early 1971 and releasing his debut solo album in 1972 he undertook a large amount of [[session musician|session]] work, most notably on albums by [[John Martyn (singer)|John Martyn]], [[Al Stewart]], [[Matthews Southern Comfort]], [[Sandy Denny]] and [[Nick Drake]]. During the same period he also worked on two collaborative projects. ''[[Morris On]]'' was recorded with [[Ashley Hutchings]], [[John Kirkpatrick (musician)|John Kirkpatrick]], [[Dave Mattacks]] and Barry Dransfield, and was a collection of English traditional tunes arranged for electric instruments. ''The Bunch'' were almost the reverse conceptually – a grouping of English [[folk rock]] musicians (including [[Sandy Denny]], [[Linda Thompson (singer)|Linda Peters]] and members of [[Fairport Convention]]) recording a selection of classic [[rock and roll]] tunes. Thompson has continued to guest on albums by an array of artists, from [[Crowded House]], [[Bonnie Raitt]] and [[Vivian Stanshall]], to [[Norma Waterson]] and [[Beausoleil]] and folk artists like [[Loudon Wainwright III]], [[Cathal McConnell]] and [[Bob Davenport]]. He has also performed and recorded with [[Teddy Thompson]], his son from his marriage to [[Linda Thompson (singer)|Linda Thompson]]. [[Image:Richard Thompson and Dave Pegg.jpg|thumb|left|Richard Thompson with Fairport Convention's [[Dave Pegg]] at Cropredy, 2005.]] Since the early 1980s Thompson has appeared at [[Fairport Convention]]'s annual [[Cropredy Festival]], both in his own right and as a participant in sets with current and previous Fairport members. (He once joked that Fairport Convention are a bit like the ''[[Hotel California]]'': "you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."{{Citequote|date=April 2009}}) These sets are seldom confined to performances of songs out of the Thompson or Fairport Convention canons, and in recent years some surprise offerings have included the soul classic "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" (with Thompson backed by the [[Roy Wood]] Big Band), [[The Beatles]]' "I'm Down" and even "The Lady Is a Tramp". Thompson has displayed a penchant for the [[avant garde]] as well, working with former [[Pere Ubu (band)|Pere Ubu]] singer [[David Thomas (musician)|David Thomas]]'s grouping The Pedestrians on two albums in 1981 and 1982, respectively. In the 1980s, he was associated with a loose-fitting group called [[The Golden Palominos]], who were led by drummer [[Anton Fier]] and included at times on stage and on record [[Jack Bruce]], [[Michael Stipe]], [[Carla Bley]], [[John Lydon]], [[Bill Laswell]] and others. He has worked with experimental [[guitarist]] [[Henry Kaiser (musician)|Henry Kaiser]], most notably as part of the ad hoc grouping [[French Frith Kaiser Thompson]] with whom he recorded two albums. In 1997 he worked with long-time friend and band member [[Danny Thompson]] to record a [[concept album]] ''Industry'' that dealt with the decline of British industry. A year later he worked with [[Early Music|early music]] expert [[Philip Pickett]] on the acclaimed ''Bones of All Men'' which fused [[renaissance]] tunes with contemporary music. In recent years Thompson has devised and toured his show ''[[1000 Years of Popular Music]]''. The inspiration for this came when ''[[Playboy]]'' magazine asked Thompson (and many other music industry figures) in 1999 for their suggestions for the "top ten songs of the millennium". Guessing that Playboy expected most people's lists to start at around 1950, Thompson took them at their word and presented a list of songs from the 11th century to the present day. Perhaps not surprisingly, Playboy didn't use his list, but the exercise gave him the idea for a show which takes a chronological trip through popular music across the ages. Thompson acknowledges that this is an ambitious undertaking, partly because he reckons that he is technically unqualified to sing 98% of the material,[ ''Liner notes to 1000 Years Of Popular Music CD''] Accessed 2008-03-20 and partly because of the spare musical setting he restricts himself to: besides his acoustic guitar, he's backed by singer/pianist [[Judith Owen]] and a percussionist. A typical performance would start with a medieval round, progress via a [[Henry Purcell|Purcell]] aria, Victorian music-hall and [[Hoagy Carmichael]] and climax with Thompson's unique take on the [[Britney Spears]] hit "[[Oops!... I Did It Again (song)|Oops!... I Did It Again]]".[ BeesWeb - Catch of the Day] In 2004 Thompson was asked to create the soundtrack music for the [[Werner Herzog]] documentary ''[[Grizzly Man]]''. The score, which was recorded over a two-day period in December, 2004, brought Thompson together with a group of improvisational musicians, mostly from the [[San Francisco Bay area]]; video footage from the sessions was edited into a mini-documentary, ''In the Edges,'' which was included with the DVD release of ''Grizzly Man.'' ===Retrospectives and tributes=== Thompson has been well-served by compilers of retrospective collections. These are partly aimed at curious new listeners who are interested in hearing more of him, but are also essential purchases for more committed fans, since they contain material which is unavailable elsewhere. 1976's ''[[(guitar, vocal)]]'' was a collection of unreleased material from the previous eight years of Thompson's appearances on the [[Island Records|Island]] label. The 3-CD set ''[[Watching the Dark]]'' is a generous combination of his better-known songs and previously unreleased live and studio tracks. ''[[Action Packed]]'' is a compilation of tracks from his Capitol releases, plus three hard-to-find songs. Finally, in 2006, the independent label Free Reed released ''[[RT - The Life and Music of Richard Thompson]]'', a 5-CD box set consisting almost entirely of previously unreleased performances of songs from throughout Thompson's long career. Thompson's songs have been extensively covered; for example, "Dimming Of The Day" has been performed by artists such as [[The Neville Brothers]], [[Bonnie Raitt]], [[Emmylou Harris]], [[David Gilmour]], [[The Blind Boys of Alabama]], and [[The Corrs]]. There have been several tribute compilations of other artists' interpretations of his work, including: [[Capitol Records|Capitol]]'s ''[[Beat the Retreat: Songs by Richard Thompson]]'' and [[Green Linnet]]'s ''[[The World Is a Wonderful Place: The Songs of Richard Thompson]]'', both released in 1994. ==Thompson's playing style== Thompson makes use of the "pick and fingers" technique (sometimes referred to as "[[hybrid picking]]") where he plays bass notes and rhythm with a pick between his first finger and thumb, and adds melody and punctuation by plucking the treble strings with his fingers. He also makes use of different [[guitar tunings]], such as (low to high) CGDGBE, DADGBE, DADGAD, and more. This enables him to adapt traditional songs, as on ''[[Strict Tempo! (album)|Strict Tempo!]]'' and ''[[1000 Years of Popular Music]]''. Thompson occasionally makes use of a thumb-pick, playing in [[fingerstyle]], the most notable example being on the motorcycle ballad "1952 Vincent Black Lightning." His playing is often said to be an influence on [[Bob Mould]] (who covered Thompson songs on the tribute album ''Beat the Retreat'' and his own ''[[Poison Years]]''). ==Thompson's guitars== ===Electric guitars=== Thompson is often associated with the [[Fender Musical Instruments Corporation|Fender]] [[Stratocaster]] guitar, having been seen using such a guitar in concert since his days with Fairport Convention. More generally he has long been a user of guitars with [[single coil]] pickups, preferring the sound of such guitars to those equipped with [[humbucker]] pickups. When Fairport Convention signed their first recording contract in 1967, Thompson was playing a [[Gibson ES-175]].[ Gear and Tuninqs Q&A]. Accessed 2007-04-26. He soon changed this guitar for another Gibson, a gold top [[Les Paul]] with [[P-90]] pickups - a move to the thinner, more biting single-coil sound. This guitar later passed into the ownership of [[John Martyn (singer)|John Martyn]], from whom it was subsequently stolen. By the time of his exit from Fairport Thompson was playing a late 1960s Stratocaster. This was soon changed for an earlier 1950s model. He was closely associated with this guitar for many years. This particular Stratocaster is not currently serviceable. [ Richard Thompson gear and tunings FAQ]. Accessed 2007-04-26 Thompson still uses a Stratocaster, an early 1960s example,{{cite web | url = | title = MORE Questions and Answers | accessdate = 2007-04-21 | work = Richard Thompson official website | date = 13 October 2006}} in concert and in the studio, but is most often seen with a light-blue solid-body guitar custom built by [[luthier]] [[Danny Ferrington (luthier)|Danny Ferrington]]. This has a Gibson P-90 pickup in the neck position, a [[Stratocaster]] Alnico pickup in the middle position, and a [[Fender Broadcaster]] pickup in the bridge position. This guitar has three volume controls (one for each pickup), no tone controls and strat-style 5-way pickup selector switch. Other electric guitars that Thompson is known to own or have made significant use of are: * A blonde solid body guitar custom-built by Danny Ferrington. This guitar originally had two pickups. A third pickup was added later. Photos of Thompson with this guitar in its two pickup guise appeared in the booklet accompanying the 1993 ''Watching The Dark'' compilation. The guitar, with the extra pickup, was used during the 1999 ''Mock Tudor'' tour and can be seen in the closing scenes of the 2003 BBC documentary. * A powder blue [[Danelectro]] U2. Sometimes seen in publicity photos and used during the recording of the ''[[Mock Tudor (album)|Mock Tudor]]'' and ''[[The Old Kit Bag]]'' albums.[ Beesweb interview]. Accessed 2007-04-26 * Fender [[Telecaster]]. Some early photos of Richard and Linda Thompson show a Telecaster in use. There are photos of Thompson playing a Telecaster at the [[Cropredy Festival]] in the mid-80s. * A Kellycaster Blackguard. This is A Telecaster copy made by Kelly Guitars, with a third pickup added by Thompson's [[Guitar technician]] Bobby Eichorn. This guitar has been used in concert since 2003 and was used for the photo for the front cover of the ''Front Parlour Ballads'' album. * An [[Eastman Guitars|Eastman]] Uptown AR805-CE. This is a semi-acoustic, [[Arch top guitar|arch-top]] guitar with a single pickup. This guitar was used for some photos for the ''Front Parlour Ballads'' album. His electric set-up usually consists of a Barber LTD overdrive pedal, a Fulltone Deja-Vibe and a Line 6 delay, passed into either a Fender Twin Reverb, a blonde Fender Vibrolux or a Divided By 13 FTR 37. Thompson has made intermittent use of [[Roland Corporation|Roland]]'s GK-1 pickup and GL-2 synthesizer over the years. He made use of these devices on 1979's ''Sunnyvista'' album and has occasionally used them in concert. ===Acoustic guitars=== During the time he worked with then-wife Linda, and for some years thereafter, Thompson used a [[Martin Guitars|Martin]] 000-18. Thompson still owns this guitar, but says that it is not serviceable and needs repair. Since the early 1990s Thompson has made extensive use of [[George Lowden|Lowden]] acoustic guitars for both live and studio work. For live work these guitars are fitted with Sunrise pickups and internal condensor microphones. The signal from the pickup is fed through a pre-amplifier and some effects pedals (typically a [[Delay (audio effect)#Digital delay|delay pedal]] and a [[UniVibe]]) before being passed into the mixing desk. . For many years his main stage guitar was an F-series Lowden with spruce top and rosewood back and sides. Thompson, in an interview with Fretboard Journal, said that though this particular guitar doesn't sound full when played acoustically, when it's amplified it provides a wonderful sound. In 2008 for his solo shows he changed to another Lowden for on-stage use - an F-series with Cedar top and Walnut back and sides. Lowden released a Richard Thompson signature model in 2007[ Lowden catalog page for the Richard Thompson Signature model]. Accessed 2008-08-19. . This guitar has a cedar top and ziricote back and sides. Richard Thompson has said that this new Lowden is a wonderful instrument, acoustically or amplified. In 2006 Thompson auctioned a [[Rick Turner]] RS6 acoustic guitar. He had occasionally used this guitar in concert. The proceeds from this sale were donated to charity. Thompson also owns a few unusual acoustic guitars made by Danny Ferrington. An example of these guitars can be seen on the cover of the ''Small Town Romance'' and ''Hand Of Kindness'' albums. In the 2003 BBC documentary he can be seen playing an acoustic Ferrington [[baritone guitar]] in his office whilst working on a new composition. In November 2007 Thompson auctioned a Ferrington acoustic to raise funds for charity. This guitar had a serial number 13, was acquired 2nd hand by Thompson and had been used during the recording of his 1988 album [[Amnesia (album)|''Amnesia'']]. === See also=== The [ "gear and tunings"] [[FAQ]] on Thompson's web site. == Discography == {{details|Richard Thompson discography}} === With [[Fairport Convention]]=== *''[[Fairport Convention (album)|Fairport Convention]]'' (1968) * ''[[What We Did on Our Holidays]] (titled 'Fairport Convention' in original USA LP release)'' (1969) * ''[[Unhalfbricking]]'' (1969) * ''[[Liege & Lief]]'' (1969) * ''[[Full House (Fairport Convention album)|Full House]]'' (1970) * ''[[Live at the L.A. Troubadour]]'' (recorded 1970, released 1977) * ''[[House Full]]'' (CD re-issue of ''Live at the L.A. Troubadour''. Released by [[Hannibal Records]] in 1986. Track list differs considerably from original. * ''[[Heyday: BBC Radio Sessions (BBC 1968-69)]]'' (1987) * ''[[The History of Fairport Convention]]'' * ''[[Live at the BBC (Fairport Convention album)|Live at the BBC]]'' (2007) === Solo or with Linda Thompson === * ''[[Henry the Human Fly]]'' (1972) * ''[[I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight]]'' (1974) * * ''[[Hokey Pokey (album)|Hokey Pokey]]'' (1975) * * ''[[Pour Down Like Silver]]'' (1975) * * ''[[(guitar, vocal)]]'' (1976) * ''[[Live! (more or less)]]'' (1976) * ''[[First Light (album)|First Light]]'' (1978) * * ''[[Sunnyvista]]'' (1979) * * ''[[Strict Tempo! (album)|Strict Tempo!]]'' (1981) * ''[[Shoot Out the Lights]]'' (1982) * * ''[[Hand of Kindness]]'' (1983) * ''[[Small Town Romance]]'' (1984) * ''[[Across a Crowded Room]]'' (1985) * ''[[Daring Adventures]]'' (1986) * ''[[Amnesia (album)|Amnesia]]'' (1988) * ''[[Rumor and Sigh]]'' (1991) * ''[[Watching the Dark]]'' (1993) | 3-CD retrospective * ''[[Mirror Blue]]'' (1994) * ''[[you? me? us?]]'' (1996) * ''[[Mock Tudor (album)|Mock Tudor]]'' (1999) * ''[[The Best of Richard & Linda Thompson: The Island Record Years]]'' (2000) * * ''[[Action Packed]]'' (2001) * ''[[The Old Kit Bag]]'' (2003) * ''[[Live from Austin, TX (Richard Thompson album)|Live from Austin, TX]]'' (2005) * ''[[Front Parlour Ballads]]'' (2005) * ''[[RT - The Life and Music of Richard Thompson]]'' (2006) | 5-CD retrospective [[Box Set|box set]] * ''[[Sweet Warrior (album)|Sweet Warrior]]'' (2007) * ''Richard & Linda Thompson ...In Concert, November 1975'' (released 2007) * = Credited to Richard and Linda Thompson

Richard Thompson & Danny Thompson

The GPs

French Frith Kaiser Thompson

Philip Pickett and Richard Thompson

The Golden Palominos

The Bunch



Fan club and boutique label releases

(these are not available in retail outlets but can be purchased via Thompson's web site or at concerts)

DVDs and videos

  • Across A Crowded Room (video - 1985)
  • Live in Providence (DVD - 2004)
  • Live From Austin, TX (DVD - 2005)
  • 1,000 Years of Popular Music (DVD+2CD - 2006)


  1. Richard Thompson biography on official web site. Accessed 2008-03-02
  2. BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2006 - Winners. Accessed 2008-03-02
  3. Official web site list of artist's songs covered by other artists - page 1 Accessed 2008-03-02
  4. Official web site list of artist's songs covered by other artists - page 2 Accessed 2008-03-02
  5. Humphries, Patrick, Richard Thompson - The Biography, Schirmer, 1997. ISBN 0-02-864752-1
  6. Boyd, Joe, White Bicycles - making music in the 1960s, Serpent's Tail, 2005. ISBN 1-85242-910-0
  7. Richard Thompson: Solitary Life. BBC 4. Producer Paul Bernays. February 2003.

External links

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address