Richard Thompson visited Nashville last Wednesday evening. He played at the Belcourt Theater. Great show. Almost 2 hours of music. Richard is playing solo this tour. He stuck to the acoustic guitar for the entire show – last time he visited the Belcourt he played both acoustic and electric.
For those of you that know Richard, you know that he’s been around since the mid-60s. He was a founder of the great English group Fairport Convention when was was still in his mid-teens. In the years since he has had a prolific career as a singer-songwriter. He noted during the show that he has 17 albums. That’s lots of songs to choose from when crafting a playlist. On Wednesday he explored a few pretty dusty corners of the Richard Thompson song library. He spanned the years from the Fairport Convention years (2 songs) up to his most recent album (3 songs I think). He mixed in some of his best known work such as 1952 Vincent Black Lightning, Persuasion, Razor Dance, Valerie, Beeswing, and Uninhabited Man along with a few less well known songs.
Richard was really killing it on the guitar on Wednesday. Richard at any time is a fantastic guitar player. But it seemed to me that he was really on top of his game on Wednesday. Several of the songs that I have heard several times had new guitar solos that seemed longer and more intricate than past versions. It is so inspiring to hear a master like Richard when he is really cooking.
(the photo above is one I took of Richard at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 2008.)