RICHARD THOMPSON – Acoustic Classics II (Beeswing BSW015P)

Acoustic Classics IIThe latest batch of new solo, stripped back acoustic recordings from the Thompson songbook brings together material previously only available in band format or not on his solo releases. Fairport devotees will be particularly enthused by a version of the song that launched it all, ‘Meet On The Ledge’, a number that has lost none of its power or mystique over the years. He also visits 1969’s Liege &  Lief for the traditional-styled ‘Crazy Man Michael’, while, originally played on dulcimer and released as the B-side of ‘Si Tu Dois Partir’ before resurfacing on Unhalfbricking, ‘Genesis Hall’ continues to feature regularly in his solo shows.

The Richard and Linda years are represented by an achingly plaintive ‘A Heart Needs A Home’ from Hokey Pokey and the catchy folk pop sensibilities of ‘Jet Plane In A Rocking Chair’ off Pour Down Like Silver. Moving on to his second solo album, 1983’s Hand of Kindness, there’s a particularly striking and to the musical point revisiting of ‘Devonside’. The follow-up, Across A Crowded Room provides this collection’s opening track, the barbed ‘She Twists The Knife Again’, here in a brittle bluesy arrangement sung with an almost venomous pent-up intensity.

Moving to 1988’s Amnesia, there’s a resonant, brooding reading of the socioeconomics-themed ‘Pharaoh’ while 1991’s Rumor And Sigh, has one from each side; the almost hymnal-like fingerpicked ‘Keep Your Distance’ (a song the Byrds would have done brilliantly) and, closing proceedings here, ‘Why Must I Plead?’ A double album came along in 1996 with You? Me? Us?, the material split between the electric Voltage Enhanced and the acoustic Nude. From that first disc, ‘The Ghost Of You Walks’ now gets the bare bones treatment, allowing the lyrics greater prominence.

His last for Capitol, Mock Tudor was a thematic album divided into three sections, Metroland, Heroes In The Suburbs and Street Cries And Stage Whispers and it’s from the first of the three that comes the intricately picked troubadour styled ballad ‘Bathsheba Smiles’. For his tenth solo album, 2002’s self-financed The Old Kit Bag, Thompson signed to Cooking Vinyl and the resurrection in sales it brought is appropriately represented by ‘Gethsemane’. The final track to be reworked from a solo album comes with a powerfully delivered ‘Guns Are The Tongues’ from the conflict-themed Sweet Warrior.

A third volume, Acoustic Rarities, is planned for later in the year, presumably around the October tour, featuring some songs only existing as cover versions, in the meantime, this is another welcome opportunity to remind yourself of arguably the finest musician British folk rock has produced.

Mike Davies

If you would like to order a copy of the one of the albums (in CD or Vinyl), download them or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the RICHARD THOMPSON – Acoustic Classics II link to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

ORDER – [CD]

Artist’s website: www.richardthompson-music.com

‘Meet On The Ledge’ – live and acoustic:

Richard Thompson to release Acoustic Classics II

Richard Thompson

Celebrated guitarist and songwriter Richard Thompson will release Acoustic Classics Vol. II on his own Beeswing record label, distributed via Proper, on August 11. Richard will play Cropredy Festival in August, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Fairport Convention and tour the UK in October.

On the heels of the success of Acoustic Classics in 2014, Acoustic Classics Vol. II will feature acoustic renderings of classic songs from the Richard Thompson catalogue, some previously recorded by other singers, some previously available only in a band format. A second album Acoustic Rarities will be released later in the year featuring new recordings of some of the more obscure songs in the Thompson catalogue, some previously existing only as cover versions.

If you would like to order a copy of the one of the albums (in CD or Vinyl), download them or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the Richard Thompson – Acoustic Classics II link to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

ORDER – [CD]

Track Listing

  1. She Twists The Knife Again – 2:49
  2. The Ghost Of You Walks – 4:41
  3. Genesis Hall – 3:30
  4. Jet Plane In A Rocking Chair – 2:29
  5. A Heart Needs A Home – 3:27
  6. Pharaoh – 4:26
  7. Gethsemane – 5:13
  8. Devonside – 3:06
  9. Meet On The Ledge – 3:06
  10. Keep Your Distance – 3:35
  11. Bathsheba Smiles – 3:33
  12. Crazy Man Michael – 4:24
  13. Guns Are The Tongues – 6:06
  14. Why Must I Plead? – 4:09

Special three-disc vinyl LP and double CD versions of both albums together will be released exclusively via Pledge Music:

http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/richardthompson

‘Gethsemane’ – live on TV:

A hugely popular live performer, Thompson will tour the UK in October 2017, including the very first concert at the newly-established London Bridge Theatre, which is now sold out and a second London show at Cadogan Hall. Dates are as follows:

RICHARD THOMPSON Plus support Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker

Wednesday 11 October Brighton Dome
Thursday 12 October Guildford G-Live
Friday 13 October Poole Lighthouse
Saturday 14 October Bristol Colston Hall
Sunday 15 October Cardiff Wales Millennium Centre
Tuesday 17 October Edinburgh Usher Hall
Wednesday 18 October Gateshead Sage
Thursday 19 October Salford Lowry
Saturday 21 October Saffron Walden Saffron Hall
Sunday 22 October Coventry Warwick Arts Centre
Monday 23 October London Cadogan Hall  *EXTRA DATE on sale Friday
Wednesday 25 October Sheffield City Hall
Thursday 26 October Leicester de Mondaytfort Hall
Friday 27 October Basingstoke Anvil
Saturday 28 October Norwich Theatre Royal
Monday 30 October London Bridge Theatre  SOLD OUT

Bookings: www.serious.org.uk/Thompson