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The new Richard Thompson CD, Electric, came out Tuesday. I am just now listening to it.

First impressions:

• Thompson's guitar playing is better than it's ever been, which is saying something, because Thompson always is on those lists of "greatest guitarists of all time." I've been seeing live shows since 1972, and he is the best guitarist I've ever heard. Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits (and then a long solo career) clearly is influenced by Thompson, but he lacks Thompson's imagination.

• Thompson has characterized his new band as being in the power trio mold of Cream or the Jimi Experience, but he's quick to note it's a "less-powerful power trio." This is not to say the band isn't capable of cranking out Cream-style rockers, but there are a few folky songs on the disc. This is no surprise, considering that Thompson's career began in the 1960s with the band Fairport Convention—the band that, in Thompson's words, invented folk rock. But on the new album, the "folk" label refers to songs in which Thompson solos with impeccable taste on the acoustic guitar while he sings compelling stories, much as he has done before with "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" and "Beeswing," two perfect songs. Perfect. If "Beeswing" (as in the wing of a bee) doesn't break your heart, you don't have one.

• The album is a treat for R.T. fans like myself: 18 tracks on two CDs.

• Sherry liked this album on first listen. This happens about once every 50 albums.

• The timing of this release is perfect for the Valentine's Day version of The Circus of Sound, a show that I share on WSBU, 88.3 FM "The Buzz," with Paige Winston, the station's music director. Tune in at 12:05 p.m. Thursday at http://www.live365.com/stations/sbuny?site=pro

'Nuff said for now.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 10th, 2013 10:41 pm (UTC)
Thumbs up from Mrs. V, too? That is high praise!
Feb. 10th, 2013 11:08 pm (UTC)
Sherry's an RT fan for sure, but it's unusual for her to like any music on first listen. We saw him once with a band at the Tralf when I still was at the OTH. That was a contender for "best show ever." We also drove over to Ithaca last year to see him perform solo. I saw him one other time with a band at the Tralf, but I can't remember why Sherry wasn't with me. I hope he'll come around here for the Electric tour.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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