Did you catch RT on Later with Jools Holland last night? If you missed it, UK fans can watch his performance of “Beatnik Walking” from his new album “Still” right here:
RT performing with The Rails (daughter Kami Thompson and her husband James Walbourne) last night in Cardiff at St David's Hal. There are still a few UK dates to catch The Rails with RT. More info here: www.richardthompson-music.com
RT Official Store (World): smarturl.it/STILL_RTStore
iTunes (World): smarturl.it/STILL_iTunes
Amazon (World): smarturl.it/STILL_Amazon
Concord Records (US + CAN): smarturl.it/STILL_Concord
Proper Records (UK & Rest of World):smarturl.it/STILL_Proper
RT has been overwhelmed by the support in his recent announcement of the new Jeff Tweedy produced album, Still. Below are some highlights from the week:
American Songwriter (Album Announcement) - HERE
Aquarium Drunkard ("Beatnik Walking" Premier) - HERE
Brooklyn Vegan (Album Announcement) - HERE
Diffuser.fm (Album Announcement) - HERE
Exclaim! (Album Announcement) - HERE
Paste Magazine (Album Announcement) - HERE
Pitchfork (Album Announcement) - HERE
Something Else Reviews ("Beatnik Walking" Review) - HERE
Stereogum ("Beatnik Walking" Post) - HERE
Renowned guitarist and songwriter Richard Thompson is set to release Still, an album of new music, produced by Jeff Tweedy on June 23 via Concord Records in the US and June 29 via Proper Records internationally. Still will be available in several configurations including a twelve-track CD, a twelve-track double 180-gram vinyl album and a deluxe CD package that includes the five song Variations EP, from a previously unreleased session. You can pre-order the album right here:
"Richard's been one of my favorite guitar players for a very long time,” stated Tweedy. “When I think about it, he's also one of my favorite songwriters and favorite singers. He's the Ultimate Triple Threat. Getting to work closely with him on this record was a truly rewarding experience, not to mention a great thrill. And he keeps alive my streak of working exclusively with artists who make me look good as a producer."
Still was recorded in a two-story rehearsal loft in Chicago over the course of just nine days with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy at the helm, backed by several longtime players from both Thompson’s and Tweedy’s bands. ""Richard's been one of my favorite guitar players for a very long time,” stated Tweedy. “When I think about it, he's also one of my favorite songwriters and favorite singers. He's the Ultimate Triple Threat. Getting to work closely with him on this record was a truly rewarding experience, not to mention a great thrill. And he keeps alive my streak of working exclusively with artists who make me look good as a producer.". Thompson enlisted Tweedy’s production skills in an effort to shake up his own creative approach to making records. “It turned out be really good idea,” says Thompson. “Jeff is musically very sympathetic. Although some of his contributions are probably rather subtle to the listener’s ear, they were really interesting and his suggestions were always very pertinent.”
Taken as a whole, Still is a powerful dispatch from an acknowledged master who remains unafraid to put himself into demanding new environments – its title reflecting that resilience and seemingly endless resourcefulness. “Or,” Thompson adds slyly, “it could be read as ‘Is he still performing? I thought he died years ago.”
Another large mailbag. If I didn’t get to your question, it’s most likely because I’ve answered something similar in recent months, and some of those questions weren’t really questions! Thanks for all the kind thoughts and provocative inquiries.
Tabitha MacGowan: Is there a historical context to 'Devonside'?
- It’s just fantasy. The river Devon is in Clackmannanshire, and is mentioned a couple of times by Robert Burns:
"How pleasant the banks of the clear winding Devon,
With green-spreading bushes, and flowers blooming fair!"
Bill Stafford: As much as you are pigeonholed for your gloom & doom, you frequently throw funny songs into your live set. Might we ever get a full album of these type of songs? I realize some are too topical to want to immortalize forever, but things like "My Daddy Is A Mummy" has a definite timelessness about it and wouldn't sound dated after a few years.
- At some point, a collection of ‘funnies’ could appear. It has occured to me that there are enough over the years to fill a CD.
Tim Gause: I was listening to "From Galway to Graceland" off the latest CD the other day. It got me to thinking about how Elvis' fans sometimes threw their unmentionables on the stage for Elvis. In your long and storied career in the music game Richard, how have you dealt with the random bra or unmentionable thrown your way?
- In my long and storied career, I’ve never spotted a single piece of underwear, male or female, arcing through the air towards the stage. Folk Rock is, of course. every bit as sexy as anything Elvis came up with, and the fans are routinely driven to sexual frenzy, so I must conclude that my audience just don’t wear any. If they were to start doing a ‘Tom Jones’ now, it would be more on the lines of support hose and incontinence wear.
Andy Weller: When are you coming to the UK?
- We have a major solo/band tour from August 28 till September 20th, supporting our new record. See the Tour page of the website for details.
John Louis Lefsky: ”Henry The Human Fly" and "Hokey Pokey" have recently gone out of print and are now going for big bucks online. Any chance of a reissues on CD and LP?
- They will be back - I can’t say exactly when. These records are owned by Island, so beyond my control.
Mike Mooney: Who won the F.A. Cup in 1927?
- See below…
"David Baird: I like Mike Mooney's question. My father was there in 1927 to watch Cardiff take the cup from Arsenal! He told me the day before he died! He remembered it clearly. .. no question!"
Sarah-Jane Rich: when you next doing Crops??
- 2017 will be a big one, so I hope to be there for that, God willing. And maybe next year?
Mike Ile: What has surprised you the most about Frets & Refrains?
It was instantly idyllic. On about day 2 of the first camp, we said, “What a great location. What great attendees. What great staff.” We didn’t feel we had to change very much about it. I feel it’s only gotten better. The other surprise for me is how much I enjoy teaching.
Peter G Upton: When you toured with Linda shortly after leaving Fairport you played a pedal bass I think (saw you at City University). it seemed a long way from current wah wah pedals etc; what was it like to play?
- It was a set of organ pedals, just a couple of octaves, and nothing as good as you might find on a Hammond. I found I could play guitar and do something with my feet at the same time. The impact on the audience was probably minimal, as they were rarely miked up.
Bobby Pennock: A couple of items -
1. My son Isaac and I offer an overdue thank you for the time we were able to spend with you (and Simon) after your show at The Ark in Ann Arbor. Thank you. And to think, you, Simon, and Isaac spent the time talking about running track.
2. Years ago, I owned a book about guitars (well, I've owned several over the years) and I swear there was a picture of you in the book holding a Rickenbacker 12 string that had belonged to Roger McGuinn. Am I making this up? Did you ever own or hold one of his guitars? And, if so, was a photo of this ever published? I can no longer find the book I remember this picture being in. Perhaps it was a dream.
Anyway, thank you for your time and for the music you've brought to us. It's helped build a connection between my 17 year old son and me. He's an RT fanatic!
- I did own a Rickenbacker 12, allegedly ex-Byrds. The story was that the neck broke on a UK tour, so they left it behind. I lost it in a divorce.
Robert Krause: Milwaukee Irishfest 2015?
Kevin Bruce Aldridge Bartlett: At one time didn't you have a lesson/teaching series for the mandolin?
- I did a course for electric mandolin with Niles Hokkanen. Might still be available…
Sheky Tom Davis: Why don't you play more electric gigs?
- In years when we have a band CD released, we play a lot more band shows - like this year! We have just toured Japan, Australia and New Zealand with the Trio, and have major US tours in June and October/November, and a European tour in September/October. Other years I do more solo work.
Cid Gardner: Do you like Pizza? If yes, thick or thin crust?
- Thin crust, and it has to be genius good to get me interested. That little place by the lake in Umbria…
Jez Denton: What's your favourite cricketing fielding position?
- As a member of the Sharps, Jez, you should know that I favour square leg and point - not so close to the bat that it hurts, and not too deep to expose my total lack of arm.
John Saltarelli: Many artists have recently made full classic concerts available for download (Springsteen for example)..is there any chance that you may make archival concerts available for download?
- We have a bunch of live CDs available - don’t know how ‘classic’ they are - Dark Side Of Dunoon, Tammy, Corporal Salt’s Lovely Hertz Club, etc.
Mark Burge: Favorite cover version of one of your songs? One answer only, please.
- Great Valerio by Swan Arcade.
Francois Roux: When are you coming to South Africa?
- Soon, I hope.
Mark Burge: The album Small Town Romance was unavailable for a long time, reportedly because you didn't like it. Why?
- With reissues we own, we print up a certain number, and when they run out, there’s usually a gap till they get reprinted. It’s more about that than about me not liking a record. I don’t like most of my records.
Mike Moroney: Please come to Ireland it's been too long.
- Should be back at Vicar Street, Dublin, on September 1st.
Elaine Shute: Loved your Electric Trio cover of 'White Room' on Youtube. A whole album of classic rock covers...maybe? And please include Maine on your current tour.
- We’ve talked about this - maybe. And check the Tours page of the website, we should be in Maine in May.
David Jackson: How did The Dawes manage to persuade you to guest with them, but also to guest with them on Calvary Cross. They must know some REALLY bad things about you.
- They are a great band, and I love them because they know their musical history, and they know their roots.
Lisa Lazarus Brown: When will you be back in Florida? My husband and I have never gone a calendar year without seeing you once or twice! We started our concert tours the night after we got married in Newburyport, MA in 2008! We don't know what will happen of we go an year without seeing you! We made out wedding date around your concert!
- No plans for Florida right now, sorry.
Jason Linden: I seem to recall hearing that a 4th songbook volume was in the works. Am I correct, and, if so, when might we expect it?
- I think there’s enough new material for a fourth songbook. I just need to sit down and do it.
Jim Forst: Will you ever do a studio version of "From Galway to Graceland"?
- Haven’t I done one? Then sooner or later.
Kenneth Baird: can you still wear the tights you did on henry the human fly?
- I can still squeeze into them - just for you, Kenneth.
Chris Davies: Have you got an old Lowden that you don't want?
- "Unwanted old Lowdens" - least common sentence in the English language.
Kenneth Sinnock: When will you be playing the half moon putney London
- I did it last year as part of Danny Thompson’s 75th celebrations. The old place has changed a bit, smartened up. We’ve had some classic shows there over the years. Nothing planned for the future though.
Jerry Kern: When will you be playing in Philadelphia, and more importantly, which song can I play with you on bass????
- We are projected to be playing Philly in June, and you’re welcome to come up and jam on our rock arrangement of Webern’s 6 Pieces For Orchestra.
Eric Fullilove: Why don't you play any of my songsI I cover some of yours! PS I can never find any legal guitar tab books for your material either!
- I play yours all the time! There is some TAB of mine in the songbooks.
Thanks everyone. Part 2 coming soon...
See the hyperlink below to apply!
Zoe Klimley was a lovely, vibrant seventeen-year-old who attended Richard Thompson’s “Frets & Refrains” Guitar and Songwriting camp in 2013, making an impression on everyone there through her vivacity, enthusiasm, bravery, and warmth. When she died suddenly in the first days of 2014, we who knew her from that week -- from her fellow campers to Richard Thompson, his wife Nancy, and the rest of the counselors – agreed to establish a scholarship fund in her honor.
We are very pleased to be able to again offer a small number of scholarships of up to $1250 for young people, aged 16* to 25, to attend Frets & Refrains in 2015. [*Please note that applicants under 18 will need to submit a Parental Consent Form in order to attend.] Each scholarship is meant to defray the cost of one Tent Camping package, but it may be applied toward the somewhat higher cost of a shared room, depending on availability. [Please see the Frets & Refrains website for full pricing details.] Note: If you do not already have a roommate in mind, Full Moon can help with this.
We are primarily looking for enthusiastic, young first-timers with a passion for music who are eager to participate and learn but could not afford to do so without help from the Zoe Scholarship fund. We will accept applications from returning younger campers, with the understanding that we will give priority to young newcomers who would not be able to attend camp (or would find it very difficult to do so) in the absence of a scholarship.
Please see the below note from Richard! All the information you need on the camp is located at www.fretsandrefrains.com
It’s a thrill to be telling you about our fourth year of Frets & Refrains Acoustic Guitar and Songwriting camp! This is a high point of my year, and I know many returnees also enjoy the idyllic setting, wonderful camaraderie, gourmet food, and immersive music experience. Not only do we have the best teachers, but the attendees learn so much from each other – I do not know of a better camp out there.
We are delighted to welcome back to Frets & Refrains Teddy Thompson, who will be teaching songwriting with a fresh new approach. We also welcome to our staff this year the wonderful Jill Sobule as our other songwriting teacher. Jill is an accomplished, successful writer and wonderful communicator. Another very exciting new addition to the faculty for 2015 is Henry Kaiser, who will be teaching creative and individualistic approaches to the guitar as well as improvisation. Returning to camp will be Martin Simpson, Sloan Wainwright, Happy Traum, Simon Tassano, Bobby Eichorn, Jack Thompson, Zak Hobbs, Annaliese Moyer Tassano and camp Mom, Nancy Covey.
For full information on class content, please see the Itinerary/Course descriptions page.
I do hope we’ll see you at the Full Moon Resort this summer,
RT answers fan questions in the November Q+A...
John Schmitt - How did you get introduced to the Dylan songs you did early on? Seems like some of them were pre-Basement Tapes.
I did Jack Of Diamonds in my school band, around 1965. Our drummer, Nick Jones, was the son of Melody Maker jazz critic Max Jones, and Nick used to get some of the review 45s that got sent in to the paper. Dylan co-wrote the song with Ben Carruthers, an actor/singer who starred in the BBC TV play the song was used in. It got a new life with Fairport.
Ashley was always looking for the musical road less travelled. I’ll Keep It With Mine was a Judy Collins B side. Percy’s Song was in a Joan Baez song book – she sings a verse of it in Don’t Look Back. We went to Dylan’s UK publisher, and asked if they had any unrecorded songs kicking around, and that was the Basement Tapes.Read More
It’s not too late! Please support my nephew, Scott Free, by making a donation of any amount to his 100 mile bicycle ride this Sunday in aid of Cystic Fibrosis research! Your donation, large or small, can help victims like Scott’s lovely daughter (our grandniece) Addie live a longer life…..
To donate directly to Scott’s “Ridefast for Addie” just click HERE.Read More
RT answers fan questions in the August Q+A!
JM: Can you tell us a bit about your soon-to-be-released album, Acoustic Classics?
RT: This was conceived to be something to sell at acoustic shows. I don’t really have anything on the merchandise table that is representative of a solo show, so I went in the studio and revisited some of the more popular songs I play live.
JM: Were there any songs that you particularly wanted to revisit, perhaps because the original recording didn’t feel right to you, or because the meaning of the song has changed substantially for you over the years?
RT: In most cases, these are acoustic versions of songs that were originally recorded electric, and there have never been acoustic studio versions, just some live recordings, where I wasn’t always satisfied with the sound or the performance. Also, some of these songs are 45 years old. I sing them and feel about them differently, and it’s nice to capture the evolution.
- Jeff Moehlis, Santa Barbara Noozhawk Contributing Writer
RT answers fan questions in the May Q+A...Read More