Richard Thompson is one of the undisputed kings of folk music and after bringing his unique and soulful act to the music scene for more than 45 years, it’s a title that he has earned. With dozens of albums in all different forms and hundreds of tours under his belt it’s little wonder that his albums are still in such a high demand throughout the world.
Thompson’s latest release is Acoustic Classics II, a wonderful and whimsical collection that comprises another 14 of his best-known songs from throughout the years both as a solo artist and from his various bands and musical projects. It’s a veritable treat to listen to from the moment it begins as we are treated to some of our favourite tracks in a beautifully minimal and stripped back format. Stripped back to its roots, Thompson’s music retains its grounded nature and brings luxurious and deeply dextrous melodies to life in striking, powerful sounds. As his music rumbles to life it is as though the world is exhaling around you and you can’t help but feel a powerfully natural force within his music that rocks you to the core.
Sitting atop his stunning music is his impassioned trademark vocals that echo out above his softened melodies. As raw and powerful as a bolt of lightning but as honest and warming as a summer rain, Thompson’s voice is a force to be reckoned with. When that same voice bursts out atop such a stripped environment there is something absolutely mesmerising in it. The earnest and passionate twinge that lives within his gravelled voice is transfixing and emphatically conveys so many of his messages to the world. Never one to shy from a sensitive subject, Thompson has a range of songs that deal with everything from war to love and these powerful messages are only enhanced in his new acoustic environment. Reality strikes you as you listen carefully to his words and these open, seemingly naked songs leave you tapping your feet but deep in thought.
Acoustic Classics II is exactly what it says on the tin; it’s a set of some of Thompson’s most iconic tunes that have been stripped right back to their core but retained all the power and beauty they had in their original form. It is an album that is as breath-taking as a sunset but as powerful as a storm.
RICHARD THOMPSON will also be on tour with support from Josienne Clarke + Ben Walker
Wed 11 October Brighton Dome
Thu 12 October Guildford G-Live
Fri 13 October Poole Lighthouse
Sat 14 October Bristol Colston Hall
Sun 15 October Cardiff Wales Millennium Centre
Tue 17 October Edinburgh Usher Hall
Wed 18 October Gateshead Sage
Thu 19 October Salford Lowry
Sat 21 October Saffron Walden Saffron Hall
Sun 22 October Coventry Warwick Arts Centre
Mon 23 October London Cadogan Hall *EXTRA DATE on sale Friday
Wed 25 October Sheffield City Hall
Thu 26 October Leicester de Montfort Hall
Fri 27 October Basingstoke Anvil
Sat 28 October Norwich Theatre Royal
Mon 30 October London Bridge Theatre SOLD OUT
Review by Joe Knipe