In the fall of 1966, Richard, dead-set against attending the newly opened ORU, headed for the University of Kansas instead. The son of a Scottish policeman, he was brought up as a Presbyterian “which I was not interested in. The move away from big labels and big budgets paradoxically brought a bigger marketing push and healthier sales. The outlook expressed in his songs, his musical style, the subjects addressed by his lyrics have not shown any fundamental change. “We thought that if we are in the charts and it’s taken seriously, it could change peoples’ attitudes to British music and you might have people stopping using American accents when singing. The atmosphere was very strange and it just didn't seem to work.". On 12 May 1969, between the recording and release of their next album Unhalfbricking, Fairport's van crashed on the M1 motorway on the way home from a gig at Mothers, a club in Birmingham. And very, very slowly I did well. This line-up toured with Thompson the following two years. Thompson's guitar playing caught the ear of American producer Joe Boyd. In 1983 and 1984 he toured the US and Europe with the Richard Thompson Big Band, which included two saxophone players in addition to the more usual rhythm section, second guitar and accordion. Prior to using a Stratocaster with Fairport Convention he used a Gibson Les Paul with P-90 pick-ups. I became a Muslim when I was 23 and have been one ever since.” He discovered Sufism, a mystical form of Islam, after visiting “a very old esoteric bookshop, Watkins in Covent Garden, and started reading about it”.  Nevertheless, Rafferty kept his side of the bargain and presented the album to several record companies â none of which expressed interest in signing the Thompsons.  and Acoustic Rarities, an album of new recordings of some of the more obscure songs in the Thompson catalogue, some previously existing only as cover versions. In his playing you can hear the evocation of the Scottish piper's drone and the melody of the chanter as well as echoes of Barney Kessel's and James Burton's guitars and Jerry Lee Lewis's piano. And then there will be Harry Shearer, the American actor and comedian, reviving his role as Derek Smalls from Spinal Tap, along with his wife Judith Owen who joined Richard in 2006 for the 1,000 Years of Popular Music project, in which they reworked anything from Sumer Is Icumen In to Britney Spears. “At aged 33, … He is much nicer and he’s happy – so that’s great”. Photograph: Rex. In 2014, Thompson released Acoustic Classics, an album featuring acoustic renditions of 14 songs from his back catalogue, on his Beeswing label. I didn't have much confidence in the musicians that he was working with. But no blues clichÃ©s. After the Fairports, Richard recorded a serious of glorious, mostly bleak albums with his first wife Linda Thompson, a powerful, evocative singer whose career has been marred by dysphonia, a larynx disorder that makes it increasingly difficult for her to sing. She’ll also be there, along with their musical children, singer-songwriter and producer Teddy Thompson and Kami Thompson, who works with her husband, the Pretenders guitarist James Walbourne, in the Rails.  Richard Thompson fell out with Rafferty during this project and was not happy with the finished product. He has made prominent use of Stratocasters, as he has a general preference for the sound of single coil pick-ups. However, a shake-up at Capitol saw Hale Milgrim (Thompson's champion and fan within the boardroom) replaced by Garry Gersh. Daring Adventures, with a rich sound, markedly different production and use of American session players, was perceived by some as evidence of Thompson's increasing "Americanisation". Thompson is a cricket enthusiast – he cheerfully recalls his appearance on Test Match Special five years ago, singing 1952 Vincent Black Lightning – and he insists he “never wanted to be culturally absorbed by America. , Thompson's eighteenth studio album, 13 Rivers was released on 14 September 2018. He has worked with experimental guitarist Henry Kaiser, most notably as part of the ad hoc grouping French Frith Kaiser Thompson with whom he recorded two albums. Largely on the strength of Thompson's playing, Boyd took them under his wing and signed them to his Witchseason production and management company. Find information on all of Richard Thompson’s upcoming concerts, tour dates and ticket information for 2020-2021. Thompson continued recording for Capitol until 1999, when Mock Tudor was recorded and released. Poetry overlaps a lot with songwriting, as does storytelling in any form, and I’d probably throw in cinema as an influence as well for that reason. 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