By September 30, 2016 Read More →

GalloView – Richard Thompson


Prepare to Be Amazed
By David Boring

“THE FINEST ROCK SONGWRITER AFTER DYLAN AND THE BEST ELECTRIC GUITARIST SINCE HENDRIX.” -Los Angeles Times

These kind of accolades that British singer-songwriter Richard Thompson has amassed over the years are astounding. He was included in both Rolling Stone Magazine’s Top 100 Guitarists of All Time lists, once at #17. His solos are legendary and his lyrics are eloquent in their dark, poetic undertones and delivery.

And he’s coming to Modesto for the first time this October! He is on a double bill with The Blind Boys of Alabama at The Gallo Center for the Arts on Oct. 27.

Music can be life-changing; the way we connect to the music of some artists can speak to us on a deep, emotional level. For me, that artist is Richard Thompson. Almost 30 years have passed since I was first introduced to Richard Thompson’s musical virtuosity by two friends—in the same week. Thompson had been writing and performing music since the late 1960s, and it was nearly 20 years later that I first heard of him. It was love at first listen. Thanks to Mike Maxwell and Steve Kenworthy, two music shamans who made it a point to make me hear his groundbreaking talent.

Thompson’s rise was epic, first co-founding the folk/rock band Fairport Convention, now considered British folk-rock royalty. Since then, he has amassed a dazzling catalog of recorded music. And at 67 years old, he shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, he seems to be growing artistically and pushing his legendary guitar playing and lyrics to new heights.

Over the years, the accolades poured in: two albums on Rolling Stone’s Top 100 albums of all time, Britain’s BBC Awards Lifetime Achievement in Songwriting, and the Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award in Songwriting. A wide range of artists have covered his songs, including Robert Plant, REM, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Los Lobos, David Byrne and Don Henley.

His recently released CD, “Still,” was produced by Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy, and reached #6 on the UK charts (just ahead of Taylor Swift!).

So, why does Richard Thompson command such high praise from critics and peers alike? He writes better lyrics than almost any artist you will ever hear. He writes in every single color of the human emotional wheel, with eloquence and accessible stories. As a triple threat, his vocals, guitar playing and songwriting acumen are all part of his growing mystique and critical acclaim.

I’ve seen him headline and wow audiences countless times at various Northern California venues like The Strawberry Music Festival, The Warfield and The Fillmore in San Francisco, and The Crest in Sacramento. One of my favorite experiences is bringing friends who also love music to his shows to absorb first-hand why his legendary status is growing. And now one of my bucket list dreams has come true: to see him perform right here in beautiful downtown Modesto!

The Gallo Center for the Arts has become such a critical quality-of-life venue for us here in the Valley. They continually book top artists that we music lovers previously traveled far and wide to see. This is one I urge you not to miss. There are few artists that have such a voluminous body of work and whose mastery of their art form only grows by the year. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to witness why Richard Thompson has such a long list of admirers in the music industry and why his fans are among the most faithful to be found.

“Richard Thompson has been one of rock’s most dazzling stylists since his days with Fairport Convention, a British folk-rock band that veered into English traditional music,” says Rolling Stone Magazine.
“Shooting out life-affirming riffs amid lyrics that made you want to jump off a bridge, he combined a rock flatpick attack with speedy fingerpicking. His electric-guitar solos, rooted less in blues than in Celtic music, can be breathtaking, but his acoustic picking is just as killer; no one knows how many tears have been shed by players trying to nail ‘1952 Vincent Black Lightning.’”

On Oct. 27, prepare to be dazzled.

 

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