Richard Thompson with Amanda Shires

Saturday • Dave Finkelman Auditorium (Miami University Middletown)

Oct 15, 2014 at 9:32 am
click to enlarge Richard Thompson
Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson has been playing guitar since our current president was in diapers. For the mathematically challenged, that’s more than five decades, a career in which the English-born Thompson has worked with everyone from his late-’60s group Fairport Convention to more wide-ranging contemporary artists like The Pointer Sisters, R.E.M. and The Futureheads.

In the ’70s and early ’80s he teamed with then-wife Linda to record some of the most distinctive Folk Rock albums of the era, the most notable of which, 1982’s Shoot Out the Lights, remains a landmark record of uncommon candor and odd beauty — one that also marked the end of its creators’ marriage. Thompson has been making solid-to-stellar solo records ever since, each anchored by his expressive yet admirably understated playing, left-of-center lyrics and deep singing voice.

Thompson’s latest, Acoustic Classics, is exactly as its title suggests, delivering 14 stripped-down versions of what he considers his best songs. (His current tour is an all-acoustic affair.)

“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,” Thompson relayed recently on his website. “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.”

And what an evolution it’s been.

RICHARD THOMPSON plays at the Dave Finkelman Auditorium at Miami University Middletown Saturday, Oct. 18. Find tickets/more info here.