Richard Thompson

Much loved and enduringly consistent, singer and guitarist Richard Thompson is a performer who has maintained high standards of acclaim and influence across five decades, with songs covered by a wide variety of artists including Elvis Costello, Christy Moore, The Blind Boys of Alabama, The Corrs and Bellowhead. The son of a Scottish detective who played guitar in his spare time, Thompson formed his first band at school, Emil & The Detectives, with classmate Hugh Cornwell (later of The Stranglers). A prodigiously talented electric guitarist, he was performing with Fairport Convention by the time he was 18, playing a key role in their genesis as British folk rock pioneers, notably on the classic album 'Liege & Lief'. His desire to concentrate on his own songs led to his departure from the band, releasing his debut solo album 'Henry the Human' before forming a productive partnership with his wife Linda Thompson. They scored a minor hit with the upbeat 'I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight' (also a chart record for Julie Covington) but switched style into a deeper kind of music as a result of his interest in Sufi culture in 1981, prior to the release of 'Shoot Out the Lights', his split with Linda and a tension-filled tour in America to promote it. Thompson then launched his solo career in earnest, sometimes playing with a full rock band and at other times playing solo acoustic, while cementing his reputation as a classic songwriter with material like 'Beeswing', 'The Great Valerio', 'Walking On a Wire', 'Down Where the Drunkards Roll', '1952 Vincent Black Lightning' and 'From Galway to Graceland'. In 2011 he was awarded an OBE and an honorary doctorate from the University of Aberdeen. In 2014 he joined his ex-wife Linda, son Teddy, his daughter and son-in-law Kami and James Walbourne and their son Zak in a collaborative album titled 'Family'. He teamed up with his ex-wife once more on a track from her fourth solo album 'Won't Be Long Now' titled 'Love's for Babies and Fools'. His 16th solo offering, 'Still', was released in 2015, reaching number ten in the UK Albums Chart. He followed up with 'Acoustic Classics II' in 2017 and '13 Rivers' in 2018.

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