Richard Thompson at the Americana Festival

By Miche Archetto:

Here is Richard Thompson performing one of his best known songs at the 2012 Americana Music Festival.

Richard Thompson was born in West London, surrounded by a family with wide musical tastes. Counted among his early influences are Django Reinhardt, Fats Waller, Les Paul, and Jimmy Shand. Flip the coin from his father’s jazz record collection to the early rock and roll music made available to him through his elder sister, including Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis’ Great Balls of Fire, and the eclectic diversity of his multi-generational career becomes clear.

Many musicians peak by age 30, but not Richard¬†Thompson. The recipient of BBC’s Lifetime¬†Achievement Award and named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the Top 20 Guitarists of All Time, Richard Thompson is also one of the world’s most critically acclaimed songwriters. Robert Plant, REM, Elvis Costello, Los Lobos, David Byrne, Del McCoury, Bonnie Raitt and many others have recorded his work. Yet this may be the most prolific period of Richard Thompson’s astonishing career; his live-tour CD Dream Attic was nominated for aGrammy Award in the category of Best Contemporary Folk Album. In 2010 Thompson was curator at London’s prestigious 2010 Meltdown Festival at South Bank Centre, and for his service to music – was named on the Queen’s 2011 New Year Honours List as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). In 2011 Thompson received an Honorary Degree of Doctor Honoris Causa (DHC) from the University at Aberdeen for his exceptional and distinctive contribution to contemporary music .

From his teenage years as a founding member of the pioneering British band Fairport Convention, through the enduring partnership of folk-rock duo Richard and Linda Thompson, to over 25 years as a solo artist – Richard Thompson’s massive body of work includes 40 albums and numerous film soundtracks (including Werner Herzog’s documentary Grizzly Man). Richard has earned many of the industry’s most coveted awards including the Mojo Les Paul Award, the Orville H Gibson Award (guitar) and an Ivor Novello Award (songwriting). His genre-defying mastery of both acoustic and electric guitar, along with his dizzying energy and onstage wit continue to earn Richard Thompson generations of new fans and a place as one of the most distinctive and iconoclastic virtuosos in rock history.More

If you want to listen to him playing in a different style, here is another song entitled “Johnny’s Far Away”.