Richard Thompson Band | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Richard Thompson Band

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Richard Thompson accomplished so much in his first 15 years of recording--he invented English folk rock with Fairport Convention and made the genre's best albums with his first wife, Linda--that the solo career he's pursued for the past 25 seems anticlimactic by comparison; rather than making up new rules as he goes, he's now simply following the rules he invented. Still, he hasn't lost his chops. Thompson's thrilling guitar vocabulary is a composite of rockabilly twang, bagpipe drone, Django Reinhardt's fluency, and John Coltrane's intensity. And his lyrics, which range from witty dissections of relationships to unblinking contemplations of mortality, can outshine his guitar solos. Recent releases like the 2005 soundtrack for Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man (Cooking Vinyl) and this year's Sweet Warrior (Shout! Factory) recycle a few old licks, but there are a handful of songs, especially the harrowing terrorism epic "Guns Are the Tongues," that I imagine will still be in his book ten years from now. Expect a mix of vintage and newer material at this show; Thompson's touring band includes fellow folk-rock vet Danny Thompson (no relation) on double bass. a 8 PM, Park West, 322 W. Armitage, 773-929-5959 or 312-559-1212, $28, 18+.

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