Richard Thompson Electric Trio 18+ Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Wed., June 10, 8 p.m. 2015

The news hook with Richard Thompson’s strong new album Still (Fantasy) is that it was produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and features a handful of Chicago musicians in supporting roles, including guitarist Jim Elkington and singers Liam and Sima Cunningham (all of whom are also members of Tweedy’s eponymous solo project). Ultimately, though, Tweedy exercises a light touch, letting Thompson go his own way and do what he does. And lately that’s involved making some of the best music of his post-Linda Thompson career. With the aid of bassist Taras Prodaniuk and drummer Michael Jerome, Thompson performs songs that convey his trademark bitterness, both toward deceitful women (“Patty Don’t You Put Me Down”) and the cruel world (“No Peace, No End”). Along the way he shares his sexual frustration on “All Buttoned Up”—where he sees blue balls, his partner sees a lack of commitment—and on the album’s sole dud, “Guitar Heroes,” he pays homage to early influences like Django Reinhardt, the Shadows, and Les Paul by trying to imitate them before realizing his attempts are pointless (as if we’d want Thompson to be anyone other than himself). There are some gorgeous, haunting melodies on Still, and Thompson’s singular knotty guitar solos are all over the place, sounding as fresh as they did more than four decades ago. —Peter Margasak

Price: $35

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