I don’t go to concerts much anymore. In my youth, I saw the Grateful Dead, Randy Stonehill, Peter, Paul & Mary, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan, Larry Norman, Ry Cooder, Phil Keaggy, Judy Collins, the Roches, Bruce Cockburn, and a number of others. I do not count here acts that I saw in bars or coffee houses–that list would be rather longer–but I saw quite a few good shows.
One of my favorite shows was in 1983, when Richard Thompson and his band played Tut’s in Chicago. I discovered Thompson in 1980 or so, when a friend of mine played an album for me that collected work by Thompson and his then-wife and partner, Linda, Richard and Linda Thompson: Live More or Less.
I would still be a guitar player if I had never heard of Richard Thompson. I would not play the way I do today, though.
In case you don’t know who Richard Thompson is, and alas, that’s all too possible, spend a moment or two with this:
This past Friday night, T and I went to a Richard Thompson concert at Hartford’s Infinity Music Hall. Thompson came out on stage and for two hours stood there with one acoustic guitar and just blew the room away.
Lots of people start bands when they’re 18. Not many of them start Fairport Convention.
And not many of them can still play like this.
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Richard Thompson, the greatest guitar player in the world.