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Live From Austin Tx

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Audio CD, May 17, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Richard Thompson's 'Live From Austin, Texas' will be a much sought after CD for his many fans. Richard is always an outstanding live performer and to have one of his shows captured by the great Austin City Limits crew makes this a very special release. New West. 2005.


Austin City Limits tends to bring out the best in the musicians it showcases, and Richard Thompson is the sort of artist that the series reveres most. The veteran British folk-rock troubadour remains an instrumental virtuoso, a soulful singer, and a songwriter whose depth and emotional complexity rival Dylan's. This 15-song set provides neither a career-spanning retrospective nor a greatest-hits rehash, as Thompson's selection of some of his lesser-known material shows that he's incapable of writing a throwaway. The rhythm section of bassist Danny Thompson and drummer Michael Jerome gives his guitar plenty of room to maneuver on the acoustic numbers that dominate the performance before the set builds to the electrifying climax of the lacerating "She Twists the Knife Again" and the explosive "Shoot Out the Lights." On "Uninhabited Man," Thomspon combines a guitar progression that recalls the Byrds with a lyric that gives a sinister twist to the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, while the pensive, sinuous "Ghosts in the Wind" extends his exploration into the recesses of the psyche. Though Thompson's droll humor typically provides a change-of-pace respite from the dark intensity of his material, this disc edits out all the between-song patter in favor of more music. --Don McLeese

Recommended Richard Thompson Discography

Fairport Convention, Unhalfbricking

Fairport Convention, Liege & Lief

Fairport Convention, Full House

Richard & Linda Thompson, I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight

Richard & Linda Thompson, Shoot Out the Lights

Hand of Kindness

1. Cooksferry Queen
2. Uninhabited Man
3. Walking The Long Miles Home
4. Al Bowlly's In Heaven
5. Mingus Eyes
6. Dry My Tears
7. Easy There, Steady Now
8. Persuasion
9. Bathsheba Smiles
10. Mr. Rebound
11. Ghosts In The Wind
12. She Twists the Knife Again
13. Shoot Out The Lights
14. Crawl Back (Under My Stone)
15. 1952 Vincent Black Lightning

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 17, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: New West Records
  • ASIN: B0007Z9R0W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #230,025 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Richard Thompson Store


Image of album by Richard Thompson


Image of Richard Thompson


performance of "Haul Me Up" with Greeting


No artist to emerge in the second half of the ’60s has gone on to have a more productive and vital career than Richard Thompson. The England-born, L.A.-based artist has amassed an astounding body of work comprising more than 40 albums, containing artfully shaped material that seamlessly and expressively integrates traditional and contemporary modes. And Thompson is among the most ... Read more in Amazon's Richard Thompson Store

Visit Amazon's Richard Thompson Store
for 49 albums, 4 photos, videos, discussions, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 22 customer reviews
Satisfying for any R.T. fan; it has some of his very best songs.
Janice A. Andersen
The sound is great with a close miked voice and small combo, and the electricity of a live performance.
Allan Davidson
This is a great collection of some of the best Richard Thompson songs.
William Sampson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By loce_the_wizard VINE VOICE on May 17, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I think nearly everyone has heard a Richard Thompson recording, seen him in concert, or both, so many folks may bypass "Live from Austin, TX," figuring why do I need this one? To do so would be a mistake, even for those with a stack of Mr. Thompson's CDs.

This performance, which was recorded live to tape for the "Austin City Limits" PBS show, features songs from throughout Mr. Thompson's long and steady career, some of which are not as well known as the tracks 1952 Vintage Black Lightning or Shoot Out the Lights. But throughout, Mr. Thompson brandishes his guitars like a weapon, ripping off searing solos or letting his fingers do the talking to convey emotional nuances. He is equally adroit on his vocals, conveying pain, adding a dash of humor, underscoring a turn of events with a bit of a sneer or a sustained note.

Every track has its merits and its own story, from the self-effacing Walking the Long Miles Home to the undeterred love-struck soul in Persuasion. Hearing Mr. Thompson take an image, such as the jackknifed truck in Easy There, Steady Now, and using that as metaphor for lost love makes one appreciate what a fine writer he is. The angst that builds through She Twists the Knife Again mercifully culminates into a fiery guitar finale, making one wonder if the strings are infused with magnesium.

Much of Mr. Thompson's work is as a solo artist, and while that work is enduring, hearing this collection performed with the excellent rhythm section of Danny Thompson on bass and Michael Jerome on drums is a revelation. This trio of veteran musicians never sounds at cross purposes but displays a subtle interplay equally effective with on the jazzy Al Bowling's in Heaven or the punchy rocker Crawl Back (Under My Stone).

The sound quality is excellent, but Mr.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Shoemaker on December 31, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is rapidly becoming my favorite of all Richard Thompson's CDs. Of course, I will be listening to many of the others often, but as for pure enjoyment on many levels, this one is the one I grab first. The material is not new but the interpretations often are unique in the way that only live concerts can bring out. I do not find a weak song on the disc - each in some ways spotlights Thompson's multifaceted skills as a consummate composer, lyricist, guitarist and, yes, vocalist. (For some, Richard's voice lacks the control or perfection of a great singer, but this CD shows off his ability to communicate and connect with his voice equally as well as his guitar.)

Add to this the Austin City Limits venue and excellent musicians to surround Thompson, and you have the potential for a great CD. Whether better known songs such as `Shoot Out The Lights' or `1952 Vincent Black Lightening' or lesser known (to me, at least) songs like `Walking the Long Miles Home', the remarkable `Ghosts in the Wind' or haunting juxtaposition of foot-tapping music with the dark lyrics of `Al Bowlly's in Heaven', Richard Thompson is at his best.

To cap it off, the recording quality is outstanding, capturing the venue and the musicians in a way that will tax many audio systems to do it justice. Whether its the hard-edged guitar work on songs like `Shoot Out the Lights' or the remarkably subtle fingerings that often float in the background, barely audible, Richard's guitar simply sings. And Danny Thompson's bass, which often takes a lead role showcases his talent and, to a remarkable degree, accurately captures a very natural sounding bass in a way that is rare.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. C Clark VINE VOICE on November 18, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Like my friend Loce, I know most folks reading this have seen RT at least once and own one or more of the innumerable live recordings available. I have that heap at home as well, with glorious performances to be found all over. My favorite grouping has been the Danny, Pete and Michael foursome. Pete and Danny's musicianship is well known, but Michael is a fearsome percussionist, but that potency is often not as evident as it is on stage.

But this threesome (no Pete) creates a very attractive sound, a jazzier, more intimate tone, with a clearly audible and ferocious bass and brilliant drumming throughout. So the performances are nicely done. And the songlist is a winner.

So, where's that fifth star? Ah...I just can't do it. Somehow the verve, the intensity, the charge, the fire, the rawness of a live Richard Thompson show is missing. Everything sounds good, as it always does, yet somehow it's not as strong as Two Letter Words, which is my favorite of the live sets. Many pleasures to be had, but somehow missing that last ounce of electricity.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Finefrock VINE VOICE on May 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Richard Thompson has been one of the most consistant performers of the rock era. He has been writing and recording quality material since his days in Fairport Convention in the late sixties, through to OLD KIT BAG released in 2003 (and no doubt has more up his sleeve). An excellent, literate songwriter and an otherworldly talent on guitar, his catalog is studded with numerous classics and nothing that can be considered less than good.

This live reording, from the PBS series Austin City Limits, shows Thompson as a bracing live performer. The set from his tour of a few years ago, focuses on selection from his then current album MOCK TUDOR as well as some older chesnuts as the great SHOOT OUT THE LIGHTS, AL BOWLYS IN HEAVEN and MINGUS EYES.

The only thing that keeps this from being a 5 star recording is a scarcity of the guitar pyrotechnics that Richard is capable of delivering. Outside of a fierce version of SHOOT OUT THE LIGHTS, Thompson plays it relativley low key on the six string. This sets seems to focus more on Richard Thompson the singer songwriter and less on his mindwarping guitar prowess, which a live recording could and should highlight. I may note that low key for Richard Thompson could be career highlights for other artists however. His subtle, but still spectacular playing and supurb interacton with the great Danny Thompson (bass) and Mike Jerome (drums) is certainly worthwhile and rewarding. The one thing that strikes me most is that Thompson has become an excellent vocalist. Originally, this was one of his weak points as an artist, but over the years he has added power and nuance to his singing that adds even more depth to his already striking material.

All in all, this is a recording that should please most Thompson fans, perhaps convert a couple of the curious, but in the end, not win him the acclaim that he has earned from his storied career.
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