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Live From Austin TX (CD+DVD)
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3.Walkin the Long Miles Home
4.Al Bowlly s in Heaven
6.Dry My Tears and Move On
7.Easy There Steady Now
11.Ghosts in the Wind
12.She Twists the Knife Again
13.Shoot Out the Lights
15.1952 Vincent Black Lightning
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a CD/DVD combo of a Richard Thompson performance on Austin City Limits in 2001. The performance is 16 tracks on DVD, 15 on the CD. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Mark Anderson
While I highly recommend the DVD of this show the vinyl is great for playing parts of the show. Sounds great too.Published 22 months ago by M. Malone
Recorded for the "Austin City Limits" program, "Live From Austin Texas" is Richard Thompson playing in a trio setting (drummer Michel Jerome, upright bassist Danny Thompson). Read morePublished on September 5, 2013 by Tim Brough
This is a great collection of some of the best Richard Thompson songs. The only reason I give it four stars instead of five is the sound quality is a bit inconsistent because of... Read morePublished on April 28, 2013 by William Sampson
Always better live. He's a performer and it is the subtle way he responds to his audience that make each show unique. Thompson seems to get better with age. Read morePublished on March 7, 2013 by Jack C.
I chose this Richard Thompson CD to replace one I had that was defective. So I knew what to expect, and I'm thrilled to have it again. Satisfying for any R.T. Read morePublished on October 30, 2012 by Janice A. Andersen