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Today's Clearwater Artist: Richard Thompson

by Darren DeVivo
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Richard Thompson is equally loved and respected both as a singer songwriter and guitar virtuoso. He is considered one of the most important figures in the British folk rock movement and is just as influential today as he was when he emerged in the mid 1960s.

Richard Thompson was born in England in 1949. He was still a teenager when he co-founded Fairport Convention in 1967. Fairport Convention released their first album, Fairport Convention, in 1968 (it was issued in the U.S. in 1970), but it wasn't until 1969 and their next three albums, What We Did On Our Holidays (titled Fairport Convention in the U.S.), Unhalfbricking and Liege & Lief, that the band made an impact. After their fifth album, 1970's Full House, Richard Thompson left the band to pursue a solo career. His solo career didn't exactly get off to a rousing start, as his first solo album, Henry The Human Fly, flopped upon its release in 1972. His fortunes would quickly change later in 1972, when he married singer Linda Peters. The next phase in Richard's career began in 1974, when the newly married couple debuted as the duo Richard and Linda Thompson. Their first album together, I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight, became one of the high points in Richard's career. Richard and Linda Thompson would produce five more albums together, Hokey Pokey, Pour Down Like Silver, First Light, Richard And Linda Thompson's Sunnyvista and the 1982 masterpiece, Shoot Out The Lights. The couple would part, personally and professionally, after Shoot Out The Lights. For Richard, all of the albums he did with Linda after their first one fared poorly, but Shoot Out The Lights managed to restore his reputation. In 1983, he released his second solo album, the acclaimed Hand Of Kindness. Ever since, Richard has continued as a solo artist, building on his past accomplishments with numerous landmark releases. His latest album, 2013's Electric, became the highest charting album of his career.

Look for Richard Thompson at the Clearwater Festival on Saturday, June 21.

Hear a preview tonight at 9 on FUV Live and in the FUV Vault:

 

For more about the Clearwater Hudson River Revival, visit clearwaterfestival.org.

 

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