Music Review: Richard Thompson eases up, 'Still' delivers
Richard Thompson, "Still" (Fantasy Records)
British guitar hero Richard Thompson delivers yet again on "Still," continuing a late career high with a record whose title may refer to his longevity or sense of calm.
Or maybe it's both.
The 66-year-old Thompson, who was part of the seminal English folk-rock band Fairport Convention, plays with an economy of sound on "Still," his 16th studio record. He tapped Jeff Tweedy, leader of one of America's most celebrated rock bands Wilco, to serve as producer.
Tweedy hand-picked the musicians who recorded the album over nine days at his Chicago loft. But Tweedy employs a deft touch as producer, keeping the focus squarely on Thompson, his 12 songs and his guitar mastery.
"Still" is bookended by the haunting "She Never Could Resist a Winding Road" and the autobiographical "Guitar Heroes," in which Thompson plays homage to those who preceded him, including Django Reinhardt, Les Paul and Chuck Berry.
After playing in the styles of those who came before, "Guitar Heroes" ends with Thompson himself taking the solo. He's not showing off. He's just showing that he's "Still" got it.
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