Love is not light and fluffy for singer Richard Thompson

Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:00pm EST
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By Jeremy Gaunt

LONDON (Reuters) - If you want a silly little love song, don't bother with Richard Thompson - the singer-songwriter does angst not amour.

Instead of beating hearts, flowers and sunny days, you get bitter break-ups, painful goodbyes, spite and the long walk home.

"You can write a song about relationships and it can be just a very polite, twee love song," Thompson told Reuters as he embarks on his latest tour with a new CD in hand.

"But I don't think that is doing justice to what usually happens to human beings."

Thompson should know. His separation from wife and singing partner Linda Thompson in the 1980s was accompanied by a final tour now renowned in music circles for its palpable tension.

He's had some 30 years of solo work since then, building on an already avid following in the United States, where he lives, and Britain, where he achieved early fame in the late 1960s as an original member of Fairport Convention.

His music is hard to define - something that pleases him. It is a mix of hard-driving bluesy folk, country and rock, which Thompson simply calls "tradition-based".

And it is accompanied by outstanding guitar work that has had him included in Rolling Stone magazine's Top 100 guitarists list.   Continued...

British musician Richard Thompson is seen in an undated publicity photo released February 19, 2013. REUTERS/Pamela Littky-Proper Records/handout