Fire Note Says: Dream Attic highlights why Richard Thompson just recently received the Les Paul Award at the 2010 MOJO Honours!
Album Review: Richard Thompson will always go down in my book as one of the all-time great guitarist singer/songwriters of this era. Regardless of his age, (now 61), Thompson continues to push and display forward thinking on his albums and Dream Attic is no different.
The 13 new songs here were recorded in front of live audiences during a February 2010 West Coast tour, with a bulk of them coming from the three nights he spent at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. This format demands perfection and Richard Thompson handles the pressure and delivers on every single track. On stage is where Thompson feels the most comfortable, as he is able to play off his band and soak up the energy of the fans, which comes off on record as electric even when there are only several distinct times you can hear the crowd cheer.
Regardless of the recording process, Dream Attic brings all sides of Thompson, with the highlights including the politically charged rocking opener “The Money Shuffle”, a memorable Beatlesque number in “Big Sun Falling In The River”, and a complex murder ballad “Sidney Wells”. The other interesting twist to this record, is that it does an excellent job of featuring his musicianship and cohesion with his band, which adds acoustic guitar, mandolin, violin, sax, bass and drums into the mix.
Seeing a band live typically offers a different presentation compared to playing the artists record. Dream Attic for Richard Thompson follows this expectation, as songs go well past the five minute mark and have built in sequences where the band gets to jam, as well as letting Richard let his guitar take the main focus. The closing ballad “If Love Whispers Your Name” finishes off Dream Attic with an exclamation point and pushes past the 7 minute mark, as it rises to a fever pitch with Thompson on guitar. It is this type of emotion that pours out of Dream Attic and makes it another staple for fans to cherish in his catalog!
Key Tracks: “The Money Shuffle”, “Here Comes Geordie”, “Sidney Wells”, “Big Sun Falling In The River”
Artists With Similar Fire: Fionn Regan / Alejandro Escovedo / Barton Carroll
Richard Thompson Website
Richard Thompson Facebook
Shout! Factory Records
-Reviewed by Christopher Anthony