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Richard Thompson Electric Trio, Logan Ledger

  • Barrymore 2090 Atwood Avenue Madison, WI, 53704 United States (map)

The eminent guitarist and singer-songwriter returns behind a new electric album. Info/tix

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It's nice that we hear from Richard Thompson as often as we do—he was last in town for a pair of fall 2017 acoustic shows at the Stoughton Opera House—because the British folk-rock eminence still manages to flex a lot of different muscles, while maintaining his distinctive baritone vocals and a tasteful virtuosity as a guitarist. He plays here behind the 2018 album 13 Rivers, recorded with drummer Michael Jerome, bassist Taras Prodaniuk, and guitarist Bobby Eichorn. Like 2013's Electric, this record mostly foregrounds Thompson's sharp, springy approach to the electric guitar, and he never has to strong-arm a solo to make it work, whether it's over the baleful shuffle of "The Dog In You" or the aching sway of "My Rock, My Rope." And he's still just as engaged as a songwriter, exploring human frailty and doubt on "The Rattle Within" and the tumult of romance on "Do All These Tears Belong To You?" On "Bones Of Gilead," Thompson declares, "What's my name? My name is trouble / Trouble of the tender kind," a phrase that suits the raw yet warm sonics of this album. It's plenty easy here to kick back and enjoy all those things people have always liked about Richard Thompson, but Thompson also sounds determined to inhabit the present moment. —Scott Gordon

Earlier Event: December 10
Alan Semrow (Free)