Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Richard Thompson at the Art Center

So raconteur, songwriter and guitar genius Richard Thompson played a sold out show for the second night in a row at the Art Center in Carrboro on Monday, March 9th. I won't recount the proceedings in their entirety (it was superb!) but want to emphasize two things. First that the man is a true artist. As always in the middle of his set he starts taking requests and someone calls out "Vincent Black Lightning." No surprise there, he must have played this song a million and a half times. He could just stand there and do a rote repitiion of the song in a spiritless way or he could just say "no way I'm ever playing that song again - ever!" Instead he travels all the way back to the spark of excitement that generated that song for him and he *brings it* one more time. The rendition of this song always sounds fresh and its because he re-finds the creative energy that generated it.

The other thing I want to mention is during the request taking segment of the show he said "how about lets do a Fairport song." And he proceeded to listen to requests and took an audience poll of what to play. Luckily the audience (and I) went for the elegant "Where does the Time Go." The amazing part was that as he was introducing this song he began to muse about Sandy Denny and her place in songwriting history and he got a bit whistful and slipped out of his normal bravdo into some other zone and had a moment of sorts himself that he effortlessly shared in a quiet, understated way with us how much he missed and appreciated his friend. A truer soft side, never seen before and shared with a full house. Now thats a man who's comfortable in his own skin.


Zee said...

oh, i love Richard Thompson and "Vincent Black Lightning" enough to have been satisfied with a bored gazillionth rendition of the song. But that you got to hear it and him in such excellent form turns me deep chartreuse with envy.

jannx said...

Richard Thompson's guitar and Sandy Denny's vocals on "Unhalfbricking" were astounding. I was truly set back at her early passing. Such a great writer and beautiful vocalist.