Linda Thompson – Won’t Be Long Now (2013)

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I’ll confess up front I’m a huge Thompson family fan. Sure it’s easy to love Richard Thompson; he’s one of the best guitarists to emerge from England since, well, ever. He’s also a formidable writer.

His son, Teddy Thompson is a fantastic writer as well and no slouch on the guitar either (if you doubt that see him live in his band Poundcake). There is also the wonderfully talented Kami Thompson (daughter of Richard and Linda) and I hear at least one more talented Thompson sibling.

It’s easy to forget Linda Thompson. She has had a sporadic yet stellar solo career which started with the album One Clear Moment in 1986 then she went away until 2002.

I had the good fortune of seeing her perform live with Teddy and Kami in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania at the Keswick Theater that same year. Amazingly her voice was as strong as ever.

Still, Linda lives in the shadow of one of the best (I should say THE best) album on the 1980s: 1982’s album with Richard Thompson, Shoot Out The Lights.

Now after a relatively brief six years since her last release, Versatile Heart, Linda returns with the stellar new album Won’t be Long Now. Though the 11 tracks are in the same style of Versatile Heart, that’s a good thing. Producer Edward Haber provides a sympathetic setting for Thompson’s fantastic vocal instrument. Furthermore, Thompson contributes her fine writing chops to this album composing six of the songs and rearranging a couple of traditional ones.

She also calls on her talented circle of friends including Richard, Teddy and Kami Thompson as well as Amy Helm, guitarist John Doyle and accordion player John Kirkpatrick among others. However, the stellar players and singers are but support for Linda Thompson’s fantastically expressive phasing and songs.

There are many standout tracks, chief among them “Paddy’s Lamentation” (a version of which was featured on the soundtrack to the movie Gangs of New York), “Blue Beezin’ Blind Drunk” and “If I Were A Bluebird” (written with Ron Sexsmith).

Linda Thompson has delivered another great album, but is it too much to ask for a tour?

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Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Preston Frazier
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