The Richard Thompson Band

At this late date, some four decades after Richard Thompson started out with folk-rock pioneering Fairport Convention, it's tough to add to the barrage of superlatives regularly hurled in his direction. But what the hell. He has yet another great new album out, Dream Attic, this one recorded live with a superb quartet that will join him here in concert. Offering 13 fresh tunes from Thompson's often witty, frequently withering, usually caustic pen, it provides ample fresh evidence that he's among a handful of essential songwriters of his time. And since it's live, there's plenty of opportunity for Thompson to crank up his electric guitar, lashing his lacerating, Celtic-edged licks about with wicked abandon, as satisfying a sound as there is in the rock realm. As you might suspect, Thompson's Attic harbors more nightmares than dreams. "The Money Shuffle" lampoons the financial tricksters who hijacked the economy. The desperate protagonist in "Haul Me Up" is losing a life-threatening game with elusive rules. "Here Comes Geordie" portrays a talentless narcissist. "Crimescene" takes a brutal, forensic medical approach to aging. "Sidney Wells" is a tale of vicious murder. "A Brother Slips Away" is an elegy to lost friends. And those, as Thompson may deadpan, are the cheery songs. Never mind. Latch on to Thompson's splendid, scintillating guitar escapades and ride them out with all the thrills and chills of another Thompson classic, "Wall of Death." His first set is likely to be a complete run-through of the new album, followed by a set of vintage Thompson nuggets. 18+. (Photo by Ron Sleznak)
Sat., Nov. 6, 6 p.m., 2010

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