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Music  >>  CDs  >>  Rock/Pop

Richard Thompson

Across A Crowded Room--Live At Barrymore's 1985

Richard Thompson Across A Crowded Room Live At Barrymore's 1985 2cd
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As one of the greatest guitarists of his generation, Richard Thompson has played with some of the world's most accomplished rock and folk musicians, starting, of course, with his first band, Fairport Convention. But of all the outfits Thompson has led during his sterling, post-Fairport, solo career, perhaps the finest was the unit he took out on the road with him for his 1985 tour supporting his then-current studio release (and first for the Polydor label), Across A Crowded Room. While the album's recording sessions had featured Fairport Convention stalwarts Simon Nicol and Dave Mattacks on rhythm guitar and drums, respectively, for the tour Thompson enlisted the considerable talents of Any Trouble leader Clive Gregson and his creative partner Christine Collister, whose haunting harmonies (and occasional songwriting contributions) beautifully fleshed out the band's live sound. And the rhythm section boasted a member of British folk-rock royalty in the person of former Fotheringay/Pentangle/Cat Stevens drummer Gerry Conway, along with a long-time Thompson collaborator, bassist Rory McFarlane. Fortunately, the tour's live shows lived up to the promise of its potent line-up; even more fortunately, one of the shows (at Barrymore's, Ottawa, Canada, April 10, 1985) was captured for posterity in studio-quality sound originally for an 18-song laserdisc release. Now, for its premiere on compact disc, we've included all 20 songs from the evening's set, which included such fiery numbers and fan favorites as 'Wall Of Death,' 'Fire In The Engine Room,' 'I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight,' and 'Withered and Died,' the latter a particularly heartbreaking rendition. And, of course, Thompson's guitar work is nothing short of breathtaking, particularly on 'Shoot Out The Lights' and 'Tear-Stained Letter.' Mastered by Tom Lewis at Studio 1093 in Athens, GA, and produced by Bill Levenson, with liner notes by Scott Schinder and period photos, Across a Crowded Room'Live at Barrymore's 1985 is an essential addition to the Richard Thompson discography and offers enduring testimony as to the kind of magic the man can conjure on stage.
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