As I write this, the world is in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic. That means that everyone should be practicing social distancing. That, in turns, means musicians are sitting at home instead of going on tour. To cheer up their fans, many musicians have started performing home concerts that are streamed across the Internet.
By luck, I stumbled across a Richard Thompson home concert that was recorded just one day earlier! Normally, I don't post much current music, both because I don't want to deny musicians what meager songwriting royalties are still left by sharing something that has just come out, but also because I tend to focus on music from what I consider the "golden age" of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, much more than current music. But I can make a special exception here because one of the all-time musical greats has posted this concert for free to help us all get through these troubled times.
There's good news and bad news with the sound quality of this recording. The good news is that since it was recorded in Thompson's house in New Jersey, it isn't hampered by any audience cheering. The bad news is that because it was broadcast live, the sound quality was limited so people with poor Internet connections could hear it in real time. As a result, the music is strangely clipped or muffled at times. So this is a really nice concert if you can put up with that. But some people might get annoyed with it. Thompson mentioned he plans on doing more concerts like this soon, since we're likely to keep doing this social distancing thing for another month or two, at least. I hope he improves the sound quality the next time around.
I took the recording from YouTube. It was one big file, but I broke it down into individual tracks, with the talking between songs split onto their own tracks as well. I boosted the volume of the talking a bit. I edited out some guitar tuning between songs. I kept in a certain amount of tuning though, when it was mixed in with the talking. Also, in recent years, Thompson has gotten in the habit of coughing and/or clearing his throat between songs a lot. That bugs me, so I carefully removed all of those throat noises. The YouTube video is 59 minutes long; I edited out a total of about four minutes of that, mostly from removing some guitar tuning.
A majority of the concert just features Richard Thompson. However, he was eventually joined by his partner Zara Phillips, who sang on the last five songs, largely on the choruses. So I've credited this as "Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips," since it's mostly him.
In the likely case that you only listen to this instead of watching it on YouTube, the loud buzzing noise before the song "Keep Your Distance" was Phillips jokingly using a vacuum cleaner around where Thompson was sitting for a few moments. Then she continued to joke around by taking his temperature while briefly wearing a mask and gloves. You can see that in the screenshot I took for the cover art.
Speaking of the song "Keep Your Distance," I felt obliged to use that song title as the title of this album because it's so fitting. I'm very glad he played that song, because it's been in my head a lot in recent days when I find myself forced to practice social distancing.
Anyway, please stay safe, and enjoy. And if you find about other home concerts like this one featuring the kind of musicians I post at this blog, please let me know, so I can possibly share those concerts here too.
01 talk (Richard Thompson)
02 I Misunderstood (Richard Thompson)
03 talk (Richard Thompson)
04 If I Could Live My Life Again (Richard Thompson)
05 talk (Richard Thompson)
06 Now Be Thankful (Richard Thompson)
07 talk (Richard Thompson)
08 Walking the Long Miles Home (Richard Thompson)
09 talk (Richard Thompson)
10 As Soon as You Hear the Bell (Richard Thompson)
11 talk (Richard Thompson)
12 O Cinderella (Richard Thompson)
13 talk (Richard Thompson)
14 Down Where the Drunkards Roll (Richard Thompson)
15 talk (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
16 Keep Your Distance (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
17 talk (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
18 The Rattle Within (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
19 talk (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
20 She Never Could Resist a Winding Road (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
21 talk (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
22 Jet Plane in a Rocking Chair (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
23 talk (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
24 I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
25 talk (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
As mentioned above, the cover art photo comes from a screenshot from the YouTube video of this concert.