The Old Kit Bag CD
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One studio album every three years is beginning to seem like a guarantee that every new Richard Thompson release will be a gold-plated delight. The Old Kit Bag arrives three years after Mock Tudor, which in turn appeared three years after You? Me? Us?. And if not exactly a trilogy, the three taken together represent some of his most consistently rewarding work. On the new album Thompson is unusually relaxed--indeed he's positively genial in places--and even when he dials the mood down it's done with deliciously self-mocking irony ("I've got no right to have it all"). In the country-inflected "Sight Unseen" he actually goes so far as to sing of love without bitterness, and only with "Outside of the Inside" do his lyrics really sting ("God never listened to Charlie Parker / Charlie Parker lived in vain / Blasphemer, womaniser / Let a needle numb his brain").
Musically The Old Kit Bag employs a stripped-down band and back-to-basics production reminiscent of early Fairport and as on those albums acoustic folk instruments ("One Door Opens") here rub shoulders with that inimitable electric guitar ("A Love You Can't Survive", for example). Danny Thompson does his solid thing on double-bass (check out the wonderfully languid "First Breath" and "Got No Right"), while Judith Owen's backing softens Thompson's familiar gruff vocals. Like every Richard Thompson album this one's a grower, but it's well worth the effort. --Mark WalkerSee all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The Old Kit Bag gets off to a great start with the dark and brooding Gethsemane and never looks back. There isn't a weak track here, though worthy of mention are the mandolin-driven One Door Opens, First Breath, Word Unspoken Sight Unseen, and Outside on the Inside (apparently about how the Taliban sees the West.)
A really first class collection shows that the man is on top form. Can't wait to see him play live at the Barbican this month!
This taut collection showcases his rocking side with tracks like "Jealous Words" and "A Love You Can't Survive", which are resplendent with his swerving, restless electric guitar lines. His virtuosity puts him in the same league as more celebrated axe heroes like Jimmy Page, and his breaks would not sound out of place on a Led Zeppelin album. Other tracks usher in a more contemplative mood, for example "Gethsemane" and "Word Unspoken, Sight Unseen". He also treats us to his nimble-fingered playing on acoustic guitar and mandolin on tracks like the bright and breezy "One Door Opens" and the gentle "First Breath". His last album "Mock Tudor" was very meaty and "The Old Kit Bag" continues his policy of providing all killer, no filler. Thompson has just unveiled a whole set of new classics on this release.
Perhaps one impact of devolution is a rekindling of interest in British culture, including folk music, in its many forms. Don't expect to see Kylie gyrating around a morris dancing troupe on "Top of the Pops" quite yet (although you never know, it could happen). There are nevertheless serious young artists out there, e.g.Read more ›
His material is very strong and the long gap between Mock Tudor and this CD gave him a chance to really polish up the songs live before committing them to tape. The small ensemble playing suits RT and gives him a chance to get out his mandolin, dulcimer and harmonium as well as his guitar. Whilst there's lots of excellent acoustic and electric guitar playing on the album it doesn't dominate and the other instruments fill out the sound in a more colourful manner.
Of the songs several stand out - "Gethsemane" with powerful hooks and emotive lyrics paints an evocative picture, "A Love You Can't Survive" hearks back to his very best early material, "One Door Opens" is very sprightly with a Middle-Eastern flavour, "First Breath" sees RT in a jazzy, romantic but ultimately doomed mood, "Word Unspoken, Sight Unseen" really shines with it's theme of redemption through love and faith and "Outside of the Inside" sees RT railing against religious bigotry once more. All the songs are beautifully crafted musically and lyrically and require guenuine involvement on the part of the listener. Who else quotes Van Gogh, Charlie Parker, Einstein and misericords in one lyric?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent as usual. Purchased to fill a hole in my collection. Nice reminder of the songs as they were at thst time.Published 16 months ago by Mrs Cibber
Thompson can do no wrong . Not always 100 per but kitbag great.Published 21 months ago by Yvonne Webb
Richard Thompson's style grows on one. Dream Attic was the first album of his I owned. Once I started aquiring other albums of his I found I couldn't stop. Read morePublished on 30 July 2013 by P. R. Phillips
This is a great follow on album after the capitol years and fills the gap between that and his latest offering 'electric' very nicely. Read morePublished on 24 April 2013 by mr graham a hutton
Impressed with product and service, and would recommend to anyone to use this product Very pleased. However irritated in order to review a product you have to use 15 wordsPublished on 28 Feb. 2013 by PAUL
This is yet another masterpiece from one of the finest singer, songwriter, performers in the business. Read morePublished on 25 Nov. 2012 by Peter N. Ingleby
I am old enough to have seen Hendrix (three times) and many other great guitarists, but the one who made my jaw drop and my heart skip a beat, such was his virtuosic brilliance and... Read morePublished on 17 Sept. 2012 by KaleHawkwood