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VINE VOICETOP 50 REVIEWERon 13 October 2013
The guest list on this new album by Linda Thompson reads like the A List of the British folk aristocracy with a slice of Americana thrown in. It is not surprising. The return of possibly the greatest female voice in folk this side of Sandy Denny is an event and one which is remarkable bearing in mind her problems with spasmodic dysphonia that has left other singers permanently without a voice."Won't be long now" is her first album in six years. Anchoring this musical feast is the wider Thompson family in the form of her daughters Kami and Muna, her singer-songwriter son Teddy and the return of the ex - the great Richard Thompson. His presence on the stellar opener "Love's for Babies and Fools" invests this plaintive self-penned ballad with effortless acoustic guitar work adding to the powerful vocal presence as it did so often in the past. Indeed, the voice of Linda Thompson remains a brilliant instrument evoking glories built throughout a long career and remaining true to its deep folk roots. "If I were a bluebird" at nearly seven minutes is the album's longest song and it is an autumnal treat, Thompson is accompanied by some new stars of Americana namely Sam Amidon and Amy Helm daughter of the recently departed Levon. Things lift for the jaunty cover of Anna McGarrigle's "As Fast as my Feet" where all the Thompson offspring appear and Kami takes lead vocals. Having John Doyle on guitar is a joy and his playing on the shanty "Never put the boys to sea" is brilliant but when he combines with another folk giant an absolute standout follows. On "Father Son ballad" Thompson is reunited with the greatest folk violinist Dave Swarbrick bar none, providing a shimmering emotive backdrop. He makes a reappearance on the rousing "Mr Tams".

Natalie Merchant recently turned Charles Causley's poem "Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience" almost into a Celtic jig. Thompson's version reinvests the sadness of longing inherent in this poem and with none other than Martin Carthy providing the acoustic guitar its 1-0 to her. As for the other songs "Paddy's Lamentation" previously appeared in voice only on the "Gangs of New York" soundtrack. This version has more instrumentation and is very well done. "Never the Bride" is a wistful folk ballad where a heartbroken young woman, longs for "a man with only one side." Thompson also takes on that traditional tale of human suffering "Blue Bleezin' Blind Drunk", a hurtful waltz about booze and marital abuse which has also been brilliantly covered by the Unthanks. Her voice on its own unaccompanied on stage is a wonder. Finally, the title track is a sprightly country swing-inflected song penned by Teddy, which brings this admirable musical feast to a close.

Linda Thompson is the Grande Dame of British Folk and draws on the ​vast personal experience of life, love and loss. She has also invested her heart and soul into her singing which is why she is so special to so many people. "Won't be long now" is the most welcome of returns and why not in the run up to the Yuletide festivities invest in more than one copy and pass this great music to relatives and best friends. You will be the toast of the season.
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on 19 October 2013
Linda Thompson competes with Kate Bush in the paucity of album releases but, boy, are they worth waiting for. Her voice has lost non of that heartbreaking ethereal quality of those early Richard and Linda albums and she's even roped in her ex husband on the first track. In fact, all of the Thompson dynasty are here and look set to rival the McGarrigle/Wainright clan.
The arrangments are, in the main quite sparse and simple, which allows Linda's voice to shine through. My favourite track is 'Mr Tams' a tribute to John Tams. This sounds like nothing less than a Victorian hen night in full throng with Linda, Susan McKeown and Liza Carthy belting out the vocals.
The songs may be contemporary but this stands a good chance of being the best folk album of 2013.
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on 11 December 2014
an interesting collection of sings - and not all doom and gloom as one reviewer suggests - (especially if cc with Richard!). What stands out is the haunting voice, a wonderful mixture of vulnerable, strong and haunting. Good collaboration, which does sometimes seem to take over, but non the worse for that. At the moment I can't stop playing it, though i wonder if there any songs with real, long term staying power, hence not 5 star.
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on 27 November 2013
Although the name on the cover is Linda Thompson, she is joined on this disc by various members of the family and friends. The pains and the joys of life are all evident, explored with tenderness and tears by the singers and instrumentalists through songs old, new and not previously heard performed as they are here.

It's well worth a listen - and will repay repeated airing, as the songs grow into favourites with familiarity.
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on 22 December 2013
Great album from Linda, voice is very different from the "Bright Lights" days, but still a formidable artiste. Richard Thompson on guitar is an added bonus.
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on 5 July 2017
As Described.
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on 2 April 2014
a fine singer, fine music, fine songs. A warm wonderful and diverse cd encompassing a style that should be listened to more widely.
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on 10 January 2015
In great voice as ever. Great songs beautifully sung.
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on 17 November 2015
Wonderful voice, very good songs, always a pleisure hear Linda Thompson singing.
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on 12 February 2014
Never dissapointed by her haunting voice and this is no exception, if you dont know her music give this a go it is quite pure but very easy listening
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