Monday, February 2, 2015
Kami, How I Love Ya. How I Love Ya.
Teddy Thompson's brainchild "Thompson Family" is a recording that gathers both Richard & Linda Thompson, their children, grandchildren and in-laws, and includes contributions and interplay with various combinations of all. The performance last Friday at NYC's City Winery, featuring all but the matriarch Linda who was vacationing in Budapest, attempted the same to mostly glorious results.
While it was a thrill, as always, to hear RT play guitar, the related ensemble added more than just music on such classics as "Down Where The Drunkards Roll," "I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight," "Tear-Stained Letter" and "Wall Of Death." City Winery is already an intimate venue, but with this family history, it almost felt invasive. Every eyeroll, sarcastic quip and impeccable harmony felt like it might have been better left behind closed doors. Still, for nearly two hours, I was kept thoroughly entertained.
It would have served the show better to not have given Jack, RT's son with his second wife Nancy Covey, two bass solos, which is officially one more than a Uriah Heep concert. And though Teddy was behind all of this, I don't love his material.
The real heart and soul of the night belonged to Richard and Linda's daughter Kami Thompson and her husband James Walbourne, who record as The Rails. The resemblance of Kami to Linda both visually and sonically is chilling, and though Walbourne's stage presence seems more akin to a punk rocker, his guitar chops certainly give his father-in-law a run for his money, and together with his wife, produce harmony that would make any fan of Richard & Linda's work proud.
Four songs from The Rails debut "Fair Warning" were performed on Friday and they were the highlights of the evening, especially ""Panic Attack Blues," which featured James and father-in-law, trading solos that knocked me off my bar stool, and the title track of the album, which I posted above.
I'll be checking out The Rails on Tuesday evening, as they perform their first NYC show at Joe's Pub. A few tickets are still available, so go get them.