Legendary guitarist Richard Thompson has been a workhorse for the past four decades, releasing near flawless album after near flawless album. His latest, Dream Attic, continues that run, and much like his unique, hybrid guitar style – which draws equally from his early days with pioneering folk-rockers Fairport Convention, the rock and roll of his youth, and his own inventive mind – the album is not quite a live release and not quite a studio studio offering. It is somewhere in between.
Recorded over a series of nights at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, Thompson captured the energetic spontaneity of his live shows, but with the polish of his best studio work. For Thompson, who is a guitarist’s guitarist, the impressive part is his flawless execution of thrilling solos with near pin-point precision in the live setting. The crowd is relegated to a few hushed cheers between songs and serves as the only reminder that this was live set, not a meticulously crafted studio album. But unlike most live albums, Dream Attic is comprised of entirely new material that can stand shoulder to shoulder with any of the strongest songs he has ever written. Much of the album has a dark and biting feel, given even more power by the lengthy solos applied throughout.
Dream Attic is quite simply another stellar release by a legendary guitarist who has been hard at work doing this for nearly 40 years and who shows no sign of slowing anytime soon.
Dream Attic is out now on Shout! Factory.