Tiny Desk

Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson: Tiny Desk Concert

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/132899157/133372619" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Richard Thompson is the creative force at the heart of some of my all-time favorite records. I loved his electric-guitar playing on Fairport Convention's 1969 classic Unhalfbricking — it's a treasure of an album. But it was his solo record Henry the Human Fly and later his partnership with Linda Thompson when he shined brightest. His powerfully sad and expressive songwriting and fierce guitar playing are what hooked me. His music had the drone of Scottish music and the electricity of Neil Young.

Thompson recently released his 20th solo album, Dream Attic, which he recorded before an audience — a bold thing to do. You can hear me mention that to a packed office in this Tiny Desk Concert. When I mentioned how brave it was to do such a thing, Thompson quipped back, "And this isn't brave?" Thompson's music is infused with that sort of shrewd, hard-biting wit. You can hear it in "The Money Shuffle," here dedicated "to our good friends on Wall Street:"

"I love kittens and little babies," he sings. "Can't you see that's the guy I am / And your money is so safe with me / You never met such an honest man."

Whether he's dispensing an honest take on politics or on love, Thompson's heartfelt voice and that guitar have made him a vital artist with a songwriting future to go with his treasure trove of music from his past.

Set List
  • "The Money Shuffle"
  • "Stumble On"
  • "Demons In Her Dancing Shoes"
Credit

Michael Katzif (camera); edited by Bob Boilen; photo by Abby Verbosky/NPR

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Little Simz performs perform a Tiny Desk Concert on Jan. 23, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Tiny Desk

Little Simz

Little Simz has been compared to Lauryn Hill for her self-reflective wordplay. And though the British lyricist is a relative new-comer, her Tiny Desk performance was poised and confident.

Agnes Obel performs perform a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 9, 2016. (Raquel Zaldivar/NPR) Raquel Zaldivar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Raquel Zaldivar/NPR

Tiny Desk

Agnes Obel

Agnes Obel brings the Tiny Desk three alluring and powerful songs.

Esme Patterson performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 1, 2017. (NPR) NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Tiny Desk

Esmé Patterson

Esmé Patterson has dropped the banjos and folk from her previous project Paper Bird, and in their place are electric guitars and a backing band worth getting behind.

Run the Jewels perform a Tiny Desk Concert on Jan. 12, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Tiny Desk

Run The Jewels

Killer Mike and El-P continue to out-muse each other in a supergroup that somehow seems to get better, louder, and more pertinent since their start in 2013.

Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Tiny Desk

Ben Folds

Performing solo, Folds performs three songs from his new album and two old favorites.

Tiny Desk Concert with Chelsea Wolfe. Ariel Zambelich/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ariel Zambelich/NPR

Tiny Desk

Chelsea Wolfe

Wolfe takes three songs from the metallic Abyss and makes them howl by their lonesome.

Tiny Desk Concert with Car Seat Headrest. Jun Tsuboike/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Tiny Desk

Car Seat Headrest

Will Toledo is a wordsmith with a vision, as well as a DIY sound that's still finely crafted.

Tiny Desk Concert with EL VY. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Tiny Desk

EL VY

The National's Matt Berninger and Menomena's Brent Knopf team up in an intimate setting.

Tiny Desk Concert with The Arcs. Jessica Mowery/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jessica Mowery/NPR

Tiny Desk

The Arcs

It's our 500th show at the Tiny Desk, featuring The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach and his new band.

Tiny Desk Concert with Wolf Alice. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Tiny Desk

Wolf Alice

The band's music can be noisy and primal, but at the Tiny Desk it showed a different side.

Back To Top