Singer-songwriter Teddy Thompson leaves his folk-rock roots and goes country on the self-produced album Up Front and Down Low, his first full- length disc since Separate Ways.
It's a collection of classic tunes and lesser-known gems from country greats — he covers "The Worst is Yet to Come," Elvis Presley's "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone" and Dolly Parton's "My Blue Tears" — but Thompson turns in an original track, "Down Low," as well.
Critic Ken Tucker says Thompson infuses his music with an extraordinary soulfulness — there's "a nicely baleful version of Jimmy Osborn's 1948 hit 'My Heart Echoes' with typically subtle backup harmonies by Iris DeMent" — and the range of his choices shows he knows country cold.
For Teddy Thompson, Music's a Family Affair
Teddy Thompson in Studio on World Cafe - 05/03/2006
It is hard to discuss Teddy Thompson's music without drawing connections to his parents, the folk-rock legends Richard and Linda Thompson. This becomes even harder when Teddy collaborates with them on his albums, as he has done on his latest release, Separate Ways.
Teddy was born on a commune in London and had already formed his own band by the time he was 18. After he graduated school, he decided to relocate to Los Angeles. He developed a cult following by playing live solo gigs and recording demos. He was picked up by Virgin Records in 2000 and released his solo self-titled debut.
Teddy encouraged his mother to come out of retirement, and co-produced her first album in 17 years, Fashionably Late. On Separate Ways, released this past February, Teddy enlisted his father's remarkable guitar skills and performs a duet with his mother (the hidden track is a cover of an Everly Brothers song). He got assists not only from his parents but also Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Fairport Convention drummer Dave Mattacks and Garth Hudson, the legendary keyboard maestro of The Band.