Richard Thompson, Warrior

Richard Thompson's back in our arms again.

Austin's lucky. One reason's that we're visited on a fairly regular basis by guitar god, master storyteller, and humorous human being Richard Thompson. He returns to the Texas Union Ballroom Saturday night just six months after his last appearance. The difference this time is that, for the first time in years, he'll be appearing with a band.

The occasion is latest disc Sweet Warrior (Shout! Factory), his first electric effort since 2003's The Old Kit Bag. It's another well-crafted collection of folk and Celtic influenced rock, one that explores the different types of war we can experience; the wars between many and the wars between individuals.

One of Thompson's most overtly political songs, "Dad's Gonna Kill Me," is told from the perspective of a soldier in Baghdad (the 'Dad'), wondering what might happen next. The other side of the coin is explored on the biting "Johnny's Far Away," a morality tale of a couple who cheat on each other yet maintain "the job of man and wife."

Thompson's career has spanned decades, so expect old and new. With longtime sideman Pete Zorn coloring with everything from saxophone to mandolin, it's sure to be another night of the joyous, intense, and sweet, if you're lucky.

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