Richard Thompson

ACL Live Shots

ACL Live Shots
Photo by John Anderson

Richard Thompson

Zilker Park, Oct. 10

A crescent moon brightened in the darkening sky as the sun dropped and Richard Thompson took the Clear 4G tent stage. It wasn't positioned horns up, a pagan auspice befitting Thompson's roots as founder of the seminal British folk-rock band Fairport Convention; instead the creamy sliver tipped gently to the right. It also illuminated Thompson's genuine brilliance throughout the hourlong set, sparkling and glowing with the polish of nearly five decades of performance. Drawing from his new disc, Dream Attic, Thompson chose the album's first two songs to open, a dry, witty "The Money Shuffle" and the elegiac "Among the Gorse, Among the Grey," both warmly received by the audience. But as Thompson delved into such familiar material as "Al Bowlly's in Heaven," the circle between performer and audience completed itself, crackling to life with joy and abandon. Thompson ably demonstrated why Rolling Stone named him one of the 20 Greatest Guitarists on electric and acoustic instruments, but it was "Tear Stained Letter" that signed, sealed, and delivered Thompson as one of ACL's all-time class acts.

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