ON - Randy Thompson - CD Review by Preshias
If they hadn’t
already created the description “Americana,” they
would have had to come up with it for Randy Thompson’s songs.
Sure they’re kinda Country. But then there’s that
Rockabilly beat (complete with echo) on tracks like the lead off
song “Don’t You See.” And then you move on and
hear the mandolin pickin’ from Rickie Simpkins (late of
bands with Emmylou Harris and Randy Scruggs) that gives you a
definite whiff of Appalachian air. But wait! That sure sounds
like a traditional folk song. Then you catch that bluesy slide
guitar from Randy’s son Colin. He is incredible!
So we mix it all up and call it Americana, and that’s fine
if programmers would just figure out a way to give airplay to
songs that they consign to that genre.
If you restrict your musical listening to broadcast radio, you
are likely to miss out on a lot of great music, and that would
probably include most if not all of this CD which is the third
album from this unique and talented artist.
Numerous standout tracks on this CD, including a raucous rendition
of the folkies’ favorite train wreck song, “Ol’
97,” with a slammin’ guitar and a lightning-fast fiddle
intro worthy of Charlie Daniels’ devil going down to Georgia.
The introspective “Riptide” allows Thompson to slow
things down with a sparsely-backed acoustic guitar. “Now
you’re caught in a riptide pulling out to sea / Being pulled
under by the very thing you need / And it’s all you can
do to keep your head up high / Mmmm… caught in a riptide.”
He reminds us that we shouldn’t fall faster than our angels
He’s soon back uptempo, however, with a knee-slappin’
farmer boy song, “Goin’ Down to Lynchburg” that
has him vowing to go downtown to carry his tobacco ‘though
the ‘bacco man’s sellin’ high and no one’s
buyin’. Wailing guitar breaks and an insistent backbeat
lift the tale of a hard country life into an anthem about moving
up and moving on.
“Leave the Light On” even has echoes of Bruce Springsteen
in Thompson’s wistful song to his sleeping woman as he comes
home at three a.m. to a quiet house. “Hold me close and
get my jokes,” he pleads. “Smile at me like a girl
from long ago.” (Tell us whatcha
really thinkin’ there Randy).
The title track (and the closing track on the album) is based
on a poem written by Thompson’s grandfather, Wesley Sober.
“It was found on an old yellowed piece of paper after he
died,” said Thompson. “He must have written it in
the 1920’s or 1930’s. I just put the melody to it.”
Randy Thompson’s powerful vocals backed by some of the best
musicians in the business make this a slice of Americana worth
adding to your collection, even if – like most people –
you can’t really define what Americana is. This boy’s
gonna show you!