CD Fashionably Late [Linda Thompson] (CD 145516),
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Fashionably Late [Linda Thompson]
1. Dear Mary
2. Miss Murray
3. All I See
4. Nine Stone Rig
5. No Telling
6. Evona Darling
7. Banks of the Clyde, The
8. Weary Life
9. Paint and Powder Beauty
10. Dear Old Man of Mine
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 613182
Edward Haber; Teddy Thompson; John McCusker
Edward Haber; Eve Seltzer; John Wood; Stephen Heller; Mark Tucker; Richard Barron; Rob Keyloch; Tom Dube; Tom Leader
Personnel includes: Linda Thompson (vocals); Kate Rusby (acoustic guitar, background vocals); John Doyle, Teddy Thompson (acoustic guitar); Jerry Donahue (electric guitar); John McCusker (cittern); Richard Greene (fiddle); Ruth Gottlieb, Howard Gott (violin); Robert Spriggs (viola); Sarah Wilson (cello); Van Dyke Parks (accordion); Andy Cutting (diatonic accordion); Peter Adams (keyboards); Geraint Watkins (Hammond B-3 organ); Danny Thompson (double bass, arco bass); Mike Rivard (electric bass); Rori McFarlane (fretless electric bass); Dave Mattacks, Chris Cutler (drums); Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainright, Teddy Thompson, Kate Rusby (background vocals).
Personnel: Linda Thompson (guitar, tambourine); Teddy Thompson (vocals, acoustic guitar, background vocals); Kate Rusby, Martin Carthy (acoustic guitar); Jerry Donahue, Richard Thompson (electric guitar); John McCusker (cittern); Dave Pegg (mandolin, acoustic bass); Howard Gott, Ruth Gottlieb (violin); Eliza Carthy, Richard Greene (fiddle); Robert Spriggs, Sophie Sarota (viola); Sara Wilson (cello); Van Dyke Parks (accordion); Philip Pickett (crumhorn); Peter Adams (keyboards); Andy Waterworth (double bass); Michael Rivard (electric bass); Chris Cutler, Dave Mattacks (drums); Jeff Berman (snare drum, tambourine); Martha Wainwright, Rufus Wainwright (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: John Wood .
Recording information: Air Edel Recording Studios, Ltd., London, England; Betrayal Studios, N.Y.C; Chez Boyd, N.Y.C; Livingston Recording Studios, Ltd., London, England; Mars Recording, Santa Monica, CA; N.Y.C; Passport Recording, N.Y.C; Playtime Studios, Boston, MA; Pure Studios, S. Yorkshre, England; Roundhouse Recording Studios, London, England; Sonora Recorders, Los Angeles, CA; The Sound Studio, London, England; Upstream Productions, Asheville, NC; Wolf Studios, London, England; Woodworm Studios, Oxfordshire, England.
Photographer: Ken Schles.
Arrangers: Kate Rusby; John McCusker.
Linda Thompson's first recording in 17 years is a stunning brace of poetics and grace. For a woman who literally lost her voice for more than a decade due to a stress disorder, Thompson reveals that she is at full strength as a vocalist, and perhaps more importantly, with this recording she clearly establishes herself as a songwriter as well. Recorded in the U.S. and in England, Fashionably Late feels like less of a comeback offering than it does an elegant statement of aesthetic from a talent who, along with Sandy Denny and Jacqui McShee, literally defined these terms for the British folk genre. There are many guests on this ten-song set, including Kate and Joe Rusby; Martin and Eliza Carthy; Van Dyke Parks; Dave Mattacks; Chris Cutler; Dave Pegg; Rufus and Martha Wainwright; Danny Thompson; ex-husband Richard; daughter Kamila Thomspson; and, her prime songwriting collaborator and guitarist, son Teddy Thompson. Produced by Edward Haber, who helped her assemble her retrospective Dreams Fly Away, Fashionably Late is devoid of special effects or studio magic. In stark contrast to One Clear Moment, her first solo effort, this is, primarily, a folk record that harkens back to the recordings that defined her voice without going into the past for material. And it is the voice that defines these songs. Ms. Thompson and/or son Teddy wrote or co-wrote the lion's share of the material here. Songs such as the opener "Dear Mary," offered in a lilting, country-ish vein, illustrate that economy of musical and lyrical language often adds to the emotional power a song is capable of deliver. This track in particular is of interest in that it features a reunion with Richard on guitar and backing vocals, as well as being the first ever track on which the entire family is featured along with bassist Danny Thompson (no relation). The confidence Thompson has, perhaps due in no small part to the appearance of her son at her side, is simply astonishing. In the Scottish murder ballad "Nine Stone Rig," she recounts a tale so chilling and bleak, one would think the murderer had sung it. On "The Banks of the Clyde," which Ms. Thompson wrote for her brother, she recounts with a staggering sense of heartbreak a broken woman's reiterating her life in a letter, and the fervent wish to return home. Lal Waterson's "Evona Darling" is executed with crystalline purpose and majesty, as Linda and Teddy trade verses and Parks accompanies the lone acoustic guitar on accordion. There is humor, too, on "Weary Life," co-written by the Thompsons in which a married woman of some years recounts how being single is the only choice for a woman in the present day. With a sardonic delivery and Eliza Carthy's violin playing a lyrical counterpoint, the irony and wit is both unmistakable and refreshing. One of the album's standout tracks in both quality and originality is "Paint and Powdered Beauty" that Linda Thompson co-wrote with Rufus Wainwright. It's a ballad that, with its lush string arrangement and subtle cast melody, could have been written by Jerome Kern or Sammy Cahn. Martin Carthy's exquisitely chosen chord shapes in counterpoint to the string section are breathtaking. Thompson's ability to carry a song like this, so completely at odds with her forte, is a testament to her virtuosity. Despite the fact that Fashionably Late took literally years to make, it's remarkable sequencing and continuity leave no seams. This is a comeback record to be proud of; it not only sates the appetite of those fans who felt Linda Thompson left the scene too abruptly, but it is also the British folk record that everyone interested in the genre has been waiting such a long time for. ~ Thom Jurek
Rolling Stone (12/26/02, p.112) - Included in Rolling Stone's "50 Best Albums of 2002"
Rolling Stone (8/8/02, p.80) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...A long-overdue gem from one of rock & roll's finest voices....There's not a bum track on [this] album of many highlights..."
Entertainment Weekly (8/2/02, p.73) - "...An intentionally understated yet inviting album befitting her subdued reentry..." - Rating: B+
Q (10/02, p.117) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...A set of songs so cockle-warmingly familiar you're left scanning the credits to see who did them the first time..."
Uncut (10/02, p.122) - 3 stars out of 5 - "A return that is as warmly welcome as it is wholly unexpected."
Mojo (Publisher) (1/03, p.77) - Ranked #32 in Mojo's "Best Albums of 2002"
Mojo (Publisher) (8/02, p.104) - "...LATE showcases her passionate and bittersweet voice in a stripped-down atmosphere..."
Paste (magazine) - "It would be hard to find another album from 2002 that is as well written and as beautifully sung as this one."
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