Richard and Linda Thompson continue on separate paths with exceptional new releases 

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British folk duo Richard and Linda Thompson have been divorced far longer than their wedded life, but they proved in 2014’s Family that reconciliation is possible when playing with children Teddy, Jack and Kami Thompson. This fall, however, they continue their separate and fruitful paths with Richard’s 13 Rivers (New West Records) and Linda’s My Mother Doesn’t Know I’m On the Stage (Omnivore), both exceptional for different reasons.

Richard has composed 13 of the tightest, strongest and most melancholy songs of his career, addressing subjects such as aging and betrayal with unflinching honesty. One could try to pick out favorites like “Bones of Gilead” or “O Cinderella,” but in reality, any of these tracks are as strong as Thompson’s best works.

Linda Thompson, a lover of Edwardian vaudeville ballads, has expanded a live show she first produced in 2005 to include 14 occasionally corny but delightful pub tunes. Some may be disappointed that she only sings lead on three tracks, but with guests like Colin Firth, Martha Wainwright, Cara Dillon, James Walbourne and her son Teddy on the whimsical arrangements, how could the effort be anything but wonderful?


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