Q&A June 2011, Part I
7/2/2011 (updated 7/2/2011)

I have an old radio recording (probably from Folk on 2) from around 1987 with the RT Band playing at Cambridge Folk Festival. Before one song you say "Clive's gonna sing one now" and the band performs a song with the lyrics "My poor heart aches, it pays the price of my mistake, you tie me down in barbed wire and beat me senseless ... And there's not a thing that I can do, though I try the best I can, I'm going to have to take it like a man". I've been searching for the song ever since - any idea what it is and where I can lay my hands on a recording? Many thanks ;) Will Nutland

It's called 'Take It Like A Man' and is I think an Any Trouble song - failing that it's a Clive Gregson song. Definitely a Clive composition.

Any chance of an RT gig in Belfast on the next tour because we're only 100 miles up the road from Dublin. When was the last time …if ever…. did RT play Belfast? (Maybe the next time?) Thanks. Walter  (A Poor Ditching Boy)

I've played Belfast many times in my life, but not lately, I'll admit. Please suggest me to your local promoter.

Your children, Kami and Teddy, are active in the music industry as is Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson's daughter Eliza; Loudon Wainwright and Kate McGarrigle's children Rufus and Martha. There are probably more (Jenny Muldaur - Geoff and Maria maybe plus Ringo Starr and John Bonham's sons perhaps?). Ashley Hutchings and Judy Dunlop's son Blair is 19 and following a similar path. What advice would you give Blair and others? Alastair Thomson

And Adam Cohen and Chris Stills and a few more. I think I'd just say, Welcome to the family business. Some kids take over the family butcher's shop, some take over the band.

Question one is whether you've heard his stuff - via Youtube probably? (He seems to be a rather mature guitarist - influenced by Nic Jones - as much as anything else at the moment)?

Yes I have - looks promising.

Secondly (and I'm coming at this as a parent of a teenager), would you  like to share how the culture of being someone  'working in music' translated to your children when they decided upon their career paths? Best wishes, Alastair Thomson

They spend their whole youths hanging out at festivals and backstages, and meeting musicians, so clearly it's a short leap. The hard bit is, after the nepotistic introductions to the record companies and the agents and managers, they then have to produce the goods. Same as any business, really.

I, Mah Own Damned Self, have been a dauntless emissary of The Music of Richard Thompson for some time, turning many people, who were quite reticent in the beginning, on to your music in a sort of spiritual quest to further the wellspring and keep some money in your pocket. I speak of prog rock heads, jazz aficionados, hip hop devotees... all end up digging RT and I hope I've helped grow the legion of fans. That said, as a lover of American country music among other "musics", and as you yourself are a guitarist and incredibly knowledgeable of other "musics", what is your opinion of the late Roy Nicholls (master of the Telecaster) and the Bakersfield Sound in general and do you think you might ever get down to recording a "country" record (possibly as a sort of homage or as a kind of "Rosetta Stone" reading the linkages back to your land)? How do you feel about the steel guitar and fiddle and "chicken picking" in general? The ethos of Richard Thompson is not too far from the honky tonks of Bakersfield or Nashville.... Lotus Eater

Roy Nichols was great! I think James Burton did some of the studio stuff, some of those signature licks though, like Mama Tried. I love the Bakersfield sound, recorded as it was mostly at Capitol Studio B in Los Angeles. I do like country music, up to the 60s anyway, and I use a few pedal steel licks on guitar. I will probably never record a country album, unless things get really bad, at which point I will suddenly claim lineage to Hank Thompson, become Hank Thompson Junior, sport a Stetson and become way more sincere with my stage announcements. If they could take George Hamilton IV and Charlie Pride to their bosoms, surely they'd love an ingratiating limey?

Time for my annual hockey question to you. Your Kings & my Wings went out in disappointing style once again. Losing Kopitar didn't help the Kings needless to say. An absolutely bizarre & nasty final series tho' I'm glad the Bruins prevailed. Did you catch any of the finals (or earlier rounds) & what did you think? Did you see the Kings at all? Brian Hayes - Nepean ON

The Kings showed that they're really not ready to compete at that level. Several players disappointed, and losing Kopitar turned out to be huge. The Wings might be thinking that they need a few changes for next season, tweaks rather than an overhaul. I hated the finals - just too brutal. The Bruins chose the path of destruction - if you can't compete with skill and skating, maim the opposition. Not my favorite kind of hockey. I saw the Kings 2 home games at Staples (thank you Bob Borgen, and thank you Kerri for getting me into Luc Robitaille's sky box). Blowing a 4 goal lead against the Sharks was devastating, and I don't think any team can recover from that kind of thrashing.