Q&A September 2011, Part IV
10/4/2011 (updated 10/6/2011)

Hi, Richard! Just saw you play at Ellnora -- first time seeing you, and I think it was likely the greatest concert experience of my life. I'm looking forward to the next time I get to see you :-) I've been listening to you with Fairport for a few years and over the summer became addicted to your solo stuff (which has since become preferred to Fairport, though I still love that too). As such, I've been collecting your albums on CD and have an almost complete collection. I was wondering whether there were any plans for re-releasing "First Light" or "Sunnyvista" anytime soon, or if this poor college student should save up to get a used copy on Amazon? Thanks for the music!!! Best, Austin Simpson - Illinois

Still can't find the masters.

You've probably already addressed this, but what are your thoughts on your unreleased live recordings being available on the web? I personally think the old fears about live "bootlegs" being harmful to an artist have been roundly debunked. Of course, in the 21st Century, "bootlegs" are different - with superior sound quality and instant file sharing cutting into the value of (the relatively new practice of selling) old live shows. Since it's primarily undertaken by your most faithful fans, the ones who've supported you for decades... how do YOU feel about it?

As you say, the quality of most bootleg recordings/videos is pretty bad, and I'm OK with that stuff being up on Utube, or people swapping tapes of such quality. My audience actually buys a lot of CDs, and bless them for it, and I'd like them to continue to do so, or pay for downloads, or compensate by paying higher concert prices - one way or another, I need to make a living. Even tougher for young artists these days - I would say a fairly unsustainable model for all but the Radioheads and REMs of this world. There is talk of making the servers tack on the price of downloaded music and movies to your monthly bill - easy to do if there is the political will, and easy to get around for the dedicated bootlegger, but most people, I feel, would think that was fair enough.

I saw Teddy Thompson during Beautiful Days '11 - I decided he was one of my "must-see" musicians, having missed you in 2009 (even if you'd not had to cancel due to injury, I ended up arriving a day late anyway!). I wasn't disappointed and I've been building up my collection of his albums since then, but I couldn't help but notice someone who looked a lot like you a few steps to my left. I didn't say anything at the time because I didn't want to intrude, I wasn't sure what to say and it would have been incredibly awkward if it was just someone who looked a lot like you! Curiosity has got the better of me now and I have to ask. Did you take a day or two before going to Vienna to catch Teddy's set?

(If you did, I was the guy with the long hair and dark green jacket right at the front, and I apologise for the odd look when I was trying to figure it out!) Michael Barrett

Not me, unless I was spiritually projecting - could you see through me?

If I may ask, what tuning did you use for "King Henry's Conquest of France"? I'll will keep trying to figure it out - can't record copy worth a damn, never could. I'm terrible at recognizing anything but standard and DADGAD tunings (even then, I have a hard time recognizing DADGAD most days, I don't have a "good" ear, despite playing for 45 years...)

I'm getting a real kick out of your pdf of "So Ben Mi Ch'a Bon Tempo", can't wait to finish learning it so I can play it for my friends (I have friends now!).

Thanks so much for the songbooks, and the iPad lessons, and the .pdfs, they keep me playing! That's a really important bunch of publications for us struggling guitarists you've got there. Keep going, keep writing, you rock so tunefully. Looking forward to seeing you next month! Yay! Your Listener, Mike Rivers

Gee, these things are a little easier to figure out if one simply keeps one's capo handy.... (duh). I got "King Henry V's Conquest of France" pretty easily - once I found my capo. Still, a tab would be cool. Thanks, Mike

I think it's too easy for a TAB, and I don't have a standard pattern when I play it, so not sure what I'd put in. It's capoed at 3rd or 4th, and played in drop D.