Q&A January 2012, Part II
2/4/2012 (updated 2/4/2012)

Just been watching/listening to my Christmas present - "Richard Thompson, featuring Linda Thompson, Live at the BBC". Yes, my Linda kept it hidden for quite a while, having bought it the day it was released! A few observations:

1- I note you have the neck pickup screwed right down on the bass (E string) side - what effect does that have on the tone?

I found the neck pickup magnet was pulling the tuning a bit, so as I wasn't using it, I screwed it out the way.

Especially as the 5 way always seems to be set on the neck pickup!

Neck or between 2 and 3.

2 - Pity you don't get together with Christine Collister more often - brilliantly complimentary backing vocals.

I agree. See above.

3 - Forgotten Gerry 'depped' for Dave in the 'old' days - but who was the bass player in Ottawa?

Ruari McFarlane.

4 -That old Strat of yours seems to have an amazingly warm tone - and terrific sustain. I appreciate that it is something of a fragile old lady and doesn't like to go out much, but it is a joy to hear on those videos (perhaps helped by the Musicman combos).

The Ferrington - which I have seen you play on many, many occasions - seems rather thinner, even with the humbucker, and the Strat that Bobby built sounded far too 'clinical' when we saw you in Brighton. I guess we, the audience, have a different take on the sound but I miss that 'organic' warm tone that you achieved back in the 70s and 80s.

Perhaps someone can cobble together a 'classic' Strat from vintage parts for you and maybe, just maybe, we might get to see you play a Les Paul with P90s again - Lark in the Morning or Matty Groves at Cropredy 2012?

My old 64 Strat has that great warmth - I tend to keep it in the UK for tours there. Fred Walecki at Westwood Music has lovely 54 Strat which is sublime. Can't take these on the road any more, though.

Best Christmas present - and many thanks for re-releasing 'Strict Tempo' - another pleasure - but when will 'First Light' come out on CD - my tape is wearing thin!!!! Happy New Year - and enjoy the cruise! Bob

No plans on First Light.

Is there a record in your own catalogue that you feel particularly proud of and yet it failed to succeed commercially or gain popularity with your fanbase? And the same question in reverse? Thank you, Vincent

All of them, really. And in reverse? OK, Vincent, Is there a record in your own catalogue…

What has happened to the vault releases? At one time there was talk of a show from the Rumor and Sigh tour. How about something from the Big Band tour? RT also said that the Songs of Protest Show from 2008 was  recorded. How about the Industry concert? There are so many interesting shows that could be released. Bradley Fackler

We are always thinking about the next possibility. Some are easier than others. The protest songs require clearances, which can get expensive for boutique release. I don't think any live Industry shows were recorded.

Here's my question. Maybe I'm wrong, but it's always been my impression that you write songs from the perspective of people you can relate to in some capacity. I don't mean to say that your songs are autobiographical, but I hear a lot of compassion and nuance in your lyrics, even when you're singing about serial killers and suicide bombers and all-around unpleasant folks. Just one exception comes to mind: "The Money Shuffle" is a totally unsympathetic piece of satire, as far as I can tell. Is there something about corrupt Wall Street bosses that makes you want to treat them differently from other crooks? Is it harder to relate to Lloyd Blankfein than, say, Auldie Riggs?

I suppose they are human beings. If I had time to write the novel, I might find some shades of sympathy. In a three minute pop song, I'd better stick to the headlines. I think what upsets me the most is the amount of misery to so many people that their greed causes.

P.S.  I know you get tired of suggestions for collaborations, but I'm going to slip one in here. How 'bout those Klezmatics? I know you have endlessly answered questions regarding other musician's works. So I wonder if you are familiar with Tommy Emmanuel's guitar work and what you think of his style. Best wishes, Jeff Zalesin, admiring undergrad

I know nothing about him. Ivor Emmanuel I am more familiar with.