Richard Thompson splits his time between homes in Los Angeles and London but his mordant songs still spring from a very English imagination.
"I'm not that affected by surroundings when I write music," the 63-year-old told me. "There is an inner landscape that you draw on, a sort of inner Bronte. It's a bleakness in which I always see songs happening. It's a fictional world. Maybe it doesn't even exist."
Despite the emotional desolation of some of his songs, there is a wit and jollity to the music of someone who describes himself as "a very positive, optimistic person".