GIG REVIEW: PHILLY.COM - EH & RC with RT at the Academy of Music

Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, with Richard Thompson, at the Academy of Music

Thompson opened with an hour long set marked by scintillating musicianship, as he fronted a sort-of Celtic power trio with jazzman's chops, assisted by bassist Taras Prodaniuk and drummer Michael Jerome.

He focused on songs from his excellent-as-always Buddy Miller-produced new album, Electric, that moved from the acoustic tenderness of "Saving The Best Stuff For You" to the belligerent paranoia of "Good Things Happen To Bad People." (Sample lyric: "Mona Lisa, what a teaser/ What's that strange cologne I’m smelling? You know more than you’re telling.")

Thompson also made time for a couple of "those old favorites you've driven so far to hear," as he dryly quipped. Most notably, he filled up the hall with a wall of solo acoustic sound on "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" and led the house in a heartbreak singalong on a caterwauling "Tear Stained Letter."

Dan DeLuca,