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REVIEW: NAPA VALLEY REGISTER - BottleRock Diary
5/11/2013

Day Two, Richard Thompson

The day two band that I want to see more than any other is the Richard Thompson Electric Trio. In this, I'm an outlier from most of the other rock fans, who are aggregating for Joan Jett, The Black Crowes, and Primus. Nothing against those all-stars, but Richard Thompson is a guitar master and arguably the best musician at the festival.

I get to see Thompson first at his press conference, where he is dressed more like a birdwatcher (which he is, avidly) than a rock star - cargo shorts, checked flannel shirt and baseball cap. He's in a cheeky mood. A fellow reporter asks how he feels about being ranked #19 on Rolling Stone's all-time greatest guitarist list. "Is that all? Nineteen?" Thompson says, and lets us all know what he thinks about the list. "Jimi is #1, fair enough. But you have Keith Richards #3, Andre Segovia #112, and Les Paul #157. What does that tell you?"

Thompson has changed into his performance threads, black shirt and jeans and his signature Scottish Balmoral cap, for his appearance on the Miner Family Stage. Miner is the most intimate of the three BottleRock stages, a place more suited to hundreds than thousands. He greets us with, "It's Thursday afternoon. What are you doing off work, you lazy bastards?" Then he lays it on us for about an hour. It's a privilege to experience, up close, a musician of his grace and taste and astonishing instrumental skill.

David Kerns, Napa Valley Register

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