Dream Attic heralds the return of Richard Thompson, one of the most distinguished guitarists and songwriters of our time, with a magnificent collection of 13 new songs.
Penned during a short and inspired burst of creative outpouring, the songs were performed during a West Coast tour in February 2010 and the bulk of the performances that made the album come from three shows at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. “I don’t think musicians playing on their own are particularly interesting, it’s only when they play in front of an audience that something interesting happens” said Thompson in an interview at one of the shows.
The album opens explosively with “The Money Shuffle”, which Thompson says is “dedicated to our good friends on Wall Street who did such a fine job lately…it’s just a mild satire”. The resulting take is the antithesis of mild, building towards an absolutely scalding guitar solo. From this bracing start, the sequence rolls through traditionally rooted balladry (“Among the Gorse, Among the Grey”, an intriguing, sharply-drawn character study (“Here Comes Geordie), image-filled observations (“Burning Man”) and recollections of bygone eras (“Demons in Her Dancing Shoes”). “Sidney Wells” is a traditional murder ballad in modern dress, “Crimescene” is a raging reaction to the inexorable aging process. “A Brother Slips Away” is a moving elegy to friends the 61-year-old Thompson has lost within the last year and “Big Sun Falling in the River” is a bouyantly Beatlesque instant classic.