Sunday, December 2, 1984
proves why he's a
By Joseph Kraus
IMAGINE A band that can play
everything from folk music to rock,
that features one of the world's best
guitarists on lead, and whose stage
presence alone makes for an en-
Imagine further one man alone
capable of doing all of these things and
that would give yoiu an idea of how
amazing Richard Thompson was at the
Ark on Friday night.
Thompson has been reputed one of
the world's remier guitarists since his
days in the late '60's with the Fairport
Convention. In recent years he has
recorded albums both with his (now ex-
) wife and by himself, and released
them to vast critical acclaim.
Friday night he showed just how
much he deserved that reputation as he
kept the capacity audience entranced
while switching from original material
to covers everywhere from Hank
Williams, the Pointer Sisters, and Elvis
Thompson's guitar style is difficult to
pin down because it blends many dif-
ferent elements into a rich sometimes-
Switching effortlessly from sweet
English ballads to uptempo he
managed, more often than not, to sound
like two or three different instruments
at once. (Not just different guitars even
but sometimes a mandolin and the paisley strewn halls of time."
sometimes a bass). In addition he threw in several song
More than just being a great guitar such as "Was She a Woman or a Man,
player, though, he proved he is quite a and "I'm Nearly in Love," whic
singer as well. Wherever his guitar featured the lines "I wanna make sur
playing led, his pure, but accented it's not just the flu that gives me th
voice could follow. chills for you," that lightened up th
But perhaps most refreshing of all show.
was Thompson's stage personality. But his most arresting pieces wer
While singing he was a picture of inten- the sad, sultry ballads "Shoot Out th
sity but between songs he was full of Lights," and "The Dimmin' O' th
quips and jokes and witticisms. Day," which came across as even mor
On one occasion he broke a string and powerful in contrast to the quick-pace
was caught in the predicament of stan- fun of the others.
ding on stage with the nearest Thompson's recorded music ha
replacement about 30 yards away in his always been tough to come by, but I
dressing room. Thinking quickly he an- announced last night that his nex
nounced to the audience, "You'll sing", album, to be called Across a Crowde
and began leading an a capella version Room, will be released on Met
of Beatles' "Twist and Shout". In only a cury/Polydor as opposed to the in
few moments the entire audience was dependent Hannibal Records that ha
singing along and he dashed off stage to handled his previous few releases.
the dressing room singing there and Look for his new album, look for hi
back. old albums, and listen to him if ever th
When he introduced "Genesis Hall," chance arises, because there is n
a requested encore piece he'd written in question that Richard Thompson is
1969, he said, "Come with me now down very special musician.
THOMAS M. COOLEY LAW SCHOOL
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Daily Photo by MATT PETRIE
Veteran performer Richard Thompson sang his way through an evening of folk and rock tunes at The Ark Friday night.
Paxton merges past with present
By Joseph Kraus
In the early '60s folk music began to
be discovered by the masses for the fir-
st time in decades. That "folk revival"
was spearheaded in part by the old
guard of folk music, but more than
anything by a group of young singers
who found an intensity in it that lent
well toward writing songs about the
political crises of the day.
The most famous of these young
singers Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and Tom
Paxton (along with a host of lesser
known ones) congregated in New
York's Greenwich Village and slowly
began influencing the rest on the coun-
try-both in song and ideology.
In the years since then Dylan has
become one of rock's biggest names,
Ochs entered a depression and even-
tually killed himself, and most of the
rest of that folk crowd has drifted into
But Tom Paxton is still going. Always
a gentler, sweeter voice than either
Dylan or Ochs, his career has proved
the most consistent as well.
Early in his career he wrote several
songs that have since become modern
folk classics. Songs like "Bottle of
Wine," "The Last Thing on My Mind,"
"Ramblin' Boy," and "I Can't Help But
Wonder Where I'm Bound" have been
done and redone by everyone from Pete
Seeger to beginning guitar players.
Since that early outpouring of
classics, though, he has focused more
on timely topical pieces, aimed most
recently at the Reagan administration.
Paxton's stop tonight in Ann Arbor is
something of an annual event. Last
year he sold out two shows at the old
Ark and three years ago he was
featured in the fifth Ann Arbor Folk
The chief characteristic of a Paxt;on
show is warmth. He is a strong-but not
outstanding-guitarist and the same
holds for his voice. He may not blow
people away with his abilities but his
gentle stage presence coupled with his
near-legendary status as one of con-
temporary folk's fathers makes for a
very worthwhile evening of music,
stories, and good feelings.
Showtimes for Tom Paxton are 7:30
and 9:30 p.m. at the Ark. Tickets are $7
and available in advance at Schoolkids,
Herb David's Guitar Studio and the
For information, write:
Thomas M. Cooley Law School
P.O. Box 13038, 217 S. Capitol Ave.
Lansing, Michigan 48901
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Legendary '60s folkster Tom Paxton appears at The Ark tonight.
to rock out
Anyone who missed The
Replacements open for X at its
Michigan Theatre show in October will
want to be sure they're on hand tonight
when the Minneapolis bad boys return
to town tonight at Joe's Star Lounge.
The critically acclaimed but endlessly
notorious Twin Tone recording artists
should take the stage at about mid-
night, but you'll want to get to Joe's
earlier to catch opening acts Map of the
World and The Variables.
Twin Tone recording artists The Replacements rock at Joe's Star Lounge tonight.
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