With His Electric Guitar and Rueful Vocals, Richard Thompson Rages In His Latest Album

“13 Rivers” is a crucible of fiery emotion.

Album Review

Richard Thompson
13 Rivers
New West

Richard Thompson has been crafting his high-intensity version of British folk rock, first as a member of Fairport Convention, but mostly as a solo artist, for a half century. At this late date, it would be difficult for the brooding troubadour to surprise his audience, except by making a bad album. Happily, all of Thompson’s splendid gifts are on full display on the typically excellent “13 Rivers.” His taut songs are a pressure cooker of fraught emotions, simmering with anger, regret, and need. Over the years, he’s evolved into a genuinely compelling singer, rather than a vocalist by default, whose rueful crooning conjures vivid vignettes of desperate times. Still, Thompson’s mind-boggling electric guitar remains the main attraction, thanks to stinging, zig-zag solos that make time stand still yet never resort to flash for their own sake. Long may he rage.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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