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FURTHER ON - Randy Thompson - CD Review by Preshias

If they hadn’t already created the description “Americana,” they would have had to come up with it for Randy Thompson’s songs.

Sure they’re kinda Country. But then there’s that Rockabilly beat (complete with echo) on tracks like the lead off song “Don’t You See.” And then you move on and hear the mandolin pickin’ from Rickie Simpkins (late of bands with Emmylou Harris and Randy Scruggs) that gives you a definite whiff of Appalachian air. But wait! That sure sounds like a traditional folk song. Then you catch that bluesy slide guitar from Randy’s son Colin. He is incredible!

So we mix it all up and call it Americana, and that’s fine if programmers would just figure out a way to give airplay to songs that they consign to that genre.

If you restrict your musical listening to broadcast radio, you are likely to miss out on a lot of great music, and that would probably include most if not all of this CD which is the third album from this unique and talented artist.

Numerous standout tracks on this CD, including a raucous rendition of the folkies’ favorite train wreck song, “Ol’ 97,” with a slammin’ guitar and a lightning-fast fiddle intro worthy of Charlie Daniels’ devil going down to Georgia. Whew !

The introspective “Riptide” allows Thompson to slow things down with a sparsely-backed acoustic guitar. “Now you’re caught in a riptide pulling out to sea / Being pulled under by the very thing you need / And it’s all you can do to keep your head up high / Mmmm… caught in a riptide.” He reminds us that we shouldn’t fall faster than our angels can fly.

He’s soon back uptempo, however, with a knee-slappin’ farmer boy song, “Goin’ Down to Lynchburg” that has him vowing to go downtown to carry his tobacco ‘though the ‘bacco man’s sellin’ high and no one’s buyin’. Wailing guitar breaks and an insistent backbeat lift the tale of a hard country life into an anthem about moving up and moving on.

“Leave the Light On” even has echoes of Bruce Springsteen in Thompson’s wistful song to his sleeping woman as he comes home at three a.m. to a quiet house. “Hold me close and get my jokes,” he pleads. “Smile at me like a girl from long ago.” (Tell us whatcha
really thinkin’ there Randy).

The title track (and the closing track on the album) is based on a poem written by Thompson’s grandfather, Wesley Sober. “It was found on an old yellowed piece of paper after he died,” said Thompson. “He must have written it in the 1920’s or 1930’s. I just put the melody to it.”

Randy Thompson’s powerful vocals backed by some of the best musicians in the business make this a slice of Americana worth adding to your collection, even if – like most people – you can’t really define what Americana is. This boy’s gonna show you!



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