Easy Ed's Broadside

Exploring music without a map.

Since 2009, Ed has shared his thoughts on ND about music that touches him, and rambled hither and yon about what else is on his mind.

Easy Ed's Broadside

Exploring music without a map.

Since 2009, Ed has shared his thoughts on ND about music that touches him, and rambled hither and yon about what else is on his mind.

The One About Doug Sahm and the Jukebox

Being an analog sort of fellow, I've been trying to get Chris Hillman on vinyl but everything to do with Petty has immediately dried up.  I have the Joan Shelley and the Neil Young.  I got to see Tom Brosseau at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota this summer with Gregory Page and Misty Koop singing the Great American Songbook.  They were great and I also have that album.  And although I'm familiar with Richard Thompson I own nothing.  Where do I start?'s pretty hard to find one sprecific entry point in Thompson's long career. His catalog includes group work, electric, acoustic, self-written songs, covers and even a box set spanning 1000 years of popular music. Here's one path: Fairport Convention's Liege and Leaf, every single Richard and Linda Thompson album, Richards' 6-disc box set Life and Music and then just about anything else. I lean toward the three Acoustic series these days but there's so much more.

I actually just purchased Liege and Lief but haven't listened to it yet.  I guess I'll just have to pick an album and dive in.

Matthew, I envy you (and now you're part of the clique)! It is always a thrill to "discover" an artist with a back catalog.  I'd start with "Shoot Out The Lights" (Richard and Linda Thompson) and "Hand of Kindness".  Fairport is great but the RT is a bit diluted. I'm not a big fan of his discs from the last decade but they are far from bad recordings.  Best advice? See him live if you get the chance.

EasyEd-I hadn't heard of the "Acoustic Rarities" RT release.  It looks like it is packaged with "Acoustic Classics II" as a 2 cd set.  Thanks!

Doug Sahm trivia time: "She's About A Mover" was originally titled "She's a Body Mover" but was deemed too risque and it was thought it might drive the boys and girls wild! 

Sounds more like she's a professional cleaner for the mob.

More Doug Sahm trivia: He was the opening act at Hank Williams’ final concert. 

I had not heard that.  As the member of a band? Solo?

Sure can waste a lot of time going down these music rabbit holes!

Matthew, all of the Richrd Thompson recommendations I would agree with but for me his absolutely best album is his 1983 release, "Hand of Kindness." It features many of the musicians from Fairport Convention as well as backup singers including John Hiatt. But it's the songs that are amazing from the title track to "Tear Stained Letter," "Both Ends Burning," "The Wrong Heartbeat," "Two Left Feet" and "A Poisoned Heart and a Twisted Memory." I think this album features some of his best songwriting and as The Clown mentioned, his later albums can be hit and miss but this album is fantastic all the way through.

Thanks, I’ll try that. 

Richard Thompson's take on your man's  "Season of the Witch".

And although this is a cover, there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that Donovan taught Richard Thompson how to play guitar.

Well Mr. Artistforme when I couldn't play your posted video I thought it was a joke since I had never heard that Richard Thompson played this classic song so I Googled it and discovered that indeed he did but where. Further digging revealed that it was on the soundtrack to the TV show "Crossing Jordon" which was on American TV in the early 2000's but I never saw. Thanks for the heads up. But are you sure Donovan didn't teach Mr. Thompson anything?

Interesting. I was not aware it was used in a TV show. I wonder how much of the 9 minute version was used? I assume a snippet. I changed the link and hopefully it now plays.   I've heard rumors that half of (what was to be) Led Zep played -Jimmy Page and the guy who didn't play drums and wasn't Robert Plant-on Donovan's verison.   I'm not sure RT was influenced by the hippy psychedelic aesthetic of Donovan but at the time certainly Donovan was the bigger name.  Regardless-cool cover.




There's a direct connection between RT and Donovan, Donovan's bass player Danny Thompson(played on just about all his albums until at least '73) was RT's go to bass player for most of the 90's and 00's, he hasn't been using Danny much lately because Danny's cut back on his live work mostly because he's close to 80. They're both Muslims, so they get along spiritually. I've seen them live together several times, when RT takes a particularly tasty solo Danny will point at him with his left hand as if to say "You da man!"

Has anyone heard the rumor that Donovan taught RT guitar?

I came to Richard Thompson through Willie Nile.   I’ve always been a Willie fan and was happy when he finally released “Places I Have Never Been” in 1991 after a 10 year gap.  I also got to meet Willie in 1991 too – what a gentleman.   Richard Thompson was on that album as a session player so I picked up his new release that came out the same year.   It was “Rumor and Sigh” and I think that was a pretty good place for me to start at that time as it is one of his more accessible albums and prepared me when I went deeper in his catalogue. 

Your columns are musical madeleines calling forth all sorts of long uncalled upon memories.  The juke box at the beach club introduced me to Patty Page and the Everley Brothers and, of course, Connie Francis.  Volare was inescapable in New York in the late 50's.  Even the Chineses wedding singers sang it.  The Bells of Rhymney brought my muddled mind to Sara Jarosz' Ring Them Bells, not the same thing at all - even if it feels that way.  

I only found Richard Thompson later in life.  It's just as well, I might not have appreciated him for the guitar god that he his back in the day.  Thanks for another entertaining afternoon.


Glad I helped fill part of your day with old memories and maybe some new tunes. 

"Musical madelines",  what a perfect description of EasyEd's columns.


You made my day.


Richard Thompson Live 1990.