on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2018 13 Sep

Thirteen Rivers, and the first record collection

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | Tags: , 5 Comments



Few things are certain in life. Birth, death, your favourite football team will let you down at some point, etc, etc.  Oh, and the fact that when Mr Reliable releases an album, you’re guaranteed a piece of class.“ In regards to 13 Rivers at least, I think, the writer is right. Of course, Richard Thompson is a living legend, remember his days with the folk-rock pioneers of Fairport Convention, his duo albums with former partner of ancient times, Linda, and, well, his compassion for music, documented on many, many solo albums.


But somehow I lost track of him. Even the classic Liege a Leaf that had blown me as a teenager with its raw and romantic landscapes (the long far away and gone) later sounded strangely dated, like a spell losing its magic. I had my hours with the likes of Fairport Convention, Pentangle, and even the more trad-oriented Steeleye Span. But, then, the times are gonna, yes, you know. So, this is no statement of a merciless critic, just an observation of changing listening habits.


Then again, I was kind of surprised when his new work, 13 Rivers caught me on the right ear (if this phrase makes any sense), and I liked the songs of a power trio (el-g, b, dr) plus second electric guitar. From start to end. Rather dark stuff, self-produced in ten days. The songs, haha, even surprised the man himself. Didn‘t know, btw, he‘s a muslim, till I recently read an interview. Interesting.


So, I even didn‘t care much when his voice on the first track sounded very much like Nick Cave. Old man going wild, with some surprising nods to his Fairport days. Reason enough to travel back soon to my first record collection (all in the basement, the back of my mind) where Liege a Leaf found itself in good neighorhood, with Aftermath, Atom Heart Mother, The Beatles – and the first Caravan album.


This entry was posted on Donnerstag, 13. September 2018 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Das Album erscheint morgen, bei NPR First Listen kann man es heute und morgen noch hören.

  2. Christoph:

    Hallo Michael,

    Danke für den Hinweis!

    Ich kenne RT nur von zwei Platten von French/Frith/Kaiser/Thompson. Da gab es einige sehr schöne Stücke drauf und seine Stimme mochte ich auch.


  3. Jochen:

    „By the time I was 20, I had worked my way through Watkins bookshop in Cecil Court [in central London], from A is for anthroposophy to Z is for Zen. In all that, I thought the Sufis [the „mystical poets“ of Islam] had the right balance and the right connection. And at exactly the moment I arrived at that thought I saw there was a Sufi meeting two minutes from our house in Hampstead, at a church hall in Belsize Park. So I went down there and I’m looking round this circle of invocation and I realised I knew four of them, all musicians I had done session work with. And then there were all these gorgeous women and great food. So it seemed right …“


  4. Michael Engelbrecht:



    No enlightenment without beautiful women and great food. This is really funny.

  5. Brian Whistler:

    Had been wondering what Thompson has been up to lately. Thanks for this. Will check it out on Tidal today.

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