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Out of the Box Album of the Week--Richard Thompson--Ship to Shore

Richard Thompson’s new album “Ship to Shore” is not a collection of sea shanties, though his legion of fans wouldn’t put it past him if it were. On his twentieth album this triple threat of guitarist, songwriter and vocalist ruminates on the cruel passage of time while delivering his best album in years. 

Working with the same band he recorded with on his last album six year ago, Thompson shreds acoustic and electric guitars during songs imbued with his dark sardonic wit. His songwriting style fluctuates between his signature British folk-rock into Scottish, Irish, Jazz, country and classical styles, sometimes during the same song. 

His dry humor finds its way into character studies, songs of unrequited love and the optimistic album closer. 

With a legacy as profound as Thompson’s; Fairport Convention founder, iconic troubadour with his now ex-wife Linda Thompson, and the canon of solo recordings to his credit, it might be expected that, now in his seventies, he would begin to slow down but there’s no evidence of that on “Ship to Shore.”