Profiles

Richard Thompson on Fairport Convention, Nick Drake and Sufism

These days, the legendary folk-rock band Fairport Convention isn't as widely known as it once was, and yet Richard Thompson, the band's most storied guitarist, is often cited as an influence by a wide range of musicians and frequently included on the short list of the most talented living guitar players.

After leaving Fairport in the early '70s, Thompson went on to a critically acclaimed solo career including a string of well-received albums, movie soundtrack scores and his famous interpretations of pop music over the centuries, called 1,000 Years of Popular Music.

Now in his sixth decade, Thompson is still going strong as a touring musician and recording artist (his latest album, Dream Attic, was just issued at the end of August). We spoke with Thompson at length on a variety of topics, including his time with Fairport Convention, his work with Nick Drake, Sufism and his craft.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.