For Your Hanukkah Listening Pleasure: Richard Thompson Turns the Tide at Poor David's in '91

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That crazy website I stumbled across at the end of last week, the one that turned up those Zevon shows from '93, is proving to be quite the treasure trove; and just when I was about to ditch this feature too. Don't think I'm not this close to spending all day tomorrow posting picks from the vault; some I've been searching for since forever.

But on this third night of candle-lighting, a special offering that'll last far longer than eight days: Richard Thompson's February 22, 1991, show at the old Poor David's Pub on Lower Greenville.

Only reason I wasn't looking for a keepsake chronicling this magical moment was because I never knew it existed. But it does -- in such crystal-clear clarity it's like being back there. And I was there, front and center (stage right, actually), reviewing the show for the Dallas Times Herald. Thompson -- who, in a perfect world, would be the household name I long ago imagined him to be -- was a few months out from releasing Rumor and Sigh, a career high-water mark among many; hence, for instance, his lengthy introduction to "1952 Vincent Black Lightning," which, in time, would become an oft-covered standard.

He would perform several songs from the record -- "my extraordinary new album," as he explained before tearing into "I Feel So Good," still known at the time by its original title "The Lost Sheep Returns to the Fold" before Capitol Records made him change it. In between the new songs and his stand-up patter, though, Thompson would go on to perform other immortals too: "Shoot Out The Lights," "Wall of Death," "Waltzing's for Dreamers," "Tear-Stained Letter," "Valerie" ... really, the list is endless. Almost literally: This recording captures both the early and late shows that night and runs close to three hours. Said its maker long ago, "Best Richard Thompson show ever." Hard to argue. But aren't they all?

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8 comments
MushMouth1
MushMouth1

Damn! Downloaded and listened to it tonight. Amazing stuff.

Bruce Riggs
Bruce Riggs

Very nice, thanks. Saw him for the first time at Lakewood Theater two or three years back. Wow!

Bill Holston
Bill Holston

me too, I was disappointed he didn't sing 1952 Vincent Black Lightening, cause I just really love that song, but man, does he deserve that best guitarist label. 

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

I was there as well, smack in the middle for that Lakewood show. It was good, great even. But this here Poor David's show? One for the ages. To be able to hear "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" for the first time, all over again ...

Bill Holston
Bill Holston

Loved the fact there was a amnesty amnesty table at that show. Listening right now to 1952 Vincent Black Lightening. Masterful song. I have a version by the Del McCoury band which is a nice cover, but this, man, almost makes me cry. thanks for this Robert. 

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