A lot has happened already this year! Jan/Feb is usually an admin time and this year is no exception. Finalizing the touring schedule is top priority. As much as it can be finalized that is! See the updated list below.
Already though! Two albums have been released this year! Yep….not one but two! First was “Timeless Vol 1” which is, in effect a “best of” selection, available to download from all the usual places. Hot on it’s heals is an album called, “Keith Thompson’s Blues Eruption…Little Red Rooster”…released by a company based in Holland. This is a collection of 10 classic blues covers and 4 originals that I was commissioned to record. It is now available everywhere on-line!
Timeless has already been favorably reviewed in “Blues In Britain”.
CD REVIEW – KEITH THOMPSON
TIMELESS VOL.1 – DENSITY MUSIC.
This year sees Keith Thompson celebrate fifty years performing as a live musician, and along the way he’s made some very fine albums indeed, worked with some of the finest around, including the likes of Buddy Whittington and Laurence Jones, has written some amazingly good songs, proves again and again to be one of the finest guitarists around the UK scene. So now the lad from Cheltenham gains his right to celebrate his music, and in the best way possible with a dozen choice selections of his recordings from his albums through those years. Choosing a dozen must have been difficult to decide on but he has, and what we have is a varied and hugely enjoyable set of performances, I say that because two of the tracks are live on tour in Europe. Sometimes Keith’s music seems not to get the exposure it should do but with his release hopefully that will change. Think the best in both blues, rock and soul, then Keith Thompson’s your man.
Opening with ‘Cat Scratch Crazy’, laying down the gauntlet, the guitar along with keys, drives things along, just backed by bass and drums, this kicks the set off perfectly. ‘Preaching The Blues’ is one of his best songs and he’s performed and recorded it as an electric band version, also as an acoustic one, both work well, but here we get the full band version, all about getting the blues out there, and dedicated to preaching these blues. ‘Keeper Of The Flame’ slows things down a little, its from his superb ‘Catch The Fire’ album that included both Whittington and Laurence Jones, but here its just Keith again offering some amazing guitar to his vocals, another great song from him.
‘Breathe’ from that same album, is another outstanding song, with a taste of wah-wah pedal. Driving blues and another superb choice for this set. Then, you get ‘Money’, no not the old Pink Floyd song, but one of his own about one of the oldest subjects in music, money, or as in many cases the lack of it, more of that pure blues rock guitar, played with such taste, as is the whole song, another very fine performance.
‘Soul Ties’ has a more country blues flavour to it, from his Two Minutes To Midnight, acoustic based album, featuring some nice slide guitar in there, another change in style, but more proof of Keith’s writing skills. Then to the two live tracks, and mighty fine they are, both from the excellent “Snapshot Of Reality” album recorded on tour all over Europe, the first ‘Promised Land’ recorded in Austria, just the three piece, before another recorded in Germany, ‘Reputation’, this is a real taste of just how good the band is live. One track well worth a mention is one from his “Steel Strings Bruised Reed”, acoustic based album is ‘Why Can’t You Be Good’ which also features the wonderful sax of Patsy Gamble, whose worked with Keith many times over the years both in the studio and live, This actual track is one of those you know you’ll be playing again and again.
So there we have it Volume 1 of this tribute to the music of Keith Thompson, and its one of those well worth seeking out, following the excellent new “Transcendence” album last year, we now have this look through his career, and what a wonderful journey it is. Fifty years, and a legacy of great rock blues for all to enjoy, roll on Volume 2. Pete Clack.
Not only that!….a live album is due for release imminently. This is a recording of a gig in “Hard Rock Pamela” in Torun, Poland. The album is due for release when we play there again on march 9th! It is being released on the HRPP label in Poland but I will no doubt have some available for the UK tour in April. The album is called “Up Close & Live”.
- I am continuing to work with the folk/americana band, the Jigantics in between KTB stuff….amazingly it all fits together.
- I shared some pieces of advice on Social Media not long back….I guess it comes with age…so just in case…here it is again:
KT TIPS- What I would’ve told my younger self!
1. Be yourself. There is only one you. Also, do not compare yourself to someone else. By all means asses your ability but not on sounding like someone else…. but work at being the best “you” you can be.
2. Just because someone claims to be an expert, it doesn’t mean they are.
3. Being an excellent musician doesn’t make you a professional. Think about that. Also…there are musicians and those who play music and think they are musicians. (What I mean by this is that I may be able to change a fuse in a plug but that doesnt make me an electrician) Neither is bad but not everyone can tell the difference.
4. You don’t have to bare your soul and be too open. If you do, you may burn out.
5. Don’t pin all your hopes on other people. They are the one thing you can’t control.
6. Don’t listen when they say you have plenty of time. Now is all we have.
7. Don’t fall for the lie that money isn’t important.. ..it may not be your primary purpose but you are sure gonna need it. Oh and there is nothing spiritual about being poor. Being materialistic is not the same thing.
8. If people say you are brilliant that’s nice and if people think you are rubbish that’s not helpful but actually both are only an opinion. It’s all just static. Make your own mind up.
9. If you are waiting for the right time, it may never come. There isn’t a perfect time. Take the opportunities as you get them.
10. Don’t make it all about the destination. Enjoy the journey. It may not happen again.
11. What you think. You are. So think good.
12. Make your own luck.
13. Just because a high percentage of people believe something, it doesn’t make it true. Also….people don’t always say what they really think.
14. A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action becomes a reality.
15. Empty vessels make the most noise. Yes. The people who shout the loudest are not necessarily the people you should listen to.
16. You can’t steer a ship that isn’t moving. So when you don’t know which way to go, pray and take small steps forward…the right way will open up.
17. Choose your battles. Be wise….some people won’t listen to you anyway so why fight. You don’t need the stress.
18. The flip side is be prepared to take advice especially from trusted sources. At the end of the day though…the decision is yours.
19. Forgive others and forgive yourself…and move on….it’s done…don’t beat yourself up about stuff that happened years ago.
20. There is more going on than you can see.
KTB – Jigantics – Solo acoustic – 2020
Friday 6th. Milkmaid Music Club, Bury St Edmunds. (Jigantics)
KTB – TOUR POLAND
Saturday 7th. Gostynin, Poland (KTB)
Sunday 8th. Gostynin, Poland (KTB workshop)
Monday 9th. Hard Rock pub Pamela, Torun, Poland (KTB)
Tuesday 10th. TBC
Wednesday 11th. Culture Centre, Elk (KTB)
Thursday 12th. Gdynia Blues Club, Gydnia, Poland (KTB)
Friday 13th. Harris Piano Bar, Krakow (KTB)
Saturday 14th. Cultural House, Bratislava, Slovakia (KTB)
Sunday 15th. Muzyczna Owczarni, Jaworki, Poland (KTB)
Tuesday 17th. Bugsy’s Music Venue, Pszczyna, Poland (KTB)
Wednesday 25th. Cafe Rene, Greyfriars, Gloucester (KTB)
Friday 27th. Duck and Drake Music Venue, Kirkgate St. Leeds (KTB)
Saturday 28th. Blues Bar, 4 Montpellier Parade, Harrogate (KTB)
Saturday 4th. Limelight Theatre, Queens Park Art Centre, Aylesbury Wells (KTB)
Wednesday 8th.Red Lion Folk Club, Birmingham (Jigantics)
UK TOUR with Polish Rhythm Section
Thursday 16th. Beehive, Swindon (KTB)
Friday 17th. Woodlands Art Centre, Gillingham (KTB)
Saturday 18th. Tetbury Goods Shed Art Centre (KTB)
Sunday 19th. TBC (KTB)
Monday 20th, The Cherrington, Brailes (KTB)
Wed 22nd Vonnies Blues Club, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham (KTB)
Thurs 23rd. Sports Hall, Ross On Wye (KTB)
Friday 24th. St Harmonica’s Blues Club, Chase Side, London (KTB)
Saturday 25th. The Stables (Stage 2), Milton Keynes (KTB)
Sunday 26th. The Brasshouse, Broad Street, Birmingham (KTB)
Sunday 3rd. Litchfield Vaults, Hereford (afternoon 3.00pm KTB)
Saturday 23rd. Ulpha, Broughton In Furness (Jigantics)
Sunday 24th. Dog and Partridge, Marchington (Jigantics)
28th May. The Beehive, Prospect Hill, Swindon (KT solo acoustic)
Sunday 31st The Brewery, Gloucester (KT solo acoustic)
Monday 1st. Stroud Music cafe, Independence Trust for “Lifting the Blues” (KT solo acoustic)
Saturday 6th. Everyman Theatre Studio, Cheltenham (KT solo acoustic)
Saturday 13th. Aberystwith Folk Club (Jigantics)
Friday 10th. Manor Farm, Ardley (Jigantics)
Saturday 11th. Bromsgrove Folk Festival (Jigantics)
Sunday 12th. Folk On The Moor, Nr Plympton (Jigantics)
Thursday 16th TBC
Friday 17th TBC
Saturday 18th. Upton Blues Festival (KTB)
Sunday 19th. The Tropic, Ruislip (KTB)
Wednesday 22nd. Llantrisant Folk Club, Pontyclun, South Wales (Jigantics)
Saturday 29th. Colne R&B Festival, The Hippodrome, Colne, Lancs. (KTB – on stage 3.40)
Friday 4th. St Edith Folk Club, Sevenoaks (Jigantics)
Saturday 12th. Galicja Blues Festival, Galicja, Poland (KTB)
Saturday 19th. Southdowns Americana Festival, Bognor (Jigantics)
Tuesday 22nd. Alicante (Jigantics)
Sat 10th. Hebden Bridge (Jigantics)
Tuesday 13th. Epping Folk Club, Essex (Jigantics)
Friday 16th. Costa Del Folk, Portugal (Jigantics)
Saturday 24th. Black Dyke Mills, Queensbury (KTB)
Sunday 25th. The Richmond Blues Club, Hereford (KTB)
Sunday 15th, Forest Folk Club, Sling, Coleford (Jigantics)
Tuesday 17th. Bristol Blues Club. (KTB)
Sunday 29th. Prince of Wales, Ledbury. Sunday afternoon blues (KTB)
Tuesday 1st. The Hoy at Anchor FC (Jigantics)
Saturday 5th. Rugely Blues Club, Rugely (KTB)
Saturday 12th, Square Roots, Southdowns (Jigantics)