12 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Teddy Thompson’s fifth album, 2011’s Bella, is his most streamlined to date. Produced by David Kahne (the Bangles, Wilco) and backed by Thompson’s road band and special guest, dad Richard, Bella is arguably the most accessible of Teddy’s catalog. Not that he’s ever been anything more complicated than a sincere singer-songwriter, but Kahne brings the young Thompson to center stage with arrangements that range from brilliant power-pop (“Looking for a Girl”) to carefully orchestrated baroque miniatures (“Over and Over,” “Home”). Thompson’s sounding a bit frustrated with his love life — “The One I Can’t Have” walks down the street with the feeling that maybe his prowess isn’t always what he thinks. (Ladies are likely to disagree). Thompson also sounds remarkably more like his dad than ever. He has better range (thanks to mother Linda) but he finds the same frustrated yowl to express his concerns. The extra ache in “Gotta Have Someone” is particularly affecting; sometimes, good genes help make convincing music.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Teddy Thompson’s fifth album, 2011’s Bella, is his most streamlined to date. Produced by David Kahne (the Bangles, Wilco) and backed by Thompson’s road band and special guest, dad Richard, Bella is arguably the most accessible of Teddy’s catalog. Not that he’s ever been anything more complicated than a sincere singer-songwriter, but Kahne brings the young Thompson to center stage with arrangements that range from brilliant power-pop (“Looking for a Girl”) to carefully orchestrated baroque miniatures (“Over and Over,” “Home”). Thompson’s sounding a bit frustrated with his love life — “The One I Can’t Have” walks down the street with the feeling that maybe his prowess isn’t always what he thinks. (Ladies are likely to disagree). Thompson also sounds remarkably more like his dad than ever. He has better range (thanks to mother Linda) but he finds the same frustrated yowl to express his concerns. The extra ache in “Gotta Have Someone” is particularly affecting; sometimes, good genes help make convincing music.

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About Teddy Thompson

Teddy Thompson was born into music, the prince of one of the Royal Families of British Folk. Born on February 19, 1976 in London, England, his parents were Richard & Linda Thompson, who recorded a series of wildly acclaimed albums in the '70s and '80s. Although his parents divorced when he was young, he would go on tour and record with both of them. As a youngster, Teddy had a passion for early rock & roll and vintage country, claiming he didn't listen to music recorded after 1959 until he was 16. By the time he was 18, he had learned to play guitar and formed his own band. In 1996, he made his recording debut, contributing backing vocals to his father's album You? Me? Us? Over the next several years, Teddy performed with Richard's group on tour, opened shows for him, and appeared on his recording sessions. Most notably, Teddy dueted with his father on a live version of the song "Persuasion" that appeared in the Richard Thompson collection Action Packed.

In 2000, Teddy struck out on his own, moving to New York and releasing his self-titled debut album via Virgin Records. While the album received strong reviews, sales were slim, and for a spell he toured with Rosanne Cash's backing group. He also toured with longtime friend Rufus Wainwright and appeared on his 2002 album Poses, as well as 2003's Want One. 2002 also saw Teddy participating in the recording of Linda Thompson's first album in 17 years, Fashionably Late, and joining her on the road for a brief U.S. tour. In 2005, he landed a new record deal with Verve Forecast, and released his second solo album, Separate Ways. That same year, he and Rufus Wainwright recorded a cover of Roger Miller's "King of the Road" for the soundtrack to the film Brokeback Mountain. Teddy also took part in the sessions for Kate & Anna McGarrigle's seasonal album The McGarrigle Christmas Hour. In 2007, he released Upfront & Low Down, a striking collection of covers of his favorite country tunes. He also worked with his mother Linda again, performing and writing material for her album Versatile Heart. 2008's A Piece of What You Need saw him writing original pop songs again, and the album became a chart success in the U.K. and rose to number ten on the British Album Charts. In 2010, Teddy took part in a series of concerts paying tribute to the late Kate McGarrigle. Recordings from the concerts were later released as Sing Me the Songs: Celebrating the Works of Kate McGarrigle. Teddy's 2011 album Bella was produced by David Kahne, and spawned the single "Looking for a Girl."

In 2014, he served as producer for a special project, a collaborative album with contributions from the extended Thompson family. Featuring Richard, Linda, Teddy's sister Kami, his half-brother Jack, and cousin Zak Hobbs, the album was titled Family and credited to "Thompson". Still in a collaborative mood, Teddy released an album with singer and songwriter Kelly Jones titled Little Windows in 2016. He also has a side project: a rockabilly/country trio called Poundcake. ~ Mark Deming

  • ORIGIN
    London, England
  • GENRE
    Rock
  • BORN
    February 19, 1976

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