This beautifully shot DVD/Blu-ray from Eagle Vision captures one of the founding members of Fairport Convention like fine wine, powerful and letting the energies flow from his fingertips and the voices that bring the music to life. “Wall of Death” exudes that power in a unique way, the instruments all melting in perfect unison behind the vocal sounds. With gray hair Thompson looks like how Ian Anderson has always looked, the clever old rock and roll sage and what’s truly bizarre is if you go to YouTube to call up the song “The Money Shuffle” from this “Live At Celtic Connections” disc you have to endure an advertisement for Judge Dredd 3.
You are better off watching on Blu-ray at home, as I did. Most impressive is how the lighting and the camerawork are both in sync with what Thompson and his amazing band are doing. It’s more like Space-age Celtic Rock for the sophisticated set. Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall had the honor of containing these vibrations in January of 2011 (part of the annual Celtic Connections festival). The cameras do precise zoom-ins on Joel Zifkin’s violin and mandolin, the guitars, flute, sax and mandolin of Pete Zorn, Michael Jerome’s drums, Taras Prodaniuk’s bass and the guitar and voice of Thompson.
The dynamics are what one would expect as the artist takes us through his CD Dream Attic along with a time capsule of songs throughout Thompson’s very prolific catalog. The press notes that the always welcome and obligatory bonus tracks include two performances from the 2011 Cambridge Folk Festival – “Uninhabited Man” and “Johnny’s Far Away”. Now it may be a stretch, but the superb music played here should, somehow, blend in with some of the modern country acts performing in America. Though a very distant cousin to what country artists are creating today, something as important as Thompson’s music would be appreciated by that crowd, and could expand his audience, something this Blu-ray proves he richly deserves.
TRACKLISTING: 1) The Money Shuffle 2) Among The Gorse, Among The Grey 3) Haul Me Up 4) Burning Man 5) Here Comes Geordie 6) Demons In Her Dancing Shoes 7) Big Sun Falling In The River 8) Stumble On 9) Sidney Wells 10) A Brother Slips Away 11) If Love Whispers Your Name 12) The Angels Took My Racehorse Away 13) Can’t Win 14) One Door Opens 15) Al Bowlly’s In Heaven 16) I’ll Never Give It Up 17) Wall Of Death 18) Tear Stained Letter 19) Take Care The Road You Choose 20) A Man In Need
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He was a film critic for Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com and produces and hosts Visual Radio. Visual Radio is a fifteen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed John Lennon’s Uncle Charlie, Margaret Cho, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere, Marty Balin, Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.