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Folk/Acoustic

Teddy Thompson

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"As strange as it may seem, country music was the music I was brought up on," says Teddy Thompson, whose parents are British folk-rock legends Richard and Linda Thompson. "It's the music that's...

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"As strange as it may seem, country music was the music I was brought up on," says Teddy Thompson, whose parents are British folk-rock legends Richard and Linda Thompson. "It's the music that's closest to my heart and the music that speaks to me the most, and it's always been a big influence on my own songwriting. I was obsessed with country music when I was a kid, and it's definitely had a huge influence on the way I write songs. I was always attracted to songs that had a brilliant pun or a clever turn of phrase, but came from a dark, bitter place. As a writer, I've always gravitated towards that feeling." Born in 1976 in the London commune where his parents resided, Thompson "didn't listen to any music made after 1959 until I was about 16," and formed his first band in his early teens. After finishing school at 18, he moved to Los Angeles, where he began to pursue a musical career in earnest. His original tunes and live gigs generated sufficient buzz to win him a deal with Virgin Records. By the time he released his self-titled solo debut in 2000, he'd already played in his father's touring band and contributed guitar and backing vocals to his albums You? Me? Us? and Mock Tudor . In 2002, Teddy played a key role in drawing his mother out of a 17-year musical retirement to record her landmark comeback disc Fashionably Late , which he co-produced and played on; he also led her live band when Linda toured to support the album. Teddy also found time to record a self-released six-song EP, Blunderbuss, and to tour as part of Rosanne Cash's band, before signing with Verve and releasing the acclaimed Separate Ways in early 2006. Indeed, Upfront & Down Low marks a temporary departure from the London-born, New York-based singer/guitarist's prior recorded work. Whereas his first two albums Teddy Thompson and Separate Ways showcased his formidable songwriting skills, Upfront & Down Low focuses on Thompson's abilities as an interpreter of outside material. The collection finds him delivering personalized reworkings of a memorable assortment of songs drawn from America's rich country music tradition, all delivered with a level of commitment and musical imagination that consistently cuts to the emotional heart of the material.