Club Helsinki Hudson
Friday, December 20, 2013
Review by Seth Rogovoy
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Teddy Thompson showed that lineage aside, he’s got the goods to be a top-notch singer-songwriter and performer – in fact, he is one now – in his solo acoustic show at Club Helsinki Hudson on Friday night. Thompson — the son of folk-rock legends Richard Thompson and Linda Thompson – boasts his own colorful and dynamic voice; clear and direct songwriting talent; a distinctive, jazzy musicality; and a natural ease on stage.
The comparisons to his father do and will also haunt him, because Richard Thompson is pretty much the model for what Teddy and thousands of others like him do. Thompson pere is the master performing singer-songwriter – an astoundingly fleet guitarist and a born entertainer with a catalog of killer songs and a wry sense of humor.
Still, Teddy boasts his own strengths as well as similar ones. He has that same wry, deadpan thing like his dad. He’s still working on his guitar skills, but they are considerable and he uses them to different effect, as his music, while in the same ballpark, veers elsewhere – his melodies often surprise in a jazzy way, and he tackles styles like country and R&B in a more direct fashion, and comes up swimmingly.
Teddy Thompson embraces his widespread influences and makes them into his own sound. Thus, on Friday night, there were moments of Buddy Holly-like rockabilly and melancholy; Everly Brothers-like country-pop; classic Motown; and, yes, Richard Thompson-like melancholy.
If you’re destined or condemned to be a chip off the old block, you couldn’t ask for a better block than the one Teddy Thompson comes from. This chip’s on fire.