Richard Thompson received the OBE, Order of the British Empire, in 2011 for his “singular and substantial contribution to music.”

Photo by Matt Condon

On his latest full-length, the English singer-songwriter reinforces his role as one of the 20th century’s greatest. Here, he muses on his musical roots, innovations, and rig essentials.

Any list of great British songwriters, from Lennon/McCartney, Ray Davies, and Pete Townshend to Elvis Costello, must contain Richard Thompson. But any discussion of England’s most impressive, identifiable guitar players (be they Clapton, Beck, Page, or Mick Taylor) also needs to include Thompson. And it’s a coin toss which 6-string he excels at more—acoustic or electric.

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