From there, Thompson split off, selling solo work on the strength of his guitar playing and building songwriting skills through a number albums that, despite often achieving critical acclaim, failed to find commercial success. A marriage and professional relationship with singer Linda Peters saw Thompson strike gold with the album “Shoot Out the Lights” just as the duo was torn apart by marital tensions and divorced.
Encouraged by the success, Thompson was buoyed on to greater audiences through the jazz and rock ’n’ roll scene of the 1980s, touring America and Europe with the Richard Thompson Big Band and eventually moving away from the big labels.
Thompson’s entrance to the independent scene was met with praise on both sides of the Atlantic, and he’s continued to perform both solo and with various unofficial groupings.
Over his lifetime of singing, writing and playing, Thompson has been nominated for a Grammy for his 2010 album “Dream Attic”; received a Lifetime Achievement Award from BBC Radio; been named among Rolling Stone magazine’s top 20 guitarists by writer David Fricke; and had a documentary, “Solitary Life,” made about him by the BBC.
Though he lives in Los Angeles and regularly travels internationally, Thompson has been a regular fixture on the Newburyport music scene for about a decade, by his own measure. He remembers the city fondly.
“It’s a good crowd, I’ve always had good crowds in the Boston area,” Thompson said. “It’s a good show. People rarely throw rotten fruit, which is good.”
During his Northeast trip, Thompson will make also stops at the Clearwater Festival in New York and teach guitar playing and songwriting at his own summer camps.
If you go
What: Richard Thompson solo acoustic show, with special guest Joyce Andersen
When: Friday, June 20, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Newburyport High School, 241 High St.
How much: $42, with tickets available at www.heptunesconcerts.com