Richard Thompson is set to return with 13 Rivers on September 14, 2018.
A return to New West Records, the 13-song set is the Grammy nominated artist’s first self-produced album in over a decade and was recorded 100% analog in just ten days. It was engineered by Clay Blair (The War On Drugs) and features Thompson’s regular accompanists Michael Jerome (drums, percussion), Taras Prodaniuk (bass), and Bobby Eichorn (guitar).
“There are 13 songs on the record, and each one is like a river,” Thompson explains. “Some flow faster than others. Some follow a slow and winding current. They all culminate on this one body of work.”
13 Rivers was recorded at the famed Boulevard Recording Studio in Los Angeles. Previously known as The Production Workshop, which was owned by Liberace and his manager, the locale served as the site for seminal classics by Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, Ringo Starr, and hosted the mixing sessions for Pink Floyd’s legendary The Wall.
Of the album, Thompson says, “The songs are a surprise in a good way. They came to me as a surprise in a dark time. They reflected my emotions in an oblique manner that I’ll never truly understand. It’s as if they’d been channelled from somewhere else. You find deeper meaning in the best records as time goes on. The reward comes later.”
He continues, “I don’t know how the creative process works. I suppose it is some kind of bizarre parallel existence to my own life. I often look at a finished song and wonder what the hell is going on inside me. We sequenced the weird stuff at the front of the record, and the tracks to grind your soul into submission at the back.”
13 Rivers commences on the tribal percussion and guitar rustle of “The Storm Won’t Come” as the artist bellows, “I’m looking for a storm to blow through town.” Today, NPR Music has premiered “The Storm Won’t Come,” alongside an additional new album track, “Bones of Gilead.”
Calling the new songs “brilliant,” NPR Music’s Bob Boilen named Thompson “one of our greatest living guitarists and songwriters,” and stated, “His just-announced 19th solo album, 13 Rivers, still finds him brimming with bursts of guitar magic and storytelling.”
13 Rivers will be available across digital platforms, compact disc, vinyl, as well as limited edition split cream & black colored vinyl available at Independent Retailers. Richard Thompson’s 13 Rivers is available for pre-order now via New West Records.