[ Verve Records / CD ]
Release Date: Thursday 26 July 2007
Teddy Thompson's self-produced third album offers distinctive readings of beloved country classics. Throughout 'Up Front & Down Low', the songs are supported by artful, evocative arrangements that often diverge from the material's original country milieu.
Teddy Thompson's self-produced third album, 'Up Front & Down Low' offers distinctive readings of beloved country classics: George Jones' "She Thinks I Still Care," Ernest Tubb's "Walking the Floor Over You" and Merle Haggard's "(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers." Equally impressive, however, are such lesser-known songs such as Boudleaux Bryant's regretful "Change of Heart," the yearning "Touching Home," Dolly Parton's bittersweet "My Blue Tears," the tongue-in-cheek Bob Luman hit "Let's Think About Living" and the Elvis Presley chestnut "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone." The album also features a lone Thompson original, "Down Low," whose heart-on-sleeve lyrics take on added resonance in this context.
"As strange as it may seem, country music was the music I was brought up on," says Teddy, 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."
Throughout 'Up Front & Down Low', the songs are supported by artful, evocative arrangements that often diverge from the material's original country milieu. Six tracks feature distinctive string arrangements by legendary English arranger Robert Kirby, renowned for his groundbreaking work with Nick Drake, while "My Blue Tears" features strings arranged by frequent Thompson cohort Rufus Wainwright.
'Up Front & 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, 'Up Front & 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.
1. Change Of Heart
2. Touching Home
3. Walking The Floor Over You
4. (From Now On All My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers
5. I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone
6. My Heart Echoes
7. The Worst Is Yet To Come
8. My Blue Tears
9. Down Low
10. You Finally Said Something Good (When You Said Goodbye)
11. She Thinks I Still Care
12. Let's Think About Living
13. Don't Ask Me To Be Friends