Richard Thompson jokes that he has been getting away with playing guitar and singing for more than 50 years. But in reality he has been pushing the boundaries of folk and rock music, crafting dynamic guitar parts and lyrics that remain poignant and affecting.

We recently caught up with the legendary singer-songwriter before sound check at Freight & Salvage, in Berkeley, California. He was affable as ever, performing his classic song “Turning of the Tide” and sharing some stories about touring with his Lowden F-35.


Thompson has definitely put the instrument to the road test for the last 20 years. “It’s a cedar and walnut guitar, and it’s very stable for the road,” he says, “But it’s got quite a bit of wear and tear.”

He also reflects on the challenges of playing solo acoustic guitar for thousands of people, and how one person in the crowd can affect your performance.

To dive deeper into Richard Thompson’s techniques, get a copy of our new book, Play Like the Great Singer-Songwriters.