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Linda Thompson: Won’t Be Long Now

All-too-rare offering from one of Britain’s definitive vocal talents.

Four solo studio albums in the 30 or so years since Linda became the ex-Mrs Richard Thompson may hint at a certain disinclination for the record industry. Throw in a vocal condition that continues to thwart plans for stage work, and you have a dramatically undervalued craftswoman of song.

Her follow-up to 2007’s Versatile Heart is anything but unreliable, passing into her cultivated body of work with the innate assurance of someone who can only sing songs she believes in. This time, that takes her back into a more consistently folk-flavoured cadre of material than has probably been the case since it was a tale of two Thompsons.

But the cast list here is (by my count) a tale of six Thompsons across three generations. Richard adds acoustic guitar to Linda’s elegant composition Love’s For Babies And Fools, with a lead vocal sets the largely wistful tone for the whole album. Son Teddy contributes the catchy As Fast As My Feet (on which sister Kami takes the lead) and several others, with and without his mum. She also collaborates with Ron Sexsmith on the graceful If I Were A Bluebird.

Delightful and distinguished.