Richard Thompson For Completists

Road Band 2003

















Picture Paul Woods

Pete Zorn 

Born in 1950 in Pennsylvania. Turned pro while at high school, doing folk club gigs on guitar, bass and mandolin with brother Bill on banjo, at the same time playing with local rock and soul bands. Upon graduating he was the first Arizona recipient of the JP Sousa award, only six of which are given out each tear nationwide. After 3 tours of US service bases with a local Top 40 band (SE Asia, Central America and Europe), he and Bill joined The New Christy Minstrels (after auditioning by telephone!) touring in the US and Japan with a featured performance at the Tokyo World Fair.

In 1970 he came off the road at Los Angeles, where, with fellow ex-Minstrel Gary Fishbaugh and his wife Paula, they formed the vocal group FF&Z. In 1971 they brought the group to London to sign a deal with CBS Records. Two years later, when Gary & Paula returned to LA, he stayed on, working in the studio and on the road with Joan Armatrading, Richard Thompson, Barbara Dickson, The Albion Band, Garry Rafferty, Shakin' Stevens, Peter Sellers, The Arizona Smoke Revue, Chris While and Julie Matthews, Simon Nicol, Show Of Hands and then teamed up with Dave Whetstone and Martin Allcock to form Waz! His instruments: guitar, saxes, flutes, mandoline, percussion, backing vocals. 



Picture Courtesy Paul Woods

Earl Harvin

Drummer Michael Jerome (who played on "The Old Kit Bag") is not available in 2003. In Richard Thompson's Road Band he will be replaced by Earl Harvin, born in New Jersey living in Texas, drummer-composer-singer, has lead his own outfits, generated great reviews, played with Joe Henry (who was Teddy Thompson's producer and who seems to be Madonna's brother-in-law, oh my) and many others, there's a T-Bone-Burnett link too, some of his thoughts are in an old newspaper article and some superlatives about his place in the music are here  

January 17 2003

FF: Hi Earl, Five simple questions for an introduction, please:
EH: Hi Flip, I thought you said "simple" questions...

FF: What made you - being anything but a rock drummer
as it seems - decide to join RT's live band?

EH: I was recommended by Michael, whom I have known for quite some time and is an amazing musician. I'm sure that the trust that Richard and co. have in Michael both as a musician and as a person have a lot to do with it.
I have always listened to and performed all kinds of music. Depending on what circle you're in I might be known as anything from jazz musician to session musician to indie rocker. So Richard's music, at least stylistically, is not out of the blue.

FF: for RT-fans who would like to take up studying your work?
EH: I'm fortunate to be proud of a lot of albums that I've played on, but if I had to pick a few I'd say...TheThe-Naked Self, Seal-HumanBeing, and Earl Harvin Trio- Unincorporated.

FF: What drumkit will you be using while touring
with RT?
EH: A rental kit in the UK, my own mish-mash
of tamas and assorted snares in the States.

FF: What could be a difference the audience will
notice, compared to Mike Jerome?
EH: My hair is a bit longer

FF: What's your favourite RT album and/or track
this far?
EH: This will sound like a cop-out, but two words that I try to stay away from when talking about music, or even art in general are 'favorite' and 'best'. This is mainly because it is absolutely succeptible to change. How I might feel about or perceive a song as a listener is more likely than not going to change as a performer, and as anyone
knows who's ever recorded music, vice-versa. I also feel, at least for myself, that it can be a hinderance to place the music of someone that i'm working with into a hierarchy of any kind. All of the material deserves an equal amount of attention from the musicians, so we can't afford to play favorites. Finally,(my last excuse for not answering this question) there are so many different reasons for being fond of a piece of music for the musician. This is not to put performers above or beyond the listener in any way, I just think that the experience can be different. Is the song a "favorite" because
of the lyrics? Or because it is a challenge physically to play? Or because the band sounds good playing it? Richard sounds particularly good singing it? The audience reacts the most to it?.. The list can go on and on and changes from night to night for a touring band. So you see where this is an impossible question
to answer.

I hope these non-answers are acceptable, and I'm
assuming that I'll meet you at one of the shows-
until then take care-------E

Exclusive Interview February 7 2003 (Thank you Mike Jerome)


Picture Courtesy Paul Woods

Danny Thompson

When it comes to British folk music, no (double)bass player comes close to having the influence of Danny Thompson (April 1939). A founding member of British folk-rock pioneers Pentangle, Thompson's resumé includes work with Nick Drake, Elvis Costello, Donovan, Sandy Denny, Eric Clapton, Richard Thompson, Marc Bolan, Heidi Berry, Tim Buckley, Kate Bush, John Martyn, Rod Stewart, Sonny Terry, Josh White, Jr., and Alexis Korner. His debut solo album, Whatever was released in 1995. Danny's earliest musical experiences came as a jazz bassist. After a brief period with British saxophonist Tubby Hayes' band, he accepted an invitation to join Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated in 1964. He remained with the group until leaving, with drummer Terry Cox, to form the rhythm section of Pentangle in 1967. Although he released an impressive debut album, The Danny Thompson Trio, the same year, with jazz saxophonist Tony Roberts and guitarist John McLaughlin, he believed that the commercial potential was greater with Pentangle and committed his services to the group. During the five years that the original Pentangle was together, Danny exceeded his own expectations. Together with Cox, guitarist/vocalists Bert Jansch and John Renbourn, and vocalist Jacqui McShee, he and Pentangle transformed traditional British folk music into a popular art form. He eventually tired of playing traditional music, however, telling an interviewer, "there was no reason for me to stay, no incentive, no enthusiasm. We were just continually rehashing old traditional songs." By the time that the original Pentangle disbanded, in 1972, Thompson had acquired a reputation as a session musician. In addition to recording with Donovan, Cliff Richard and Rod Stewart, he worked extensively with British folksingers Nick Drake and John Martyn. In the late '70s, he continued to work as a studio musician, performing on sessions with Kate Bush, David Sylvain, and Talk Talk. Thompson formed his own band, Whatever, with saxophonist Paul Dunmall and guitarist John Ethridge, in 1987. The following year, he joined with Mali-born kora (21-stringed lute) player Toumani Diabate and Spanish flamenco group Katemah to form a multicultural acoustic group, Songhai. Although they recorded an impressive debut album, the group didn't perform together again until recording a second album, Songhai 2, in 1994. Thompson collaborated with Richard Thompson (no relation) on several duo tours and albums like "Live At Crawley 1993", "Two Letter Words"(1994), "Industry" (1997), "Mock Tudor" (1999) and "The Old Kit Bag" (2003)

Great article about Danny Thompson HERE


Rory McFarlane packing in Ghent (Belgium) June 24 2003

Pic Flip Feij


Rory McFarlane

From April 21 2003 on the Band Tour started its US-leg with Rory McFarlane on electric bass (frets and fretless) and acoustic bass replacing Danny Thompson, who had to undergo a medical "tune-up" in England. With a slightly different first name Rory (formerly known as Rauri) was already part of the Richard Thompson Band in the mid-eighties, he's on the "Across A Crowded Room-video" - but he also played with Linda Thompson (Fashionably Late), Christine Collister (Live, Blue Aconite, Songbird, An Equal Love, Dark Gift Of Time), Clive Gregson (The Last Word), The Coal Porters (Chris Hillman Tribute), Tanita Tikaram and Nigel Kennedy. A small interview - during the US-Tour - as a new introduction:

FF: What have you been doing in the weeks and months before you were asked to join the RTB for the current tour?
RMcF: Writing music for TV and playing in various West End shows in London.

FF: What changes do you see while touring with RT compared to touring with RT in the mid-eighties?
RMcF: More money, bigger bus.

FF: What instruments are you using on this tour?
RMcF: Fretless and fretted electric bass and upright bass.

FF: What would be a good non-RT record to buy on which you've played?
RMcF: The Kennedy Experience -
Sony Classical

FF: Why did you change your first name?
RMcF: I only changed the spelling as I was bored with it

May 9 2003 (Thank you Simon Tassano)