Teddy Thompson – A Piece Of What You Need (2008)

FrontCover1Called “one of the most gifted singer-songwriters of his generation,” by The New York Times, singer-songwriter Teddy Thompson is a native Englishman who has adopted New York City as his home; famously the son of singer-songwriters Richard and Linda Thompson, he emigrated to the States almost twenty years ago, barely out of his teens, to embark on a career of his own.
He was heavily influenced not by folk music but by such artists as Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, and the Everly Brothers.  As NPR reported, “He has said he didn’t listen to any music made after 1959 until he was 16. As a kid, he listened to early rock ‘n’ roll and country music exclusively.”  This resulted in a unique voice that is at once rock and country, then pop and folk.
While music is in his DNA, Thompson sings with his own voice, a powerfully understated, emotional, echoey croon.  (The Guardian)

Since arriving in the United States, he has released five albums to critical acclaim and has contributed to many works, including his solo “I Don’t Want to Say Goodbye” and duet “King of the Road,” with Rufus Wainwright, from the soundtrack to the Golden Globe- and Bafta-winning film Brokeback Mountain.  He has also collaborated on projects with Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Jenni Muldaur, and others.  Thompson recorded two solo songs for the soundtrack to the Leonard Cohen tribute I’m Your Man:  “Tonight Will be Fine” and “The Future.”  He also contributed two songs to the album The Songs of Nick Drake: Way to Blue, a retrospective on the late singer.
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The Thompson Family

In 2015, Teddy and his family released the album Family, a collaborative project in which each member of the extended family wrote and recorded two songs–from wherever they live.  This meant that recording took place from Los Angeles to London, then the final product was produced by Teddy in New York.  It was released in early 2015 under the name Thompson.
Thompson is based out of New York City, where in his free time, he performs with his rockabilly cover band, Poundcake. (take from the Teddy Thompson Website)
A Piece of What You Need is the fourth studio album by singer-songwriter Teddy Thompson. The album contains all new Teddy originals and was produced by Marius De Vries, whom Teddy met while recording background vocals on Rufus Wainwright’s Want records in 2002. Included are new songs Teddy had been testing out live, such as “Turning the Gun On Myself”, “In My Arms” and “Can’t Sing Straight”.
The album debuted on the UK Albums Chart at #10. The first single from A Piece of What You Need is “In My Arms”. The music video features a cameo appearance by Rufus Wainwright dressed up as Elvis Presley. The song entered the UK Singles Chart at #107 (by wikipedia)

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The son of folk-rock titans Richard and Linda, Teddy Thompson hated his 2000 debut, but has described his fourth album as “close to the record I’ve always wanted to make”. Producer Marius de Vries (Rufus Wainwright/Björk) delivers a cinematic soundscape, but Thompson’s golden voice is always centre-stage. With hints of Roy Orbison and early Bruce Springsteen, the chugging rhythms and instantly memorable melodies conceal real emotional drive. Concerning loss, regret and bad decisions made at life’s crossroads, these are songs that radiate anguish but don’t sound too down about it. Indeed, several of them – especially the turbo-crooned Don’t Know What I Was Thinking – deserve to be sung from speeding cars. Thompson has emerged from his parents shadows to deliver one of this year’s best. (by theguardian.com)
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Teddy Thompson with his parents, Richard and Linda Thompson

“File under: Pop” a polite message reads on the back cover of Teddy Thompson’s fourth full-length album, A Piece of What You Need, and in this case no one can accuse the product of not living up to its billing. Thompson’s first two albums were beautiful collections of moody folk-leaning indie pop that confirmed it was possible to sound dour and passionate at the same time, and his third set, Upfront & Down Low, was a glorious celebration of heartache as portrayed in 11 classic country weepers, but A Piece of What You Need finds him sounding unexpectedly upbeat for a change, and the shift in attitude works remarkably well. “What’s this? What’s this? Am I happy or something?” Thompson asks on the disc’s second tune, and while much of the time he still seems to be having trouble in the eternal search for the woman of his dreams, with producer Marius de Vries behind the controls (who has previously worked with David Gray, Melanie C, Josh Groban, and Thompson’s pal Rufus Wainwright), most of these meditations on the joys and pitfalls of romance have a good beat and you can even dance to them. “What’s This?!!” and “In My Arms” sound like potential hit singles, complete with snappy beats and slick harmonies, but de Vries has also made the most of Thompson’s rich, strong voice, and the melodies are well served by the sweet but intelligent arrangements and production. And it’s clear de Vries hasn’t forced a more polished sound on Thompson against his will; “Where to Go from Here” and “Slippery Slope” would have sounded right at home on Thompson’s sadly overlooked debut, “Turning the Gun on Myself” is just as lovely and severe as it needs to be, and “Jonathan’s Book” could be “Paperback Writer” from the other side of the camera. Teddy Thompson has taken a more user-friendly approach on A Piece of What You Need, but he hasn’t sold his soul or lost what makes him special along the way, and this is a clever, adventurous, and thoroughly engaging exercise in smart pop that’s as thoughtful as it is pleasurable. (by Mark Deming)

Teddy Thompson

Personnel:
Jeff Hill (bass)
Matt Johnson (drums, percussion)
Jack Petruzzeli (guitar, mandolin)
Teddy Thompson (guitar, vocals, mandolin, ukulele)
Marius de Vries (keyboards, synthesizer, Percussion)
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Dave Lee (french horn on 04., 06., 09.)
Justin McDermid (trumpet on 04., 06., 09.)
David Powell (tuba on 04., 06.), 09.
Neil Sidwell (trombone on 04., 06., 09.)
Chris Storr (trumpet on 04., 06., 09.)
Richard Thompson (guitar on 05., 07.)
Fayyaz Virgi (trombone on 04., 06., 09.)
Phil Woods (french 0n 04., 06., 09.)
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background vocals:
Jenni Muldaur – Kamila Thompson – Jenn Turner

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Alternate frontcover
Tracklist:
01. The Things I Do 3.44
02. What’s This?!! 3.23
03. In My Arms 3.14
04. Where To Go From Here 3.13
05. Don’t Know What I Was Thinking 3.53
06. Can’t Sing Straight 3.43
07. Slippery Slope (Easier) 4.13
08. Jonathan’s Book 4.40
09. One Of These Days 2.50
10  Turning The Gun On Myself 4.20
11. A Piece Of What You Need 5.01
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12. The Price Of Love (hidden track) 3.38

All Songs written by Teddy Thompson excact “The Price Of Love”, which was written by Don and Phil Everly (The Everly Brothers)
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