Jonathan Thompson writes and performs songs drawn from everyday experiences and observations to foot tapping folk and blues guitar grooves.
His latest album ‘Our Town‘ released in April 2013 is a ‘tour de force’of observation and personal stories set to memorable melodies that instantly engage the listener. The beauty of the passage of time and a sense of place is captured in these 14 original tunes recorded at Opus Studios, Grayshot in Surrey UK with recording engineer and producer Tim Benson.
‘Brothers of the Sea’ is a moving tribute to 1,531 men who lost their lives in a World War II naval blunder including Jonathan’s grandfather Tommy Thompson (www.glarac.co.uk). Other songs such as ‘Singing Like her Mama’ were inspired by observing a young songwriter at a gig who had an uncanny voice not too dissimilar to Sandy Denny – where did she get that from? ‘Our Town’ is an affectionate profile of his home town jammed out with his musical mates to a foot stomping rockabilly tempo.
The musicians on this album includes Jez Grosvenor – Keyboard and Hammond organ, Steve Dove – acoustic rhythm and 12 string guitar, Mike Knee – electric upright / bass guitar and Alessio Barreli drums. On the recording Jonathan has taken full advantage of this strong punchy rhythm section and added lyrical and tasteful electric lead guitar passages that have a strong rootsy feel adding a further voice to the tunes.
‘Our Town’ follows from Jonathan’s successful debut album ‘Songs of Rapture‘ released in January 2008. His trusty Lowden guitar drives the songs forward which paint dream like images of a spiritual hope in contrast with more gritty social and political issues.
His musical journey as a songwriter has been relatively new but his roots and influences started early by listening to his fathers record collection including Gordon Lightfoot, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash & Geordie folk artist’s such as Alex Glasgow, & Johnny Handel. His sister’s collection provided further inspiration including Cat Stevens, Simon & Art Garfunkel & Pink Floyd. By the time he was 14 he taught himself guitar by listening to early Blues, The Beatles, Buddy Holly and the smooth guitar sounds of JJ Cale, Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler. By 1996 he discovered songwriters such as Paul Brady which provided further inspiration to develop his own voice and approach to the guitar as vehicle for storytelling. His first solo performance was not until 2004 and he has been at it ever since.
Jonathan has a local following in his home town of Petersfield and often performs in folk & acoustic clubs within Hampshire & Surrey, for ‘Cecily’s Fund’ charity concerts, exhibition openings for his own art work and UCA gallery artist’s. He has been a regular performer for ‘Stiff Promotions‘ and has opened twice for Emily Maguire and other touring songwriters.