This was a marvelous night and a prime example of what the Lobero does better than any venue anywhere. Two outstanding singer/songwriters played solo acoustic sets back to back and without any concessions to flash or glitz. Thanks to the quality of Eliza Gilkyson and Richard Thompson both, the result was musical nirvana. Gilkyson opened, and she has a pair of interesting projects that she drew from in her set. There’s Secularia, her 2017 album of “spiritual songs for atheists,” as she joked at the show, and then there’s a new one called 2020 scheduled to come out in January that will be all protest songs. We heard multiple examples from both, and this songwriter is on fire. If you have yet to hear what she’s doing, you owe it to yourself to check her out.
Wielding a single simple acoustic guitar, Richard Thompson sounded like an orchestra at times, and at others like a great church organ, his tone calibrated precisely to the needs of each specific moment in every particular song. He also used his voice, an equally unforgettable instrument, to fill the Lobero over and over, always with the consummate ease of a seasoned performer. He sang several tunes off of his most recent release, 13 Rivers, and he delved into the Fairport Convention catalogue for the classic Sandy Denny song “Who Knows Where the Time Goes,” providing a fitting sentiment for the memories of Thompson’s many lifelong fans who were in the audience.