Hometown Sounds is proud to premiere the hot new single “Meet Me By The Garden” by blues rock maestro Bobby Thompson. This song is the lead-off track from Thompson’s brand new self-titled album, his seventh studio album since 2011.
We chatted with Thomspon via email about his new album, the reshuffling of his Bandcamp catalog, and what’s up with his next live show.
When we checked in with you last Spring, you were teasing your new album with a short EP called ‘Song of Love’. How did this new album come together?
I think I pulled together a great cast of musicians for this album, and some of the guys and I toured together, so we were pretty tight by the time we tracked the record. A few of the songs were hold-overs from 2014 and 2015 studio sessions, and those seemed to fit well with some of the newer material, like “Meet Me By The Garden” and “My Everything”. We did a lot of the tracking for this album at Cue studios in Falls Church, Virginia, and we’ve got a few awesome special guests, like Mark Wenner of The Nighthawks, and Matt Grundy, who tours with Donovan Frankenreiter.
Your Bandcamp page is now full of revamps and revisions of previous releases. What drove this effort to streamline your catalog?
I decided to clean things up, and repackage a few albums. Rather than reprinting Live By The Creek (Revelator Hill with Ron Holloway) and Live at IOTA, I created a new design and reissued them both as a double album Live in Arlington, which should be available on disc January 2020.
The Retrospect album has also been revised: I pulled out all of the acoustic tracks and added in some of my favorite from the Blueheart Revival and Revelator Hill days. That’s available digitally now, and soon on CD.
What’s really fitting is the latest version of The Acoustic Sessions. It’s based off the award-winning EP from 2018, but now includes the acoustic tracks from Retrospect to make a full-length acoustic album. That’s the one I’m the happiest with because it fits direction I’m going in.
What keeps you so devoted to perfecting your trademark blues rock sound?
I’m never satisfied with my work. I love it but as soon as an album comes out, I’m already reinterpreting it. Rarely do I play a song exactly like the album version. I think that’s why I really like finishing an album soon after I write the music. If I wait too long, the ideas change and reform and I’m writing new music.
Do you miss Clarendon’s IOTA as much as we do?
I struggled at first. I went through the stages of grief, in some random order. I was sad, and I was in denial. I was angry, and felt betrayed. I’ve come to accept losing IOTA, and now all I want to do is honor the existence of such a legendary club. I’m lucky to have been able to record a live album there, and have so many memories. I’m at peace with it now, but it was tough at first.
Hit us with all the important details of your album release show.
We’ve got Virginia’s own Karen Jonas and her band opening the show. I’ve found our music fits well together, and it’s been dubbed ‘The Country Blues’ show. I really like her songwriting, and she’s influenced me and my approach to song-craft. If you haven’t heard her, you should remedy that right away.
The band on deck for Pearl Street makes up a strong core of the album. Ben, Gary, and Kurt have all worked with me for many years, and we read each other like hawks. They keep an eye on me if I go into an improvisational vibe, and I’m always feeding off what they give back to me. Usually there are fireworks of the musical kind. You’ll have to experience it to know what I mean. Come out November 8 to Pearl Street Warehouse.