Joe Thompson
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Joe Thompson

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


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"Torchy Blane-on air personality"

"Often songwriters try to capture the idyllic life. Not so with Joe Thompson. The 'Hunting and the Hope' is written with the passion, intensity, and tenderness of the thousand moods that cross our paths daily. He speaks to each of them with the heart of a poet, in the voice of everyman.

From the addictive hooks of the alt-country flavored 'Another Year Round the Bend', with its shimmering duet vocals of Julie Foster (why is this song not in a major motion picture where it could earn its Grammy-nomination worthiness?) to the reflection of working class memoirs in 'Iron City Blues', this album features some of the best of the Brooklyn-based folk/roots movement. There's even a touch of NY-rocker in 'Bottle Rocket' and the voice-in-your-head-that-gets-amplified-with-every-shot-glass
'Black Out Magik'.

Within 'The Hunting and the Hope', emotion soars, blends with the clouds, crashes, redeems, and transcends.

If you've ever lived it, dreamed it, searched for it, or held it, Joe Thompson has written it for you in this album."
- WDVR FM's Guitar Town Program

"Daily Vault Review-by Jason Warburg"

Comparisons can be a compliment or an albatross; I‘ve certainly been conscious of that danger when comparing artists whose work I’ve enjoyed to iconic acts like the Beatles and Bruce Springsteen.

So it was with at least one eyebrow raised that I read where Joe Thompson’s one-sheet rather audaciously suggests he sometimes sounds like Johnny Cash -- and damned if that isn’t right on target. There’s a depth of tone and resonance and a sense of hard-won experience on several these tracks that grants Thompson a Cash-like authority over the listener’s attention. The vibrato Thompson throws in sometimes also reminds me a bit of Steven Page of the Barenaked Ladies -- not that the music sounds anything like that; it’s more dirty-cheeked Nashville than tongue-in-cheek Toronto. Thompson’s genre is Americana, and that label has rarely sounded more apt than in the midst of this set of thinking-man’s blue-collar country-folk’n’roll.

Opener “These Days” is a standout, featuring a great hook, punchy piano chords over acoustic rhythm guitar and a propulsive beat, with lithe electric guitar lines painting the corners. Maybe the neatest trick on this full-bodied track is that there are actually only two players on it, with co-producer and virtual one-man band Chris Cubeta handling drums, bass, electric guitar, piano and backing vocals.

The meditative, primarily acoustic “Only In The Night” offers a pleasant interlude leading into the rollicking “Another Year ‘Round The Bend,” a full-tilt country boogie duet between Thompson and guest vocalist Julie Foster, who’s an Emmylou Harris-ish dynamo. Underneath all the fun lies a perceptive lyric about doing what you have to in order to live without regret.

Other highlights include the Man In Black-inspired honky-tonk number “Black Out Magik,” the appropriately sparky jangle-rock cut “Bottle Rocket” and the dreamy, almost psychedelic alt-country ballad “Juniper Haze.” (On a side note, I’ve just gotta ask, does Cubeta ever work with anyone who ISN’T phenomenally talented? Hmm, let’s see: Thompson, the Liars Club, Danny Lanzetta, Frank Carillo... guess not.)

In one final comparison, Joe Thompson reminds me of Mark McKay, another indie Americana artist who combines excellent songwriting with a strong sense of musicality and a kind of rich, organic appeal that hits you in the gut as much as the head. The Hunting & The Hope is an excellent start down what one hopes will be a long road for Thompson.



The Hunting and The Hope-LP 2007
Yankee Twang-LP 2010



A shuffle beat trucks over the metallic glissando of pedal steel while acoustic and electric guitars chunk with desperation on the 2 and 4 of every measure held-down defiantly by a smooth bed of bass. Over this din of roadhouse country and hometown rock and roll rides a taffy-thick baritone singing nonchalantly of the defeats of failure, the humility of uncertainty, the laughter in love, and the preciousness that can be found in the solace of a honky tonk. And this is just the first song of the set!!
Joe Thompson, a singer-songwriter newly relocated from New York City to Austin, TX, has been known to describe his music as a refreshing cocktail of Country, Folk and Rock N’ Roll. His debut LP, The Hunting & The Hope, seems to solidify this notion in the eyes and ears of The Daily Vault’s Jason Warburg: “Thompson's genre is Americana, and that label has rarely sounded more apt than in the midst of this set of thinking-man's blue-collar country-folk'n'roll.” With his live band, The Comfortable Catastrophe, a rollicking 6 piece, Thompson brings an honest brand of American music. In these live shows it is obvious that here is a man of great passion and humor backed by a very talented band having the time of their lives.
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