All Songs Considered
Fri October 11, 2013
First Watch: Linda Thompson, 'It Won't Be Long Now'
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 3:23 pm
After five decades of singing, Linda Thompson is still one of the best voices in folk music. Her tone is alluring, sometimes mournful, and always passionate. Her story is unlike anyone else's, beginning in England during the 1960s, and continuing with her marriage to Richard Thompson, when she recorded my favorite British folk albums ever, including 1975's Pour Down Like Silver. And though her marriage to Richard didn't last, her voice continues to shine despite a 17-year hiatus spanning the '80s and '90s.
Linda is about to release a new album, Won't Be Long Now, digitally on Tuesday, Oct. 15, with vinyl and CDs to follow on Oct. 22. It turns out that the title track, "It Won't Be Long Now," is — like her recordings with Richard — a family affair:
"[My son] Teddy wrote this for me," Linda told us. "What's his point, I wonder? [My daughter] Kami duets with me on the bridge."
The video for "It Won't Be Long Now" is notable for what isn't present: Linda herself.
"Linda really doesn't appear in the video, except in stills where the figure [actress Frally Hynes] playing her reminisces about a time gone by," director Sean James told us. "Still her presence is felt with a spinning Linda [on the record player] watching us. The walking in the alley is symbolic of walking through life."
It's oddly fitting, given that Linda no longer performs in front of audiences due to a condition known as spasmodic dysphonia. But whether she stars in her own videos or not, we're blessed that Linda Thompson is singing again, and that we've got a fabulous new folk album to add to the tradition.