Bio

Chris Thompson is a professional singer/songwriter, living in Hamilton, New Zealand. His music spans the country, folk, and blues styles, and his current catalogue consists of nearly two hundred original songs and guitar instrumentals.

Chris learnt guitar from Dave Calder of the Hamilton County Bluegrass Band, turned professional in 1968 while living in Auckland, and was employed as Julie Felix's guitarist in London in 1971. He made his first, self-titled LP for Village Thing Records in 1973, and during the seventies returned to tour with acts including Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Waves, and John Hanlon. During this period he released two albums in New Zealand, Echoes from the Pit (Direction Records), and Minstrelsy (WEA), with both albums including recordings made by Chris in England and Ireland. He also appeared at the Nambassa Festival, and on the record.

In the early eighties Chris was living in Hamilton, New Zealand, and recorded Hometown Voodoo in 1981, a cassette released by Jolly Roger Records. This recording included some songs co-written with Graeme Hutchins. The Natural Blues featured some of the same songs, and was recorded in 1983 for Cityfolk Records of Napier. This was the first of his records to be a finalist in the New Zealand record industry awards. During 1985, Chris moved to Auckland, married a Canadian-born musician and songwriter Lynne, and toured with Stevie RayVaughan. For the next two years he worked with Lynne at various venues in Auckland, and they became involved in the Auckland Acoustics collective. In 1986 they recorded Together for Ode Records, another record industry award finalist. A Radio New Zealand concert of Chris & Lynne was recorded at the historic house Alberton in 1987, and this was later distributed as a cassette recording by Ode Records.

In 1987 Chris & Lynne's daughter Laura was born, and they made the decision to move to Raglan in early 1988. Chris went on to record several solo albums for Ode: cassette recordings The Road to Raglan, and Far Out and Solid, both of which were later compiled to become Chris' first CD release Coffee Break. The Song for Laura CD, recorded in 1995, became Chris' third recording to be nominated for a record industry award.

Chris & Lynne's involvement with a Waikato compilation recording, Acoustic Magic (Spiralyrics) inspired Chris to release a self-produced CD Time Flies, which was recorded at home in Raglan by Click Sound. Shortly after this record was released, Chris was contacted by Scenescof, an American firm interested in re-releasing Chris' first Village Thing album on CD.


The re-release of the Village Thing album:

Chris Thompson's new, self-titled CD is a re-release of the first L.P. he made in England thirty years ago. The original L.P. was not promoted by the distributor (Transatlantic Records), but was dumped into a river as part of an insurance scam when Transatlantic’s big album of 1972, Pentangle’s “Reflection”, failed to sell.

Scenescof Records from Massachusetts have located the master tape and re-released it along with some bonus tracks, in an international CD release. They describe it so:

Herein lies the complete self-titled 1973 Village Thing label album (recorded 1971 – 73) with bonus tracks. Shimmering, hypnotic, flowing, psych-tinged, original acoustic folk guitar and vocal. Backed by various friends include Magic Carpet members Keshav Sathe and Clem Alford (providing and Eastern influence), and one cut with Ed Deane, guitarist from the Woods Band. Hailing from New Zealand, Chris Thompson arrived on the folk guitar scene in the United Kingdom in 1971 and hung out and gigged with Wizz Jones, Davy Graham, Bert Jansch, John Martyn, Derroll Adams and others. A window into time gone by, evoking both a spatial and temporal quality that contemporary music oft seeks to emulate or revive, but will not come our way again.”

A great sounding and well presented album, Chris’ new CD features a photograph taken in Paris of Chris with a famous groupie Monique Brossier, a.k.a. “The Girl” or “Girl Freiberg”, whose friends in San Francisco and L.A. included the Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Byrds, Crosby Stills & Nash, etc.

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Time Flies:

 

This is a relaxed, informal collection of previously unrecorded songs, some performed with Raglan musicians Dave Maybee, Redgie Valente, Lynne Thompson, Mike & Gabrielle of the group "TF Much", Rene O'Connell, Johnny Funk, and Jango, plus a guest appearance by Martha Louise. The songs are mainly original compositions, covering a wide range of styles.

With wife Lynne performing on some tracks (in between feeding and watering the troops!), and daughter Laura's artwork on the cover, this CD is a family project. Because the album was recorded at Chris' home (by Daniel Howard of Click Sound), the CD has captured a unique "laid back" feeling that many of us associate with Raglan and the beach.

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