Richard Thompson (born April 3, 1949 in London, England) is a musician, best-known as a guitar player, singer, and songwriter. A solo artist since 1971, he first became widely known as a founding member of the British folk-rock ensemble Fairport Convention. He is a Muslim convert, although this is not apparent from his songs, which are mostly concerned with the darker side of life. He enjoys a loyal fan following, despite lack of mainstream commercial success. There are many bootleg recordings of his performances, some officially sanctioned, some titled Doom and Gloom from the Tomb, a comment both on the subject matter of his songs and the idiosyncratic pronunciation he employs when singing, tending to sing “oo” as “er”.
Musically Thompson is eclectic, with a single CD encompassing styles from hard rock to English traditional to jazz. He has written several songs that have been recorded by US Country & Western artists, notably “Tear Stained Letter”, a crowd-pleaser at his concerts. His “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” was transformed into a bluegrass favorite by The Del McCoury Band.