Thompson Plans Album, Box, Live Releases

Revered singer/songwriter/guitarist Richard Thompson has an impressive slate of releases planned throughout the rest of 2005, including a new studio album, a five-disc box set and several live CDs and

Revered singer/songwriter/guitarist Richard Thompson has an impressive slate of releases planned throughout the rest of 2005, including a new studio album, a five-disc box set and several live CDs and DVDs.

The new studio work, "Front Parlour Ballads," will be Thompson's first solo acoustic album in more than 25 years. Due Aug. 9 through Cooking Vinyl USA, the album boasts 13 songs, with instrumentation largely performed by Thompson and only occasional percussion added by Debra Dobkin (Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt).

Thompson will herald the new album with an Aug. 8 performance at Joe's Pub in New York. He has been performing some selections from "Front Parlour Ballads" during his ongoing tour, which stops Friday (May 6) in Morgantown, W.Va.

On May 10, New West will issue CD and DVD versions of Thompson's 2001 appearance on the PBS series "Austin City Limits." Like other releases in this series, the DVD will encompass the entirety of his performance, rather than the edited broadcast version. The CD omits a rendition of "Put It There Pal" due to time constraints of the format.

Although details are scant at deadline, U.K.-based Free Reed Records & Music is planning a five-disc Thompson box set for the fall, which will encompass classic material from the artist, as well as previously unreleased songs. Free Reed has previously issued several comprehensive collections related to pioneering folk rock act Fairport Convention, which counted Thompson as a member from 1967 to 1971.

Also due in the fall is "1,000 Years of Popular Music," a CD/DVD project stemming from a pair Thompson performances in February at Bimbo's in San Francisco. Thompson self-released a 23-track CD culled from similar 2002 New York performances in 2003.

Lastly, Thompson's contributed to the soundtrack of director Werner Herzog's "Grizzly Man," which will hit U.S. theaters this fall. The documentary about outdoorsman Timothy Treadwell premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize for a film on science and technology.

Sessions for the project, which featured Danielle DeGruttola (cello), producer Henry Kaiser (guitar), Sonic Youth's Jim O'Rourke (guitar, keyboards) and Damon Smith (bass), were filmed for probable inclusion on the eventual DVD release of "Grizzly Man."