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Raleigh Indy Weekly

Verlon Thompson  

Most people who have seen Guy Clark since the late '80s have also seen Verlon Thompson. Aside from being Clark's friend, right-hand man, co-writer and co-producer, Thompson is also a prolific flatpicker and narrative songwriter. The list of big-name artists who have cut his songs includes Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Kenny Rogers, Pam Tillis, Del McCoury, Trisha Yearwood and Jerry Jeff Walker.
But Thompson's force becomes most apparent when you hear him perform the songs he penned. From the smoking picking on "Joe Walker's Mare" and "Darwettia's Mandolin" to storytelling gems such as "Indian Head Penny" and "He Left the Road" to hillbilly toe-tappers such as "Backsliders Blues" and "Asheville Turnaround," Thompson ranks as perhaps the most well-rounded yet overlooked instrumentalist and songwriter beneath the large Americana umbrella. Catch him out front, where he belongs. —Dan Schram
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Charlotte Weekly

By Jack Bernhardt — Correspondent, 
 
To the everyday country music fan, Verlon Thompson is not a household name.
But within the music community of Nashville, Thompson is a songwriter and guitarist almost without peer.

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"It's high time everyone heard more of that humble troubadour Verlon Thompson.
He is a fantastic guitar picker and songwriter whose only career shortcoming is that
he performs in Guy Clark's enormous shadow".
- Lonely Goat Magazine
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...(at the Newport Folk Festival, 2009).....Verlon Thompson was great! Seriously. Nobody
at the festival played guitar like him. His song "Everywhere...Yet" stunned the crowd and
"Joe Walker's Mare" was country storytelling at it's best. Did I mention he could play the
guitar? Really ..... Thompson was electrifying.
-Boston Music Review
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     Thompson is the quintessential troubadour, although he's known as much for his
association with country legend Guy Clark as for his own stellar songwriting talents.
    Thompson has worked with Guy on every recording since Old Friends. He's also
racked up producer credits on Cold Dog Soup (1992/Sugar Hill Records), The Dark
(2002/Sugar Hill Records), Workbench Songs (2006/Dualton Music Group), and
Somedays The Song Writes You (2009/Dualtone Music Group).
    Verlon Thompson isn't a household name. He's not played on Top 40 radio stations.
But he's building a massive street team of music lovers.
-Myrtle Beach Alternatives 
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  Verlon Thompson 
   .......a name that means nothing to the average Joe, but everything to the die-hard
singer/songwriter fan.
-The Weekly Surge

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What the fans are saying ..........
   

I don't know what I expected, really,....Obviously a Guy Clark sidekick and a
great songwriter in his own right. But I did Not expect the guitar work
that I saw. Totally over the top. Blew me away. Blew everybody away. In 7
years of doing house concerts, I would have to say that this one was
probably the best ever. He is a wonderful showman...but he is not putting
on as show, he is truly relating to the audience and to the music he is
presenting. Before taking the mic, he started out by walking through the
audience and playing to each person, smiling and talking and playing and
singing the whole time. His songs were exceptional...and heartfelt. He 
sang a song about his father, and there were tears in his eyes as he was
singing it. His fingers flew across the strings in a sort of combination 
fingerstyle/flatpick/hybrid that I cannot even describe. Sue Cunningham
(master fiddler) joined him for the second set, and the two of them together
were...well...I can't even describe it. AND, he is a genuinely nice , warm,
delightful human being. Arlene

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What the fans are saying......"I was completely unprepared for this. I would pay to
hear this guy 2 or 3 times a year, easily. His guitar work to Chris Smither was like
comparing Baltimore to New York. Bob

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Verlon Thompson
Everywhere...Yet (VNS Records)

This little album, only 37 minutes long, is an example of real home-made music.
All instruments and vocals by Verlon Thompson. I can hear bass, mandolin, and
guitars. It's marvelous in it's simplicity. Recorded "out at the barn" in a studio he
built for his last album, the sound is as cozy as an Indian blanket in front of a log
fire....It's almost as if Thompson was singing for you in your living room. And he is
one fine guitar player!
-David Kidney, "Green Man Review" greenmanreview.com
 
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          Everywhere...Yet

       Verlon Thompson's musical career spans two decades of many facets of the
industry as a songwriter, solo artist, sideman and collaborator (many of these roles
with country hero Guy Clark). His latest solo project is a chronicle of his vast career,
pooling his experiences and paying tribute to influences.
        Calling this a solo album is an understatement. Thompson played every
instrument, sang every harmony and recorded the album "out at the barn" in
the studio that he built. All this creates the organic, engaging and tangible
character of the album. 
          -Performing Songwriter
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Verlon Thompson
Out At The Barn (VNS REcords)

Verlon Thompson is best known as Guy Clark's second guitarist, but he's cut
three albums on his own VNS Records. Out At The Barn is Thompson's latest
celebration of simple, down home music recorded, as the title suggests, at his
refurbished barn in the countryside near Nashville.....If you dig Thompson's work
with Clark, this disc should grace your collection as well.
-Thirsty Ear
A Non Tuxedo Music and Culture Joint
 
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Vintage Guitar Magazine Review

Vintage Guitar
Verlon Thompson -Works
Victor Tango Records

Verlon Thompson is a songwriting
dynamo. Randy Travis, Kenny Rogers,
Barbara Mandrell, Alan Jackson,
Jimmy Buffett, Del McCoury, and
Keith Whitley have recorded his tunes.
When he’s not writing new songs,
Thompson is touring and co-writing
songs with Texas songwriting legend
Guy Clark.
Works is very much a songwriter’s album,
with simple production and not
a lot of extra instruments or harmony
tracks. Thompson plays the guitar
parts, except for three tunes that
feature Shawn Camp. And Thompson
can pick. His flatpicking solo on “Joe
Walker’s Mare” smokes. Thompson is
also an expert fingerpicker, as you can
hear on “Mike And Betty’s Daughter.”
Besides Thompson’s guitar, Mike
Bub’s acoustic bass is the other
standout instrument. Drummer John
Gardner only plays on three of the
18 cuts; on the rest of the album Bub
carries the percussive and bass duties.
Talk about a solid rhythm!
You learn a lot about a songwriter
by whose songs they sing. Thompson
covers one tune on this otherwise alloriginal
album: Jimmy Dean’s “Big
Bad John,” and he delivers it straight.
Without a comic tilt, this narrative
of a man giving his life for others
becomes the focus, and the song’s true
emotional weight comes out.
Thompson is from Oklahoma, so it’s
hard not to think his tune “Oklahomagain”
is a little bit autobiographical,
although it could be about a rodeo star
as much as a country one. “The Show
We Call The Business” gives us a taste
of Thompson’s sly, self-depreciating
humor, including the Man In Black’s
description of his Johnny Cash
imitation (“Son, I’ve heard better,
but not one who tried harder”). As a
songwriter, few are better than Verlon
Thompson. – SS
051 0a
©Verlon Thompson 2009