He the son of Richard Thompson and with some pretty solid solo albums under his own belt, she a Washington-born, LA-based countrified singer-songwriter with five albums to her name, having first entwined vocals at an LA club in 2011, Thompson and Jones started putting together a duets album inspired by the music of Sam Cooke, Buddy Holly and the Everlys.
The result, while hardly original, is an utter delight, the all-original material (Bill DeMain the third pen) perfectly capturing the sound and spirit of the source inspirations in terms of melodies, arrangements and lyrics, the latter of which, inevitably revolve around the ups and downs of love.
Thompson takes lead on the opener, Never Knew You Loved Me Too channeling Holly’s Words of Love with one of his trademark descending guitar runs, Jones stepping up front for Make A Wish On Me, Pete Thomas providing percussion skittering with Daniel Clarke on organ, its Everlys bounce ceding to the brothers’ ballad side for the country swaying Better At Lying.
Other than the bluesy Only Fooling and the soul-inflected Better At Lying you might be hard pressed to discern much of Cooke’s influence, but that diminishes the living nostalgia that glows through every note of things like the fingerpicked ballad I Thought That We Said Goodbye, the waltzing Don’t remind Me (which has as much Orbison DNA as it does Everlys), the Hollyesque dreamy beach party crooner As You Were or the soft country chug closer You Took My Future.
They’re not reinventing the wheel, but they are taking it for a hugely enjoyable new spin.