Recorded at Buddy Miller's house in Nashville, Tenn., Richard Thompson's "Electric" (New West), out this week, finds Mr. Thompson front and center in a sparse setting, his guitar the only solo melodic instrument. That's cause for joy: Mr. Thompson, 63, is a superior guitarist who always plays with a clear tone and exquisite taste, and provides no small amount of head-snapping surprises—features present in abundance on "Electric."
During a recent phone conversation, Mr. Thompson, who was in Miami and about to leave to perform on a cruise ship as it toured the British Virgin Islands, said he chose Mr. Miller to produce for the sound he captures in his home studio. Mr. Miller recorded the session on tape rather than digitally, allowing a warmth to shine through. Nothing is cluttered, nor does anything compete with Mr. Thompson, whose voice hasn't lost a bit of its quality. "Electric" features Michael Jerome on drums, Taras Prodaniuk on bass, Mr. Miller on an unobtrusive rhythm guitar, and Stuart Duncan—who drops in on occasion—on fiddle.