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Magic by proxy: Linda Thompson finds her voices

Colin Randall welcomes long-awaited news of an exciting project in which Linda Thompson assembles musically gifted family and friends for an album of the songs she wrote but cannot perform herself ….



Linda Thompson has one of the best-loved voices of folk-rock, indeed one of the best if not the best in rock according to some critics. Or rather she did.

A rare condition called spasmodic dysphonia, which she once described to me as not unlike a singer’s equivalent of an actor’s stage fright, has cruelly blighted her career with various levels of severity for decades.

Botox treatment enabled her to regain her vocal strength for certain periods but her singing capability is now limited.

if another album of her own no longer seems likely, a compilation of her songs as performed by others is an option to be welcomed.


Smartly titled Proxy Music - “I hope Roxy Music doesn’t sue,” she says - the resulting compilation promises to be a cracker.

Take a look at this line-up: Kami and Teddy Thompson, Martha and Rufus Wainwright, the Proclaimers, Ren Harvieu, John Grant, Rails, Dori Freeman, Eliza Carthy and The Unthanks. All chosen by Linda Thompson and Teddy (her son), who also co-produced.

“My songs - friends are singing them,” says Thompson, rightly proud.

And that list oozes respect and affection for a woman who has fully earned the right to be seen as a formidable artist in her own account, not an adjunct to her famous former husband, Richard. Fittingly, the ex plays guitar on several tracks.

“Music is my family, “ says Linda Thompson. “It’s like a glue, It binds us.”

And guess who tweeted this;

”Been waiting for this beauty for a while! Here comes new Linda! ❤️‍🔥❤️‍🔥❤️‍🔥❤️‍🔥❤️‍🔥❤️‍🔥❤️‍🔥

Eliza Carthy is the answer. Her track is That’s the Way the Polka Goes.

I was about to say you’ll have to wait for StorySound to release the album on June 21.

But we can have a sneak preview, daughter Kami’s The Solitary Traveller - also being released as a single.- available on streaming platforms. Follow this link:


Linda Thompson says of the song:Solitary Traveller, I wouldn’t know. I’ve never been one. But, if you have a lot of people in your life, you sometimes yearn for solitude. Conversely, solitary people often crave company. It is a bit of a dichotomy. My daughter doing the honours."

Proxy Music promises to be a significant event. Better still, it promises to be a memorable listening experience.


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