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"One of the most innovative acts on the Boston area acoustic music scene."
-Laura Kiristys, Worcester Phoenix, Worcester MA
"Twin sisters Chris & Meredith Thompson bring all the power and harmony sisterhood implies to their new disc, "Clearwater." The songs -- and the singing -- let the listener in on the fact that they are doers, as well as singers and songwriters. Their commitment to their music, their community and the larger issues of the planet come through with a passion."
"It is their mix of intriguing stories of people's hopes and histories that makes the Thompson's music so compelling."
"'Clearwater' alone is enough to define the duo as a success. The dozen tunes on the album are beautifully arranged folk songs, full of acoustic guitar, flute, and elements of world music percussion."
"The Thompsons have matured into powerful performers with a natural warmth for the live concert stage."
"A few years ago I introduced Chris & Meredith to the Clearwater organization, and now they've titled their new CD after it. What a wonderful match - great music to honor a great environmental organization. Their music grows with each CD that they create.
It's a pleasure to watch their growth!"
"There's intelligence, and a sparkling beauty to their songs."
"A pair to watch for"
Chris & Meredith Thompson are "powerful performers with a natural warmth for the live concert stage" writes Tom Lounges in the Beat. Best known for the unique blend of their nearly identical voices, the Thompsons weave vocals, flute, guitar and percussion together creating a sound that is genuine, beautiful, and moving.
These identical twin sisters grew up down the street from Stone Soup Coffeehouse in Providence RI. They played their first show at Stone Soup in 1992, and have since played in venues across the US and released five albums. Chris plays percussive, riff driven guitar. Meredith plays authentic Latin rhythms on congas and adds flute to their sound. Both sisters sing in close harmony both earthy and ethereal. The Thompsons link music and stories together to create an engaging, animated performance rich in texture, mood and character. The Thompsons tell stories that resonate with the audience, stories that celebrate common experience. "It is their mix of intriguing stories of people's hopes and histories that makes the Thompsons music so compelling" writes MaryAnn Robertson, Spotlight, Portsmouth, NH.
With the release of their sixth CD, Live, Chris & Meredith Thompson showcase their vocal range on songs influenced by traditional spirituals. Chris & Meredith Thompson achieve a vocal harmony known uniquely to siblings. At times, their voices effortlessly combine in harmony as if they were two parts of one whole. Then, just as effortlessly, the individual voices will emerge, creating a vocal sound that has become their trademark.
The Thompsons return to their roots on this album, singing spiritual songs that they grew up with at Stone Soup and at the First Baptist Church in America. The Thompsons vocals are at times powerful and soulful on upbeat traditional spiritual songs such as “Hand on the Plow” and “Wayfaring Stranger”. The unique harmonies rival those of the most beautiful early music compositions, with their sisterly voices switching harmonies and melting into one, mesmerizing the listener with stark and graceful simplicity. Their harmonies are particularly stunning on a cappella tunes such as “Be Still My Soul” and “Amazing Grace.” The spare instrumentation on the album reflects the Thompson’s live performance, and allows their emotive vocals to shine through.
“Lines of Longitude” demonstrates the Thompson’s way with metaphor. This catchy upbeat song expresses awe and ancient map makers who could sketch the coastline without ever seeing it, the songs extends the metaphor to the challenges we face in our lives as we sketch our own “Lines of Longitude.” “Man in the Mountain” has a folky, old-time feel. The song likens the falling of New Hampshire’s famous landmark to the inevitable fall of our own parents as they age.
The Thompson’s latest CD Live captures the energy, power and grace of the Thompson’s live performance.
Chris Thompson is the guitar and lead vocalist for the duo Chris and Meredith Thompson. Together the Thompsons have released 6 albums and played festivals such as the Clearwater Hudson Revival, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, and the Boston Folk Festival. The Thompsons are best known for their close sibling harmony, and as Chris now steps out on her own, she demonstrates her powerful clear vocals and percussive, riff driven guitar work.
Chris Thompson's first childhood memory is singing in a sandbox at age 4. Several years and sandboxes later, Chris started singing at an open mic at the Stone Soup Coffeehouse. At Stone Soup, Chris heard Bill Harley, Joan Katzberg, and other folk/acoustic artists. Stone Soup opened new musical ideas, and Chris encouraged her sister Meredith to join her. They formed a duo and had their first show at Stone Soup in 1992. After graduating from college, the duo toured the US, and Chris spent several years singing solo in Boston's subways and at clubs such as the Kendall Cafe and Club Passim.
On their most recent album, the Thompsons returned to the traditional spirituals they learned at Stone Soup and at gatherings at the First Baptist Church in America, the church they grew up in. She offers soulful vocals on these spirituals like "Hand on the Plow", "Wayfaring Stranger", and "Balm in Gilead." Chris also wrote some songs that demonstrate a spiritual influence, with call and response, and themes of redemption and hope. “Hallelujah” evokes a spiritual theme whose message indicates that people light the way for others. “Lift Up Your voice and Sing” echoes the traditional call and response structure of many spirituals.
The Thompsons evoke meaningful metaphors to convey messages through song. "Lines of Longitude" is a catchy, upbeat song expressing awe and ancient map makers who could sketch the coastline without ever seeing it. The song extends the metaphor to the challenges we face in our lives as we sketch our own "Lines of Longitude." "Man in the Mountain" has a folky, old-time feel. The song likens the falling of New Hampshire's famous landmark to the decline of our own parents as they age with the refrain "never thought I'd see that mountain fall."
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A W A R D S:
FINALIST: Folk Category
FIRST PLACE WINNERS
nominated BEST ACOUSTIC ACT
LILITH FAIR FINALISTS
D I S C O G R A P H Y:
F E S T I V A L S:
S E L E C T E D C L U B S:
C O N C E R T S:
C O L L E G E S:
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