America is flickering in a torn time, ever aware of its current struggles, ever sentimental of its branded dream. In too many circles, it’s become unnervingly fashionable to complain about anything and everything American. Every now and then it’s nice to be reminded of the virtuous absolutes that make up the unmistakably, irreducible bright spots of Americana. Randy Thompson’s Collected represents one those welcomed indigenous absolutes; undeniably and unapologetically, American Country music.
Randy Thompson hails from the small town of Clifton, Virginia, population 282. This irreducibly American backdrop serves as the inspiration for the material on his latest release, spanning three albums and 14 years. A compilation of 15 tracks from all of his 1998, 2004, and 2008 full length releases, decorated with three new gems, Collected is an impressive snapshot of not only Randy Thompson’s discography, but of true American country music, itself.
Not unlike the textile pioneers that once graced his Virginia home, Randy weaves a rich sonic tapestry of front porch Americana, Old School Country, roots rock, and edgy bluegrass with the wisdom of Hank, Sr. and the flash of early Chesney. Informed by the historically-dense Virginian landscape Thompson calls home, palatable and relatable stories of American loss and love, work and play, and pain and joy reside on this CD with a weathered determination, delivered by a voice that’s one in the same.
If you missed the bulk of this collection’s inhabitants the first time around, Collected is a must-have album for your collection. File it under American Country.