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Jeff Thompson Solo @ Asheville Music Hall 5-26-2018

Jeff Thompson is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and performer. He likes to wear fedoras and blazers. He likes when spontaneous conversations with strangers and friends proceed like improvised poems. He often wishes he had a tape recorder in his hand. He usually ends up texting choice phrases to himself, so that he won’t forget them. Most of his lyrics come to him, melodies in tow, in the shower or in the last drops of dreaming before waking wipes the slate of his mind dry for the day.

He was born and raised in the same city that spawned Louis Armstrong, Harry Connick Jr., Dr. John, and Lil Wayne. His style sounds nothing like any of them. Except maybe Harry. A little bit. Sometimes. He left New Orleans at a pretty young age, and has lived just about everywhere else since then. He spent six months studying Buddhism in a monastery in Bodh Gaya, India overlooking a rice paddy. There were a lot of mosquitoes and it was next to a very loud bus stop. The Thai monks all smoked cigarettes. They were mostly there because their families wanted them to be. Jeff wasn’t allowed to have a guitar there, because the monks’ code wouldn’t let them listen to music, but he smuggled one in. It was a Yemaha. Not a Yamaha. He bought it in Kathmandu for thousands of rupees. Or…eighteen dollars. He wrote one of his favorite songs, furtively, in the wee hours of the morning, just after meditation. He’s also lived in Austin, Boulder, NYC, and of course Asheville. He’s still in Asheville. He gives it two thumbs up. He thinks he’ll probably stick around awhile.

He misses New Orleans an awful lot sometimes, but credits his health to having escaped it when he did. He thinks New Orleans is a really nice place to visit. The distilled essence of Mardi Gras, Jackson Square, the Mississippi River, and late night adventures he’d rather not discuss right now flow through his veins, indistinguishable from his blood.

Jeff Thompson has won major songwriting contests, even though he thinks it’s silly to pit songwriters against one another. He wrestled in junior high and saw his name on more than enough elimination brackets back then. Of course, back then, he barely ever made it past the first round. Jeff won 1st Place in the Eddie’s Attic Competition (other winners include John Mayer, The Indigo Girls, and of course the great Chelsea Lynn Labate of Ten Cent Poetry), 1st Place in the Cary, NC Six String Cafe Songwriter’s Competition, 1st Place in the Evening Muse Songwriters’ Competition. He was featured in Performing Songwriter Magazine.

Jeff Thompson plays all over the Southeastern United States, and has shared the stage with a lot of people you’ve heard of. He doesn’t feel like name dropping, though.

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