At Largo Thursday night, two musical progenies — Teddy Thompson and Lucy Wainwright Roche — shared the stage, and both paid their respects to family traditions while stepping outside their shadows.
Performing songs from “A Piece of What You Need,” his fourth Verve Forecast album, Thompson, the son of British folk legends Richard and Linda Thompson, performed a breezily impressive set. While there’s no mistaking his bloodline — the timbre of his voice, the occasional phrasing and even the way he pronounces certain soft vowels mark him as his father’s son — there’s also no doubt he’s established his own style.
Songs such as “In My Arms” and “One of These Days” display his smooth tenor and lean country folk songs, while “Turning the Gun Upon Myself,” introduced as a “nondepressing suicide song,” proves that mordant humor runs in the family.
He’s ably backed by the Grey Race, a New York quartet, whose short opening set showcased a romantic masochism that falls somewhere between Jeff Buckley and Coldplay’s Chris Martin; singer-guitarist Jon Darling favors swooping melodies that allow him to slip off a note like he’s hanging on for dear life. But the highlight of the set was Thompson’s tender duet with his father on the latter’s “Persuasion”; Teddy Thompson, who had been a confident frontman, turned still and deferential.
Lucy Wainwright Roche has two families to live up to, and the daughter of Loudon Wainwright III and Suzzy Roche did them both proud in her short, engaging set. Her voice has the warmth and purity of her mother’s, while her conversational melodies and trenchant lyrics are very much in the vein of her father.