"Marjorie Thompson will celebrate the release of her Never Let me Down CD which shows the Brown professor's country blues fingerpicking skills at their finest and her vocal and lyrical skills at new heights."
-Rick Massimo, Providence Journal Bulletin Music Writer
Marjorie is a singer/songwriter and fingerstyle guitarist from Providence, RI. who plays and sings in the time honored genres of the country blues, rags and roots music characterized by Rev Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, Dave Van Ronk and many other pioneers of this field. She has a body of original work with over 90 songs reflective of this style but with contemporary and personal twists.
Originally from New York City, she took up the guitar in the mid sixties and thus began a lifelong passion for fingerstyle guitar in the time honored traditions of the Country blues, rags and roots music.
Although she originally wished for piano lessons, constraints of apartment living in Brooklyn and Queens predicated against that, and instead she received at age 10 her first guitar, a 16 dollar department store special. After a year of determined playing, she was rewarded with a Guild F-30 similar to John Hurt's, which she still owns.
Life's paths brought college and graduate school, and the pursuit of studies in Biology at Brown University during the 1970s, plus producing 7 children. Hence, music was relegated to plateau status for a period of time. For her day job for the past 20 years, Marjorie has served on the Biology faculty and administration of Brown University, teaching Histology and Embryology and advising students as dean there.
A major inflection point occurred in 1999 after she noticed an ad in Acoustic Guitar Magazine for Jorma Kaukonen's FurPeace Ranch Guitar Camp. Jorma and the music of Hot Tuna had been a major interest since their inception in the early 70s, and the opportunity to study with the master seemed nearly too good to be true. The first visit to the camp marked an inflection point that returned her musical pursuits to the fore. With over 15 return trips to the ranch, and workshops with many notable teachers, she finds herself in the relatively new position of adding 'songwriter' to her list of endeavors. As of August 2004, she is co-teaching fingerstyle guitar alongside Jorma at the camp.
She describes the arrival of the songwriting muse as if a giant synapse suddenly formed, bringing together past and present influences stored up these many years. All of the songs have been composed since the summer of 2001, an epiphany of sorts ... and mostly, great fun. Her three recordings to date are Driving to Distraction (2002; Add Some More (203) and Never Let Me Down (2005. The latter two were produced by Michael Falzarano (Hot Tuna). All feature original songs and accompaniment by her band partner Greg Franklin and other guest artists.
She now tours the northeast and mid Atlantic areas often accompanied by bassist Greg Franklin as the MoSugar Band, and performs an average of 80 shows per year.. She appeared in the acoustic showcase on behalf of Gottschall Funnelbody guitars in March 2004 in Frankfurt,Germany and will be featured in May 2005 at the International Guitar Festival in Sarzana, Italy.
Marjorie is available for bookings and can provides hours of original music as well as the traditional country blues covers. Reviews and articles about her work have appeared in the Providence Journal, Band Spotlight, Sippitan Sentinel, George Street Journal, Brown Medicine, the Brown Alumni Magazine, Worcester Magazine , the May 2003 cover feature in Providence's East Side Monthly, and RI Monthly magazine.