Folk-Rocker Richard Thompson Touring

After swing through the South, trek will wrap with two Southern California dates in mid-March.

Veteran British guitarist Richard Thompson kicked off a tour Wednesday in Baton Rouge, La., that will take him through the southern U.S. The outing's remaining 14 dates wind up with two Southern California stops on March 18 and 19.

This is the singer/songwriter's second U.S. tour since the August release of Mock Tudor, a collection of moody tales set in suburban London.

The album's songs combine Thompson's distinctive, raspy voice with country-style acoustic picking on such songs as "Dry My Tears and Move On" (

HREF=",_Richard/Dry_My_Tears_And_Move_On.ram">RealAudio excerpt) and the electric blasts of "Hard on Me" (

HREF=",_Richard/Hard_On_Me.ram">RealAudio excerpt).

Thompson's musical career began in the late '60s with the seminal British folk band Fairport Convention. His intricate guitar work on the otherwise simple pop song "Meet on the Ledge" first brought him the acclaim that his musicianship has continued to earn over the past 30 years.

Backing Thompson throughout the tour will be bassist Danny Thompson (no relation), drummer Michael Jerome, saxophonist Pete Zorn and guitarist Bill Bonk.

Richard Thompson tour dates:

Feb. 24; New Orleans, La.; House of Blues

Feb. 27; St. Petersburg, Fla.; Jannus Landing

Feb. 29; Birmingham, Ala.; 5 Points South Music Hall

March 1; Athens, Ga.; Georgia Theatre

March 2; Greenville, N.C.; Peace Center

March 3; Charlotte, N.C.; Neighborhood Theatre

March 4; Memphis, Tenn.; New Daisy Theater

March 6; Columbia, Mo.; Blue Note

March 8; Kansas City, Mo.; Grand Emporium

March 9; Little Rock, Ark.; Juanita's

March 10; Houston, Texas; Fabulous Satellite Lounge

March 13; Austin, Texas; La Zona Rosa

March 18; Los Angeles, Calif.; El Rey Theater

March 19; Anaheim, Calif.; Sun Theater