Billy Thompson’s performances have captured audiences in the U.S. and throughout Europe, setting the tone for this veteran musician’s songwriting, singing and guitar playing, both live and in the studio. In his original music, he combines searing slide and electric guitar licks with soulful vocals forming a unique amalgamation of styles including blues, rock, funk, New Orleans second line and soul. Some say, “it’s like Hendrix meets Little Feat!”
Billy has played with legends such as Little Milton, Albert King, Earl King and Art Neville, while opening for the likes of Robert Cray, B.B. King, Sonny Landreth, The Neville Brothers and Joe Cocker, to name a few. He has performed on Barbara Walter’s “The View” and with the San Diego Symphony. He also performed for the grand opening of L.A.’s House of Blues. Billy has been invited to play with such icons as the Doobie Brothers, Bill Payne and John Mooney. He has provided lead guitar for the Broadway show “Ain’t Nothin’ but the Blues” and for Tony Award winning playwright Keith Glover’s Bluesical, “Thunder Knocking on the Door,” which he recorded with platinum recording artist Keb Mo. Billy also served as musical supervisor for Geva Theatre’s 2015 Journey to the Son Festival.. a tribute to Delta great, Son House, in Rochester, NY, in addition to performing for the Festival with his own band.
His seventh release, "Friend," has received rave reviews and heavy airplay worldwide. Along with his touring players, this release hosts guest appearances from Bill Payne (Little Feat, J.J. Cale), Ron Holloway (Warren Haynes, Tedeschi/Trucks), James “Hutch” Hutchinson (Bonnie Raitt, Neville Brothers), Kenny Gradney (Little Feat, Delaney & Bonnie) and Mike Finnigan (Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker).
Billy’s 2012 release, "A Better Man," was produced by Grammy winner, Tony Braunagel (Eric Burdon, Robert Cray). A host of world class players are featured including Mike Finnigan, 8-time Grammy winner Johnny Lee Schell (Phantom Blues Band), Kenny Gradney, James “Hutch” Hutchinson, Lenny Castro (Eric Clapton, Rolling Stones) and The Texacali Horns' Joe Sublett & Darrell Leonard (Little Feat, Phantom Blues Band).
“A Better Man” was nominated by Blues Blast Magazine for 2012 Contemporary Blues Album of the Year and received excellent reviews, including "Bluesbreaker of the Week" on Dan Aykroyd's "Elwood's House of Blues Hour" and “B.B. King’s Bluesville’s Pick To Click.”
Recent Billy Thompson Band performances include NPR’s Mountain Stage, San Diego Blues Festival 2015, Geva Theatre’s Journey to the Son Festival 2015, BB Kings (NYC), House of Blues (Chicago/Orlando), Humphrey's Concerts By the Bay (San Diego), Western Maryland Blues Festival, Washington Folk Festival (DC), Paoli Blues Festival (Philadelphia, PA), New York State Blues Festival and the Michelob Blues Festival (Dayton,OH)