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Paul Simon performed “Can’t Run But” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” on SNL with yMusic

Paul Simon
Paul Simon on SNL | still from video

Singer-songwriter Paul Simon performed with New York chamber ensemble yMusic on last night’s Seth Meyers-hosted episode of Saturday Night Live. It was Simon’s 14th appearance on the late-night comedy show; he first appeared as host of the show’s second-ever episode in October of 1975.

He also just released his 14th solo album, In the Blue Light, which features orchestral reworkings of songs from his back-catalog, and for his first performance of the night, he played “Can’t Run But” — originally heard on 1990’s The Rhythm of the Saints, often heard as the theme music to NPR’s Radio Times — with yMusic providing the album’s orchestrations, arranged by The National’s Bryce Dessner. Continue reading →

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Paul Simon announces In The Blue Light, a new album of reworked favorites

Paul Simon | photo by Jessica Gilbert | courtesy of the artist

Having announced that this leg of his Homeward Bound Tour will be the end of his touring career, Paul Simon still can’t help but searching for perfection, now announcing a new album titled In The Blue Light, to be released September 7th, just two weeks before his final concert at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in New York City on the 22nd. The album will feature contributions from artists like trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, guitarist Bill Frisell, and drummers Jack DeJohnette and Steve Gadd, among others. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Paul Simon’s farewell tour will come to Wells Fargo Center in June

Paul Simon | photo by Jessica Gilbert | courtesy of the artist

Earlier this winter, singer-songwriter icon Paul Simon announced that he would hit the road for the final time in 2018. Today, he shared his itinerary for Homeward Bound – The Farewell Tour, which kicks off in May on the West Coast and makes its way to Philadelphia on June 16th, where Simon will headline the Wells Fargo Center. Tickets to the show go on sale on Saturday, February 10th at 10 a.m., and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Tribute to Paul Simon’s Graceland at Ardmore Music Hall, Gaelynn Lea at Burlap and Bean, Austra at Union Transfer, and more…

Paul Simon’s iconic 1986 album Graceland

Tonight, the Ardmore will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Paul Simon’s Graceland with an all star band of Philly musicians. The group will be lead by Bakithi Kumalo, the prolific South African bassist who lended his rubbery, fretless playing style to the album all those years ago. Listen to Kumalo’s iconic bass run in “You Can Me Al” below. Then, find tickets and more information on the event, head over to XPN’s Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Iconic singer-songwriter Paul Simon rules the night at the Mann Center

Paul Simon | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | instagram.com/hellerhound
Paul Simon | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | instagram.com/hellerhound

This August marks the thirtieth anniversary of Graceland, Paul Simon’s landmark, multi-platinum-selling, Grammy-award-winning album, an inspired and innovative patchwork quilt of world music styles recorded with talent like the Everly Brothers, Los Lobos, Linda Ronstadt, and several South African recording artists including the Boyoyo Boys Band and The Gaza Sisters, whom he’d met during a trip to Johannesburg with longtime friend and producer Roy Halee.

Without fanfare or announcement about the occasion, Simon leaned heavily on that material during last Saturday’s sold-out show at the Mann Music Center. His two-dozen song set featured half of that record, opening with “The Boy In The Bubble” and landing on “Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes” and the enduring “You Can Call Me Al” before his encore break. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Paul Simon at The Mann Center, Sonia as Ryan at Tin Angel, Hailey Wojcik at Bourbon and Branch

Paul Simon | Photo by Myrna Suarez
Paul Simon | Photo by Myrna Suarez

Paul Simon will bring his new album Stranger To Stranger to Fairmount Park tonight as XPN welcomes the legendary musician to The Mann. The June 3rd release is Simon’s 13th studio album. Below you can find “Wristband,” the second track of Stranger To Stranger. For tickets and more information on tonight’s show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Paul Simon swears like a sailor on his latest single and it’s kind of awesome.

Paul Simon | Photo courtesy of artist
Paul Simon | Photo courtesy of artist

Folk legend Paul Simon is prepping his newest solo album, Stranger To Stranger, and he recently shared the album’s newest single, “Cool Papa Bell.”

The song, which wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the classic Graceland, channels island beats, chimey guitars, and a thumping tuba bassline. But there’s also an unexpected lyrical side to it. Continue reading →

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Listen to a jazzy new song from Paul Simon, “Wristband”

Photo via booking agent: http://www.itb.co.uk/artist/paulsimon
Paul Simon | photo courtesy of the the artist

Singer-songwriter icon Paul Simon returns with his 13th solo album, Stranger to Stranger, out June 3rd via Concord Records. It was produced by Simon’s longtime collaborator Roy Halee and, if lead single “Wristband” is any indication, Simon is no less adventurous at 74 than he was at 44 with Graceland or at 24 with Sounds of Silence.

Led by a slick, jazzy upright bassline and a skittery polyrhythmic shuffle, the song starts out as a humorous story about getting locked outside a club and denied re-entry by a bouncer who doesn’t recognize the performer – “If you don’t have a wristband, my man, you don’t get through the door.”

As the story carries across verses, it becomes a parable of inequality, the wristband a symbol of the divide between the haves and have nots.  Continue reading →