Simon & Garfunkel/Old Friends [Live]

Simon & Garfunkel are an American Singer/Songwriter duo consisting of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. Formed in 1957 as Tom And Jerry, the band finally took hold of the world in 1965 as Simon & Garfunkel. Comprised of close and beautiful harmonies and contentious relations with each other, the band split in 1970. The band has enjoyed numerous successful reunions,,,,including this one in 2004. An enduring and important group in the realm of pop culture, the duo released 7 proper studio albums.

Disc One:

Old Friends—-Beginning the show with an appropriate song, the guitar is strummed gently as the crowd goes wild. Once the two voices begin, the real magic begins. The harmonies are timeless and the complete beauty of the will bring tears to your eyes….wonderful!!!

Bookends—-The song magically appears from the other and the voices are a thing of beauty. This short sweet song always gives me goosebumps. I discovered this duo as a teen, trying to cope with my sexuality and feelings of adoration for another and this song just melted my heart. It will always be very special to me.

A Hazy Shade Of Winter—-One of the earliest hits for the band, it shows the versatility involved. The duo can rock as well as mourn and sentiment. This is fantastic and almost raucous. How pleasant. One can only wonder what would have happened if the Beach Boyswould have gotten hold of this track.

I Am A Rock—-Another one of those very favorite tracks of mine. The emotion in the lyric is one that grabs a hold and stays with you for a lifetime. It is amazing how I can remember the words to this song. The song spoke to me of the alienation and ego-ism of my youth. This is an incredible listen and magically conveyed live!!!

America—-A tale of the long trip that we all wish we had taken when we were young and running wild…the open road and the come what may attitude. The blending of the voices are a joy to behold and the sound is the finest folk beauty that any living man could wish for. This is pure perfection.

At The Zoo—-Even though I own about every release these guys have done, this song is still relatively new to me….I can’t seem to find it anywhere…more research to be done before I have quintessential music mind!!!! This is a nice romp through an early 60’s sound that sounds somehow fresh and alive in this live rendition. Excellent…..and the song magically melds into

Baby Driver—-Another fun and be achy romp through pop of the 60’s. Wonderfully delivered, the voices are darn near perfect. The voice of Simon is clearly in the front, but the song would not be complete without the backing of Art.

Kathy’s Song—-WOW!!!! Wonderfully fantastic, Garfunkel’s voice is pure perfection. It is rare he has the forefront, and I shake my head and wonder why. The song is tender and heartbreaking. The acoustic guitar by Simon supplies the secret ingredient that would be missing if this were not a ‘group’. The lyrical content still shakes me to the bone and conjures up memories best forgot.

Hey Schoolgirl—-The very first song recorded by Tom & Jerry, when the duo were only 16 years of age. A short fun romp through 50’s styled music that still sounds nice 50 years later. Wonderful!!!

Bye Bye Love—-Another fun romp through the classic music of the times. In this live rendition, the duo sings with The Everly Brothers. the true architects of the song. Together the two groups deliver a rousing fun, energetic rendition of a song still familiar even to kids today. Fantastic!!!

Scarborough Fair—–I cherish this song, but it is never the same without the ‘canticle’. I much prefer the Indigo Girls style of ’round’ singing on this track. Again, Garfunkel showcases an out standing vocal that is incredible. Simon plays and takes a harmonizing backseat to the clear beautiful tenor of Art. This is a rich, layered masterpiece of a composition. Timeless.

Homeward Bound—-Another tale that is filled with teenage spirit. The trip we all wished we had taken, the dreams we all wished we had taken. the risk involved in truly taking that risk and journeying out into the world on your own. …I love the line……”and every towns an endless stream of cigarettes and magazines…..” Describes my life pretty well for the last 25 years…well I’m depressed now!!!

The Sound Of Silence—-One of the most known and revered songs of all time, the first really huge hit for this duo. The song is tender, introspective and haunting. The harmonies raise the hairs on your arms and makes the tears sting the back of your eyes. This is real….true …and genius….everyone should take notice!!!  this live rendition is given a nice Spanish flair to the guitar, but never loses the intensity and introspective quality of the studio version. It as if this were recorded yesterday. CLASSIC!!!!

Disc Two:

Mrs. Robinson—-Perhaps the second best known song of this prolific duo. This song, recorded for The Graduate Soundtrack, the message is something that teen movies are made of. This is a fun song, showing the versatility of the duo. The guitar at times is actually raucous and slightly hyper. Wonderful.

Slip Slidin’ Away—-From the solo Simon songbook, the song plays well on this collection and melds well with the previous song. The vocals are beautiful, there is a fresh and new sound to the song with the added voice of Garfunkel. This was a brilliant idea and works really well.

El Condor Pasa—-Brilliant in presentation, the song has that Spanish flair to it that plays really well live. The lyrics are fun yet introspective and makes you think about things….would you rather be Simon than Garfunkel or Garfunkel than Simon….you ponder such things. The vocal is a pure and wonderful thing that has not been repeated often enough. This is wonderful!!!!

The Only Living Boy In New York—-Fantastic!!!! The show only gets better as it progresses and the duo seem to warm up to the audience. You truly believe that they are giving all that they have got. This is a really nice showcase for Simon and Art pops up in the backdrop with some really pleasant melodies. This is ART!!!!

American Tune—-A song that is not familiar to me, Garfunkel still has a way of making things seem familiar to you. The voice is so clear and un-perverted after all of these years., this is masterful…both in simplicity and intensity. WOW!

My Little Town—-Beginning with a somewhat ominous tone, the vocals come forward and I think that Springsteen should cover this composition. This is a wonderful ode to life in a little town that relys on factory jobs and an idyllic lifestyle. Ah, those times were nice…before famine, AIDS. recession, George W. Bush… in the 21st century. We all need an escape like this.

Bridge Over Troubled Water—-The Tour De Force of an incredible career. The ballad of a lifetime, the feelings of a generation. The story of my life in song. Garfunkel literally owns this song and it would never be the same without that incredible tenor of his. The addition of Simon seems secondary, and I am slightly pleased at this. Garfunkel had never received the credit and adulation that he deserved and this song only solidifiesthat assertion. This is a grand opus that still remains magnificent today.

Cecilia—-Further exploring the Spanish influence the band seemed to have around them, this song is a nice floral romp through Mazatlan. Wonderful in musicianship and lyrical content. This is a classic!!! The live rendition is even more raucous and fun. WOW…..AGAIN!

The Boxer—-Yet another wonderful folk song dealing with the risks that are taken in the untainted throes of youth. The vocal harmonies are at an all time high, and the guitar of Simon is exquisite. This is a wonderful journey through teen angst that the best Emo band could not copy. The audience participation rounds out the song in a tender and joyous way.

Leaves Are Green—-Travelling back to an early classic for encores, the duo performs this song live for the first time since 1967….I was 3!!! The song is a tender study of the life cycle that a young person was not quite able to comprehend. the lyrics are tender and haunting and the harmonies only add to the emotion of the song…excuse me while I cry.

Citizen Of The Planet—-A song recorded for this live release, the duo record an ode to the dire need our planeyt is in need of your attention. this is wonderfully constructed and masterfully delivered almost 50 years since the first recordings…listen and pay attention.

***** out of 5


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