Iconic folk singer Paul Simon announced today that he will release his 14th studio album to coincide with the final dates of his farewell tour.
Variety reports that album, titled In the Blue Light, will be released on September 7 via Legacy Recordings. The album will feature re-worked versions of 10 songs that appeared on previous albums throughout Simon’s extensive solo career. The songs are some of Simon’s favorites but are lesser-known than some of his more popular songs.
In an announcement issued by Simon, the singer states the following.
“This album consists of songs that I thought were almost right, or were odd enough to be overlooked the first time around…Re-doing arrangements, harmonic structures, and lyrics that didn’t make their meaning clear, gave me time to clarify in my own head what I wanted to say, or realize what I was thinking and make it more easily understood.”
The songs on In the Blue Light are picked from several albums through each area of Simon’s career. There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, Still Crazy After All These Years, and One-Trick Pony are just some of the albums these songs originated on.
Paul Simon has enlisted an impressive backing band for the re-interpretations of the songs. The album will feature trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, guitarist Bill Frisell, and drummers Jack DeJohnette and Steve Gadd, as well as the chamber ensemble sextet yMusic, who is currently performing with Simon on the tour.
Back in March of this year, Simon announced his “Homeward Bound” farewell tour. The multi-Grammy awarding winning artist kicked off his tour in May and will conclude the tour in September with a concert at Queens’ Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Simon’s performance at the park will be the first major concert there in decades.
“It seems more like fate than coincidence that I should do the final show on this final tour at Flushing Meadows Corona Park,” Simon said in a special announcement. “I could have ridden my bike from home to the park in about 20 minutes when I was a kid. But this is less a goodbye than a farewell. Thank you all for the ride, I had a great time.”
The “Homeward Bound” farewell tour will see Simon playing a career-spanning setlist throughout the singer’s prolific career. Fans are speculating that Simon’s former singing partner, Art Garfunkel, may join him on stage for his final show but there has been no official announcement.
Paul Simon started his career in the ’60s with Art Garfunkel in the group Simon & Garfunkel. The folk duo is known for hit songs such as “Sounds of Silence,” “Cecilia,” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Simon & Garfunkel eventually split ways where Simon would start a successful solo career.
Simon’s career began in the ’70s and continues through today. The singer made a name for himself as a solo artist with classic hits such as “You Can Call Me Al,” “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes,” and “Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard.”
Simon, 76, announced he was retiring from touring in March of this year. The singer stated that the reason was not due to his voice fading or not finding enjoyment in playing music, it has to do with family. “I feel the travel and time away from my wife and family takes a toll that detracts from the joy of playing. I’d like to leave with a big Thank You to the many folks around the world who’ve come out to watch me play over the last 50 years.”
For a full list of dates for the farewell tour, visit Simon’s official website here.