New Album Notes

Here’s what we know about the next Paul Simon record:

  • According to Rolling Stone, it’s done – and it’s great. RS published a small blurb in its current edition (with Barack Obama on the cover):

Remember how awesome it was to realize that Dylan was back – and possibly better than ever? At 69, Paul Simon is poised for a Time Out of Mind – style return with his new disc, which he previewed at RS HQ recently. Simon described it as his “best since Graceland,” and we totally agree. We bet his new legion of hipster acolytes (Vampire Weekend, Grizzly Bear) will, too.

  • The music should be typically eclectic. Like us, you’ve probably never heard of Karaikudi Mani. According to the The Hindu, the master miridangist recently recorded with Simon, introduced by You’re The One and Surprise percussionist Jamey Haddad:

“Nowadays, of course the sitar and the tabla are well known in music circuits worldwide. I took up the challenge of popularising the mridangam,” says Kaaraikkudi Mani whose album recording with vocalist Paul Simon, of the famed Simon and Garfunkel duo, along with drummer Jamie Haddad is set for release soon.

This, incidentally is Simon’s first recording with an Indian musician after doing so with Pandit Ravishankar in the 1960s.

  • Eclectic doesn’t just mean Indian – it means Indian plus Americana. As we reported in June, Paul Simon spent some studio time with bluegrass legends Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, who provided bluegrass instrumentation and vocals to an “afro-cuban” track.
  • Further, it’s looking increasingly likely that the new album will be out on a Sony/Columbia record label, as Paul’s catalogue appears to have shifted back from Warner Brothers.
  • Last, don’t be surprised if recent Simon songs that have not yet found broad release (“Love and Hard Times,” “Questions for the Angels”) show up on the record, perhaps with more instrumentation than fans have been used to.
  • We also hear from our friends at the indispensable Dreamer of Music that the new record will feature the work of sax virtuoso Andy Snitzer and master percussionist Steve Shehan, longtime Simon collaborators.
  • Based on the rate that information is trickling out – and thinking back to the release of Surprise - it wouldn’t surprise us if all that was left was the selection of a title, the approval of artwork, the pressing of CDs and encoding of MP3s and the writing of press releases. Here’s hoping for new Paul Simon music in 2010!
  • Meanwhile, if you want a glimpse of Simon, catch A Night of Too Many Stars Thursday on Comedy Central.
  • Pressed for a quick PS fix? Follow us on Twitter for breaking news and links.