17 December 2018 (gig)
19 December 2018
A few years back, a health scare concerning his voice, reportedly could have ended the singing career of Art Garfunkel, the other half of one of the most iconic duos ever, Simon & Garfunkel. Garfunkel could have easily just retired - instead he diligently worked and trained his voice and got it back in fighting shape. And while his ex-partner, Paul Simon, decided to end his touring career this year, Garfunkel is still going strong and performed at the City Winery in Boston, Massachusetts on December 17, 2018.
Accompanied only by an acoustic guitarist and keyboardist, he opening with whispery renditions of Simon & Garfunkels "April Come She Will" and "The Boxer," (an atmospheric tale of a pugilist and isolation). Any worries of vocal issues were nonexistent as Garfunkels voice sounded first-rate. And while he summoned the crowd to sing with him on the "Lie la lie" parts of "The Boxer," he certainly didn't require the help.
A sweet ballad, "Perfect Moment," led into "A Heart in New York," a solo cut he had famously performed live at "The Concert in Central Park" (Simon & Garfunkels acclaimed reunion show in 1981), and meshed the song seamlessly into a medley with "All I Know," a tearjerker (penned by Jimmy Webb) from his solo debut record, "Angel Care" in 1973.
Reaching deeper into the Simon & Garfunkels catalogue, Garfunkel humorously introduced, "A Poem on the Underground Wall," as a "forgotten song," or one that he "forgot" - and followed up with an angelic version of "Scarborough Fair."
Going even further back, and taken from his 2007 Great American Songbook CD, "Some Enchanted Evening," he crooned out a silky cover of the standard, "Someone To Watch Over Me."
While Garfunkel was the co-voice on most Simon & Garfunkel classics, he was the sole voice on their stellar cut, "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (which has been covered by a myriad of singers, most famously by Elvis Presley and, in a Gospel tinged version, by Aretha Franklin). Garfunkel sang a shortened (he stated that he was going to drop the last verse), yet majestic, version of "Bridge."
In addition to his epic musical path, Garfunkel simultaneously etched out an acting career (starring in cult classics as "Catch 22," "Carnal Knowledge," and "Bad Timing" - directed by the recently deceased Nicolas Roeg) and is a published author. His book, "What Is It All but Luminous - Notes From An Underground Man," was released this past September. Early in the night, he read a passage from the book, titled "The Publicist." He also read other short works of prose during the concert, the best ones being a memory that concerned his last tour with Simon, and another one which referred to a situation at a birthday party for Simon, which he attended a couple years back.
Ending his set with dignified renderings of "Kathy's Song," and a slightly more upbeat version of "The Sounds of Silence" - he then returned for a sole encore with "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep," (also from the "Some Enchanted Evening" disc).
With Simon now retired from the road, a Simon & Garfunkel reunion may, unfortunately, not happen again, making Garfunkels concert appearances all the more a of priority to witness.