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article imageOp-Ed: Al Stewart to play two dates the week before Christmas

By Alexander Baron     Nov 20, 2011 in Entertainment
Al Stewart is taking things easy nowadays, and has confirmed only six dates between now and June next year. In December, he is playing San Francisco and Sacramento.
These dates have been confirmed by the Al Stewart website, though it remains to be seen if anymore will be added. Currently, the man from SongFacts has 89 of his songs in his database including one credited to his acolyte Dave Nachmanoff which Al co-wrote and on which he guested. The rest can be found here. Although he has slowed down of late, the inventor of historical folk rock has written and recorded a considerable body of work over the years from Bedsitter Images through Year Of The Cat - by far his biggest hit - to his more recent, folkish stuff.
If you haven't heard this guy before you will have to excuse the bias of a lifelong fan, but you really don't know what you've missed.
Way back in the 70s he performed at times with a full band, and his more recent Last Days Of The Century was recorded live with a full orchestra, but for the most part he performs as either a solo acoustic guitarist or with a second guitarist: Peter White, Laurence Juber, and of late Dave Nachmanoff.
His two pre-Christmas dates are likely to be informal affairs interspersed with anecdotes, such as his working relationship with a pre-Lennon Yoko Ono .
For those who can't afford the plane fare to California, Al is also performing in Rome on November 26, on a TV show, I Miggliori Anni.
Alternatively, there is YouTube. The following tracks - in chronological order - are highly recommended:
The Elf - his first single, a novelty song distinctly superior to Bowie's The Laughing Gnome
Manuscript - the first song of the genré
Love Chronicles - his epic song
Elvaston Place - it's only when you hear a song as sad as this you realise just how badly a woman can wreck a man's head. The definitive version was recorded on November 8, 1970, and appears on both the unofficial Live At Warwick University/Oceans Of Delphi CDs
Nostradamus - another epic, it's difficult to believe there is only one guitar on this track, but having seen him perform it live...
Year Of The Cat - his biggest hit
Laughing Into 1939 - captures the Zeitgeist of a world poised on the precipice
Gina In The Kings Road - written four decades on by someone who was there.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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