There was a time when most of us knew most of the words to American Pie, the great anthem of the early 1970’s written and performed by the equally great singer songwriter Don McLean.
He followed it up with a hit no less monumental. which was Vincent (Starry, Starry Night); both songs were colossal songs which became part of music history and turned him into an international star.
Now McLean is releasing his new album Botanical Gardens, on March 23, and embarking on a 14 date UK tour during which he will be preforming live at the De La Warr Pavilion on Friday May 4.
With over 40 gold and platinum records worldwide, McLean is one of America’s most beloved country artists. Botanical Gardens - his 19th studio album and first in 8 years - is arguably one of his most reflective to date, as he puts it: “The inspiration for the project started years ago when I would walk in the beautiful gardens in Sydney Australia near the Opera House. I would dream young dreams and it was a comfort and an inspiration. I was always young inside, like we all are, and I felt it again there.”
“The whole album really revolves around the title song. Later on I realized that the gardens are really a metaphorical heaven, and there’s a kind of death and rebirth.”
Intimacy can be found at the heart of this record, with Don penning personal numbers looking back on a life well lived, as well as his observations on youth and love. Recording at Watershed Studios in Nashville also allowed a different kind of intimacy for Don and his band, as they were made to “play close and feel the music” resulting in a raw, yet tight sound throughout.
Don proves his prowess at writing timeless sounding songs once again, as the album weaves country, Americana, folk, and boot-stomping rock in this release. In nearly 50 years on the scene, Don’s songs have become a staple and have been performed by artists as diverse as Elvis Presley, Madonna, Chet Atkins, George Michael, Coolio and Ed Sheeran, while American Pie was honoured by being inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003. Tickets £40 from 01424 229111 or www.dlwp.com.