Paul Simon Project

PAUL SIMON PROJECT
An Irish tribute to a great songwriter & musician
Going Live on YouTube Thursday 14th February 2019

Ailie Blunnie // Marco Francescangeli // Paj // Josh Johnston // Carol Keogh // SJ McArdle // Rob Molumby // Sive // Gillian Tuite // Jane Willow

    1. America – Carol Keogh (19th January 2019)
    2. April Come She Will – Paj (19th January 2019)
    3. Rene And Georgette Magritte (With Their Dog After The War) – Gillian Tuite (5th May 2019)
    4. Still Crazy After All These Years – Rob Molumby (5th May 2019)
    5. You Can Call Me Al – Ailie Blunnie (19th January 2019)

The brainchild of Dublin pianist and songwriter Josh Johnston, the Paul Simon Project was born of a desire to toast the man and the music he has created.

In January 2019, five of Ireland’s finest singer-songwriters and two musician friends were invited to Josh’s house in Dublin on a cold winter’s day. It was an afternoon of intense social and musical activity where, after a light lunch, the eight musicians set about arranging, rehearsing and performing six Paul Simon classics from across his career. At 6pm, they were joined by director of photography Alan Rogers who videoed each song in turn.  It was so much fun that he decided to do it again and in May, he was joined for the second installment by a mix of returning musicians and new faces.

This meeting of musical minds, while also being fantastic fun, primarily pays homage to a songwriter who has provided musical company to three generations of families growing up. Paul Simon has recently retired from live performance with sixty-five years in the music industry to his credit. On that basis, we felt it was timely to tip the hat and thank him for the gift of his music.  (The session was so successful that some of the group did it again in May but more of that later).

Paul Simon’s songs songs have formed the soundtrack to many lives and continue to be performed and re-interpreted by himself on stage and on his recent album In The Blue Light, as well as in cover versions in increasing quantities.

Over the course of 2019, the Paul Simon Project will gift ten videos of different Paul Simon songs to the world, with each of the singer-songwriters personally selecting a favourite tune and arranging it with the rest of the group. Creative decisions have been made in the choices and the arrangements while always staying true and sensitive to the spirit of the songs. The selections cover a wide span of songs from 1964 to 1992 and the videos will be uploaded gradually to YouTube via Josh Johnston’s channel. I will add links at the top of this page above on this page and info about the songs and videos below.

All songs by Paul Simon.

1. America (uploaded 14th February 2019) – Carol Keogh
Filmed January 19th 2019 in Josh’s living room, Dublin 8

To get the ball rolling, we are pleased to present the first video. Dublin singer Carol Keogh (The Plague Monkeys, The Tycho Brahe, Autamata, The Natural History Museum, The Wicc) sings America from the Simon & Garfunkel 1968 LP Bookends.

Carol Keogh – Vocal www.carolkeogh.ie
Paj – Acoustic Guitar, Vocal pajmusic.com
Josh Johnston – Piano www.joshjohnston.com
SJ McArdle – Electric Guitar, Vocal sjmcardle.com
Rob Molumby – Bass, Vocal robertmolumby.com
Sive – Vocal www.sivemusic.com
Ailie Blunnie – Vocal ailieblunnie.com
Marco Francescangeli – Soprano Sax

2. April Come She Will (upoaded 7th April 2019) – Paj
Filmed January 19th 2019 in Josh’s living room, Dublin 8

The second Paul Simon Project video features Paj singing April Come She Will. Originally written during Paul Simon’s stint as a solo singer-songwriter in England in 1964, it was recorded for his solo album The Paul Simon Songbook and then slightly rearranged and re-recorded for the Simon & Garfunkel album The Sounds Of Silence with Garfunkel singing the lead vocal. Its lyrics very closely mirror an old English nursery rhyme which Paul Simon may have heard while there.

Dublin guitarist, composer, singer and songwriter Paj has chosen this song and has arranged it in a very straightforward way while adding simple and effective backing vocals from Carol, Sive and Ailie and gentle flute at the end. Paj is well known as a session guitarist and singer, often appearing with Danny G And The Major Sevvenths and jazz singer Emilie Conway, and has recently released his first solo single Friends Confused. A full-length CD is planned for late 2019.

Friends Confused on Youtube
pajmusic.com

Paj – Acoustic Guitar, Vocal pajmusic.com
Josh Johnston – Piano www.joshjohnston.com
SJ McArdle – Mandolin sjmcardle.com
Rob Molumby – Bass robertmolumby.com
Sive – Vocal www.sivemusic.com
Ailie Blunnie – Vocal ailieblunnie.com
Carol Keogh – Vocal www.carolkeogh.ie
Marco Francescangeli – Flute

3. Rene And Georgette Magritte (With Their Dog After The War) (uploaded 20th May 2019) – Gillian Tuite
Filmed May 5th 2019 in Josh’s living room, Dublin 8

A seemingly daft, surreal tale but actually a multi-layered, post-modern slice of songwriting genius (in this correspondent’s humble opinion), this song was born in an idle moment in Joan Baez’s apartment when Paul Simon was left to occupy himself. A coffee table book about Belgian surrealist artist Rene Magritte featured a photo that was labelled “Rene And Georgette Magritte with their dog after the war”. The idea occurred to create a story around the title, a challenge that, when finished, featured elements of surrealist thought, doo-wop, lovesong, nostalgia, loss, and French artsong and, knowing Paul Simon, other things yet to be discovered. It is one of a number of standouts on his unfairly overlooked 1983 album Hearts And Bones.

Meath singer-songwriter Gillian Tuite has chosen this song, much to the delight of Josh as it’s one of his favourite Paul Simon songs. She is currently enjoying airplay and critical acclaim for her current single Something We Should Try (written with American songwriter Fred Koller) and is looking forward to recording her debut CD in 2019 for release early 2020.

Something We Should Try on Youtube
www.gilliantuitemusic.com

Gillian Tuite – Vocal & Guitar www.gilliantuitemusic.com
Jane Willow – Vocal www.janewillow.com
Adam Fleming – Vocal Adam On Spotify
Josh Johnston – Piano www.joshjohnston.com
Rob Molumby – Bass robertmolumby.com
Marco Francescangeli – Clarinet

4. Still Crazy After All These Years (uploaded 8th July 2019) – Rob Molumby
Filmed May 5th 2019 in Josh’s living room, Dublin 8

The jazz-tinged, melancholic, world-weary title track to his 1975 Grammy-winning album is now considered a signature song for Paul Simon’s middle period.

Dublin multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger Rob Molumby is not often in front of the mic but he can be heard often, playing keys and synths in the band Let’s Set Sail and bass in the band Ana Gog.

sdfsdf Powell by Let’s Set Sail on Youtube
robertmolumby.com

Rob Molumby – Lead vocal & Wurlitzer Piano robertmolumby.com
Adam Fleming – Guitar & backing vocal Adam On Spotify
Gillian Tuite – Backing vocal www.gilliantuitemusic.com
Jane Willow – Backing vocal www.janewillow.com
Josh Johnston – Piano www.joshjohnston.com
Marco Francescangeli – Clarinet

5. You Can Call Me Al (uploaded 13th August 2019) – Ailie Blunnie
Filmed January 19th 2019 in Josh’s living room, Dublin 8

Carrick-on-Shannon singer/songwriter/pianist Ailie Blunnie has included this 1986 Paul Simon song (taken from his huge hit album Graceland) in her live set the last few years and it was fun for the group to find ways to add instruments and harmonies to the mix. And Marco got to use the ocarina he had brought along to the session.

Ailie’s debut album West To The Evening Sun is brilliant and is available now – go to YouTube to hear (and watch) the beautiful title track.
Ailie has a website and a https://www.facebook.com/ailiemusic/ page as well as loads of other social media places.

Musicians

Ailie Blunnie – Lead Vocal & Ukulele ailieblunnie.com
Paj – Acoustic Guitar pajmusic.com
SJ McArdle – Electric Guitar sjmcardle.com
Josh Johnston – Chime Bars & Backing Vocal www.joshjohnston.com
Rob Molumby – Bass robertmolumby.com
Marco Francescangeli – Ocarina
Carol Keogh – Backing Vocals www.carolkeogh.ie
Sive – Backing Vocals www.sivemusic.com