SIMON & GARFUNKEL’s “Live 1969”
(Columbia Legacy, 2009):
Forty years on, this very impressive live disc finally sees the light of day, and it’s a revelation. Culled from a month-long run of concerts that took place between the recording of the duo’s swansong and masterpiece “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and the album’s release in early 1970, the oh-so-popular folk-rockers sound fresh, vital and downright sparkling – the music showing no signs of the impending split that would leave this as the final S&G tour for more than a dozen years. The first half of the disc features the duo acoustic, while the second half features S&G’s first forays into playing concerts with a backing band (Hal Blaine, Joe Osborn, Larry Knechtel and Fred Carter Jr.). Most of the expected songs are here (including a different verse in “The Boxer”), as well as one non-Simon tune, “That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine,” an Everly Brothers-inspired arrangement of penned by Gene Autry. The sound – originally recorded by Roy Halle and produced for this disc by Coxsackie’s own Bob Irwin – is immaculate throughout, making this a stellar, if long overdue, release.