It’s not that often it happens, but Paul Simon premiered a new song during the recording of the long time running radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, last Saturday. Simon was announced as a special guest, and probably the biggest-name musical guest in 40-plus years of Garrison Keillor’s radio program, but this new song was certainly unexpected, and a special treat for the people there.
The new tune is called ‘Wristband’ and it’s a really playful and lighthearted one. With the help of Chris Thile, Sarah Jarosz, Andrew Bird, Richard Dworsky, members of Punch Brothers, and Ted Poor, ‘Wristband’ was performed acoustically, with old school upright bass, mandolin, violin, organic percussion as clapping hands and pinched strings, and lots of back up vocals behind Paul’s still-young-after-all-these-years voice… And this made the rhyming’ catchy thing sound a bit jazzy, especially in the beginning, very upbeat and even comical.
The song tells the story of a musician who can’t get back into a club, ‘You got to have a wristband’ tells the bouncer, who is compared to St Peter at the pearly gates in Simon’s very typical humorous style. At the end, the ‘If you don’t have a wristband, you don’t get through the door’ tale transforms itself into some more serious commentary about privileges, in a very classic approach. May be this song is not going to be his masterpiece but it’s cool to see Simon is still composing and having fun.
During the show, Simon also performed ‘Gone At Last’, ‘Duncan’. ‘Rewrite’, ‘The Boxer’ and even ‘Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard’ during an encore, however, he didn’t say anything about the genesis of the song, or if it would be featured on a new album. Nevertheless, there are some rumors and some real US tour dates for spring and summer, which will be announced soon!
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