Neither Taylor Bloom nor Ryan M. Hunt were even born by the time Simon and Garfunkel parted ways just as their most successful album, Bridge over Troubled Water, was still climbing the charts.
Simon & Garfunkel Story brings timeless music and poetry of euphonious 1960s duo to Centennial Hall stage
But you don’t have to convince either man about the importance or talents of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, whose five studio albums produced a string of hits between 1964 and 1970s including Sound of Silence, I Am A Rock, Scarborough Fair/Canticle, The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy), Homeward Bound, Mrs. Robinson, America, The Boxer and Bridge over Troubled Water - writes lfpress.com.
The two singers will bring their appreciation for the 60s duo to the stage at Centennial Hall Wednesday in a tribute show called simply, The Simon & Garfunkel Story.
“I think their music means a lot to a lot of folks,” said Bloom, a recent graduate of Shenandoah University in Virginia, who handles Paul Simon’s guitar and vocals in the show.
“It goes hand-in-hand with peoples’ early, formative experiences and it transforms them to another time in their lives. You can really see people who are experiencing intense emotions while we’re playing and there are nights where you see people welling up in their eyes, wiping away tears when they’re reminded of their youth. That’s a huge part of making the show so rewarding for Ryan and I. It’s really lovely to see.”
Bloom said the duo, known for their sweet harmonies, is a technical challenge.
“The connection between their voices, … it’s like listening to one voice. It’s unbelievable,” said Bloom.
“Just the music itself, Paul Simon’s writing is truly timeless, truly unpretentious and beautiful.”
Simon and Garfunkel sold more than 100 million albums. They also won 10 Grammy Awards and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
After their break-up in 1970, each went on to record solo albums, Simon again striking gold with Graceland in 1986.
They reunited several times over the decades, including 1981 for The Concert in Central Park that drew an estimated 500,000 fans, an event that serves as the finale for the touring show.
At 37, Hunt is a well-travelled road warrior who was in the cast of two major national touring shows — Mamma Mia! (playing Bill Austin), Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (playing Sebastian).
“I just love it,” said Hunt, who handles the Garfunkel end of the vocals, which is no small challenge even for the most experienced of vocalists given the delicate nuances.
“I think the music is timeless and the poetry in the words just as resonant now as they ever were. It never seems dated. You’ve got teens at the show, young teens. There was a 12-year-old girl singing along one night and she knew half the songs. There will be a teen, their parents and their grandparents in one aisle. The audiences have really been loving it.”
The duo sing the songs that people will remember while video and other images are put up on a screen. They don’t take on the characters, they just tell the story with words and song.
“We’re not playing the roles, we’re ourselves on stage and we take the audience on a journey. It’s really a tremendously engaging and fun challenge that we enjoy.”
Said Hunt: We do tell the story of their music and life together, but we’re not trying to be them.”
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If you go
What: The Simon & Garfunkel Story, starring Taylor Bloom and Ryan M. Hunt.
When: Wednesday, 8 p.m.
Where: Centennial Hall, 550 Wellington St.
Tickets: $71 and $60.50 (plus service charges) available at the box office, online at centennialhall.london.ca or by calling 519-672-1967 or 519-672-1968.
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