Paul opened for Al Stewart on Friday, June 6 (at the Towne Crier Cafe in Beacon, NY) to a full house of serious music listeners, a number of whom are now Paul Guzzone fans. One of them described Paul as “Ray Davies without the accent.” A major compliment, as Paul is a long-time Ray Davies fan.
Al Stewart played a typically tremendous set with his virtuostic accompanying guitarist Dave Nachmanoff. The duo arrangements offer a new take on Al’s hits as well as his deep cuts.
In one of his intros Al mentioned that he “likes to time-travel in his songs.” Yes, indeed. A true balladeer, Stewart often writes of people, places, and events from eras past. Each song is so vivid that you might wonder if, in a previous life, he had traveled Europe with lute in hand collecting tales of the ages to re-create in the 20th and 21st centuries.
But Stewart’s taste is wide-ranging. Talking music backstage, Paul learned that Al is a big fan of the Brill Building era – Leiber and Stoller in particular. In fact, he went so far as to say that there wouldn’t have been a Lennon and McCartney without a Leiber and Stoller. Hmm. Time to give another listen to “Idol With the Golden Head” and “Jailhouse Rock”!