Paul Simon is perhaps the greatest living American songwriter, and so deserves a look into his life and the deeper meaning by his songs. In Something About Simon, Liverpudlian singer-songwriter Gary Edward Jones pays tribute to one of his idols, with stories and songs that cross the breadth of Paul Simon’s career.
The show mostly comprises Edward Jones performing Simon’s songs. He is an excellent performer – a skilful guitarist with a captivating delivery of these classic songs. The songs are all arranged for just himself and one guitar; Edward Jones very much makes these songs his own, whilst paying respect to the originals. His voice is not unlike Simon’s, though this is definitely not an impersonation.
Edward Jones is a warm, natural storyteller, and the stories and insight he chooses to punctuate Simon’s songs add a lot of clarity to these already-familiar tunes.
Before a haunting rendition of The Sounds of Silence, we are told that the silence in question is the silence the American people took to reflect following the assassination of President Kennedy and a generation of social injustice.
The Boxer, though often thought to be about Bob Dylan, we are reliably told is actually Simon’s story, a metaphor for ‘how we can get bruised and battered without stepping into the boxing ring.’
For a show purporting to be The Paul Simon Story, the show could have got away with more storytelling, especially stories regarding the singer’s own personal relationship with Simon’s music, which would have made the show more unique.
Something About Simon does not transcend much further than a collection of covers with a bit of talking between each song. But what covers; for any fan of music, whether an expert or newcomer to Paul Simon, this ought to be a thoroughly entertaining hour of music and story.