• Penny Neef

The Simon & Garfunkel Story: Timeless Music That Soothes the Soul


Words by Penny Neef. Images by Lane Peters.

If you’d like to go back to a time that was pure and simple but also unbelievably complicated, get yourself to The Simon & Garfunkel Story at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk, March 18 – 20.


The music of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel is the soundtrack of my college years. It is the soundtrack of the 60’s and early 70’s, anti-war marches, Europe on $5 a day, independence, self-discovery, love and big decisions.


We played “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, Simon & Garfunkel’s last studio album over and over on my tiny record player in the dorm, as my roommate and I counseled scared freshmen, away from home for the first time. It soothed more than a few souls.


The music of Simon & Garfunkel is timeless. The harmony is perfect. The Simon & Garfunkel Story will take you on the journey of these two musicians, who met in elementary school, started harmonizing like their idols the Everly Brothers, and went on to sell more than 100 million records before splitting up in the early 70’s.


The Simon & Garfunkel Story is an “immersive concert-style” show. Two young men with the looks and sound of Simon and Garfunkel, George Clements and Brendan Jacob Smith, are up front, with a live band behind. Photos and video from the 60’s and early 70’s stream onto the backdrop, conceptualizing the context for the songs.


They play and sing all the classics – “Mrs. Robinson”, from the 1967 movie The Graduate, “Cecilia,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, “Homeward Bound”, “The Sounds of Silence” and many more.

I spoke to George Clements, who sings the part of Paul Simon. Clements is a singer/songwriter and a guitarist, who has led an American Roots band, The Lonely Heartstring Band, and now sings with his twin brother, Charles, in a duo group called The Clements Brothers.


Clements tells me you may recognize Brendan Jacob Smith, who sings and plays the part of Art Garfunkel. Smith is a tenor, like Garfunkel. He is from Brooklyn. Garfunkel grew up in Queens. Smith recently competed on America’s Got Talent as part of a group called t.3.


Both Clements and Smith are talented musicians. Clements admits much of the audiences have been boomers, like myself, but he says this show is a perfect opportunity to introduce the younger generations to some “good music”, and to understand the times that were the backdrop for the music.


Clements went on to say, “Music is meant to be shared in a live setting. Live music, like the music of Simon & Garfunkel, can be a healing agent, a chance for everyone to come together around song. It’s important to keep the good music in your head before it gets drowned out by all the crap out there.” I asked if I could quote him. He said, “absolutely”. The music of Simon & Garfunkel is all in the “good music” category. Live music is the best “good music.” You can’t go wrong with The Simon & Garfunkel Story.


For more information and to purchase tickets, go to https://www.sevenvenues.com/events/detail/the-simon-garfunkel-story



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