CLEARWATER — Don McLean will perform Friday, Dec. 13, 8 p.m., at the Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater.
Tickets start at $42.50. Call 727-791-7400 or visit www.rutheckerdhall.com.
Since first hitting the charts in 1971, McLean has amassed more than 40 gold and platinum records world-wide. He is best known for his classic hits “American Pie,” “Vincent (Starry Starry Night),” “Castles in the Air,” “And I Love You Son” and “Crying.”
In 2004, McLean was inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. His songs have been recorded by artists from every musical genre. Madonna’s recording of “American Pie” reached No. 1 in 2000. George Michael covered “The Grave” in 2003.
In 2009, McLean released “Addicted to Black.” At the time, it was his first album of original material in 14 years. He wrote all the tracks on the album except for “Lovers Love the Spring,” which is a poem by William Shakespeare.
In 2018, McLean followed up with another new album. “Botanical Gardens,” released via BMG, is McLean’s19th studio album and is arguably one of his most reflective to date.
McLean’s prowess for writing timeless songs is once again captured on “Botanical Gardens” as he artfully weaves country, Americana, folk, and boot-stomping rock for an eclectic, yet American sound that he is known for.
“The inspiration for the project started years ago when I would walk in the beautiful gardens in Sydney, Australia, near the Opera House,” McLean said. “I would dream young dreams and it was a comfort and an inspiration. I was always young inside, like we all are, and I felt it again there.”
Intimacy can be found at the heart of this record, with McLean penning personal numbers looking back on a life well-lived, as well as his observations on youth and love. Recording at Watershed Studios in Nashville also allowed a different kind of intimacy for McLean and his band, as they were made to “play close and feel the music,” resulting in a raw, yet tight sound throughout.
“The whole album really revolves around the title song,” McLean said. “Later on, I realized that the gardens are really a metaphorical heaven, and there’s a kind of death and rebirth.”
McLean’s songs have become an iconic staple of American music. His music has been performed by artists as diverse as Elvis Presley, Madonna, Fred Astaire, Drake, James Blake, Ellie Goulding, Chet Atkins, Garth Brooks, Weird Al Yankovic, George Michael, Josh Groban, Coolio and Ed Sheeran.