George Clements portraying Paul Simon in The Simon & Garfunkel Story

When Boston’s Lonely Heartstring Band announced this spring that they would be going on hiatus after the 2019 season, more than a few fans wondered what would be next for the members of this talented outfit.

This week we have learned that guitarist, lead vocalist, and primary songwriter George Clements has been cast as Paul Simon in the North American touring company of The Simon & Garfunkel Story. The show has been touring internationally since last year, a scripted performance that recreates the look and sound of the iconic duo’s music in two parts. A first act covers them as young artists, just getting started in the business, and the show follows them all the way up to their highly celebrated Central Park concert in 1981.

Clements, who created the Lonely Heartstring Band with his twin brother, Charles, on bass, Patrick M’Gonigle on fiddle, Gabe Hirshfeld on banjo, and Maddie Witler on mandolin, has long had a passion for ’60s music. The band was initially assembled to play bluegrass versions of Beatles songs for a party while most of the band members were students at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. They even recorded a version of Simon’s Graceland on their debut album, Deep Waters, in 2016.

This week George has been working in Chicago, near his hometown of Evanston, playing Paul Simon at the Broadway Playhouse. He told ChiTown’s Daily Herald that his parent’s love of folk music made a mark on his childhood.

“I would listen to The Sounds of Silence practically every night going to bed. It was one of my favorite albums growing up. The first song I learned to play and sing was Cathy’s Song, which is one of the solo songs I sing in the show.”

The Simon & Garfunkel Story is currently touring the US and Canada through June of 2020. Show dates and ticket information can be found online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.