Song Premiere: Art Garfunkel, 'Lena'

'For the first time, singing is not the easy thing it has always been'

Art Garfunkel, 'Lena'
Courtesy of Art Garfunkel
Art Garfunkel
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Click to listen to Art Garfunkel's 'Lena'

In celebration of his storied career, Art Garfunkel is readying The Singer, a 34-track collection of his songs spanning the Simon & Garfunkel years through his solo work. The set features two new recordings, including the ballad "Lena," produced by Maia Sharp and featuring guitarist Dean Parks, drummer Russ Kunkel and bassist Lee Skalr. The track builds to a sprawling crescendo over Garfunkel's vocal, culminating in tense strings and a white-hot guitar solo from Parks.

"To have such talent in the studio is a knockout," Garfunkel told Rolling Stone's David Fricke recently. When they did the track, I was thrilled." For Garfunkel, who was diagnosed with vocal cord paresis in 2009, returning to the studio was a challenge. "Maia's got me on the mike, and then comes the frustration. For the first time, singing is not the easy thing it has always been," he says. "It was that mid-range, the most difficult part of my voice now being tested. I simply have to find out. And Maia is such a wonderful producer, saying, 'Don't be discouraged. You picked up two words on that last take.'"

"He had a gratefulness about him," said Sharp. "It made for a smoother session than what could have been a very frustrating situation."

The Singer is set for an August 28th release.