From Edinburgh 2019
WORTH AN HOUR OF ANYONE'S TIME! - Musical Theatre Review
For a more faithful rendition of Paul Simon"s work you need look no further than Gary Edward Jones" one-man show depicting the life and times of Paul Simon.
Supported by a backdrop of projections, a visual narrative accompanies this journey through the Paul Simon songbook evoking atmosphere and colouring the stories of his life.
Edward Jones is an engaging performer – never pushing, he allows his audience room to ‘join" him in a suitably understated Paul Simon style. It takes confidence and skill to be so restrained onstage and is a delight from start to finish. An accomplished musician, guitar fans will delight in the parade of instruments including a standard acoustic to a 12-string guitars, a steel guitar and a nifty mini-bass guitar.
Beautifully balanced, the show tells us a great deal about the man and the music. Edward Jones" storytelling is entertaining, particularly when he falls into the voice of the people who told him the stories. Worth an hour of anyone"s time.. (Fiona Orr - Musical Theatre Review - 05/08/19 - bit.ly/SASReviewMTR)
WILL HAVE AUDIENCES CLOSING THEIR EYES, SWAYING AND TOE-TAPPING! - The Wee Review
A nostalgic hour tells the story of Paul Simon using visuals, stage design and music
In this brand-new show, Liverpudlian singer-songwriter, Gary Edward Jones, not only recites the music of one of his idols, but also tell the unique story of Paul Simon combining visuals, stage design and, of course, his music.
For people of a certain age, the music of Paul Simon has cemented itself into the lives of many of an audience worldwide, as well as having an important place in music history.
A set comprising two mics, four MDF cut-outs of a bench, an ABC TV camera, an old gramophone and a reel to reel tape recorder set the scene of a recording studio. Warm and affable, Edward Jones, who bears some resemblance to his idol, weaves the songs of Simon (and Art Garfunkel) chronologically telling the stories behind the songs. Singing for the most part from only one of the mics, the other lone mic, gives a suggestion to the audience of the missing part of the jigsaw, his tempestuous relationship with his singer Art Garfunkel, during their time as ‘Tom & Jerry" and later as Simon & Garfunkel.
Each song delivery requires a different guitar change, with each new guitar ably delivered on-stage by ‘the very important Anthony", who weaves onto the stage seamlessly in his stage blacks at each song change.
Occasional video backdrops projected on the screen behind, reflect the themes of the song, including sepia images of Widnes, juxtaposed with images of a speeding train for ‘Homeward Bound", whilst digitalised images of flowing water, accompany ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water‘. Far from being distracting, they enhance the enjoyment of the songs suggesting a visual interpretation of the auditory.
Edward Jones has a knack of giving us insight into Simon"s songs. We learn ‘The Sound of Silence‘ reflects the silence that US people took to reflect on the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the social injustices that had silenced a generation; and that ‘America", a road trip taken across America by Simon and his then-girlfriend, Kathy Chitty, who inspired many of his songs, is a musical sequel to ‘Homeward Bound." Meanwhile, whilst die-hard fans might think that ‘The Boxer" is about Bob Dylan, Edward Jones tells us that Paul Simon says it"s his story, learning that the lyrics are a metaphor 'for how we can get bruised and battered without stepping into the boxing ring.”
The show finishes with Edward Jones changing to a small guitar as he moves over to the second mic and a metaphoric recording studio where he talks us through his take on creating Simon"s song, ‘Wristband" 'with a twist” (from the 2016 album, Stranger to Stranger), talking us through how a song can be built up using technology, adding layers of the rhythm, bass and finally the harmony.
A natural storyteller with Liverpudlian charm and warmth, it"s an hour of familiar Paul Simon songs, beautifully delivered and skilfully played by Edward Jones. Something About Simon will have audiences closing their eyes, and swaying and toe-tapping to the songs of a genius song-writer that has played such an important part in social and music history. (Kerry Teakle - The Wee Review - 04/08/19 -bit.ly/SASWeeReview)
YOU'LL LOVE SOMETHING ABOUT SIMON! - EdFest Magazine
Fans of Paul Simon will want to ensure they catch Something About Simon, the story of the American singer songwriter, which is on at the Assembly George Square Studios as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
In this brand-new show, fellow singer songwriter Gary Edward Jones recites the music of one of his idols and, between songs, tells the story of the great man from his early days in England to his partnership with Art Garfunkel and his ground-breaking album Graceland.
A natural storyteller, Liverpudlian Edward Jones weaves together songs and stories that cross the Atlantic from New Jersey to the North West of England. He traces the sometimes-poignant moments in Paul Simon"s life and career that occasionally mirror his own.
There are no fancy gimmicks or expensive sets on the show. Just one talented musician with an array of guitars in the intimate setting of Studio One at the Assembly George Square studios. Edward Jones is an accomplished singer and musician and he effortlessly glides through classic Simon ballads such as The Sound of Silence, America, Homeward Bound, Wristband and the legendary Bridge Over Troubled Water.
It"s a hugely enjoyable performance and one perfect for a late afternoon when thoughts perhaps turn to a glass of wine or two to relax. Something About Simon is not a tribute show but simply a recognition of one the greatest singer songwriters of the last century. If you enjoy the music of Paul Simon you"ll love Something About Simon.. (Mike Smith- Edinburgh Reporter -03/08/19 SASReviewEdRep)
FEELS LIKE A BIG HUG ON A COLD DAY; COMFORTING, WELCOMING AND ENTIRELY UPLIFITNG! - Opening Night
Gary Edward Jones has one of those rich, warm voices you could happily listen to for hours; gentle, melodic and comforting he is a natural storyteller who has channeled his passion for performance into a real labour of love.
Often told he bears a resemblance to the legend that is Paul Simon, Jones decided three years ago there could be something special for audiences in an evening of music and storytelling punctuated with well crafted delivery and so Something About Simon was born.
Partnering up with musical director Jon Fellowes and communications director Bill Elms the trio have produced a piece that"s been touring the UK to great acclaim ahead of its current Edinburgh Fringe run.
Elfin Bow"s simple set sets the scene nicely, there are two microphones and four large black and white cut-outs: a reel to reel tape recorder, a gramma phone, an ABC TV camera and a railway bench.
Jones launches into the instantly recognisable Sound of Silence to open the show; from the off he delivers a masterclass in musicianship as he interweaves anecdotes and stories about the legendary singer with beautifully delivered pitch perfect renditions of fan favourites as well as offering audiences an opportunity to hear some lesser known pieces.
Jones expertly guides us through Paul Simon"s musical journey from learning his craft in the folk clubs of North West England, his strained relationship with long term musical partner Art Garfunkel as well as his turbulent marriage to Carrie Fisher. Witty and warm Jones drops in little nuggets about his own life and love for music along the way.
With each different song comes a guitar change allowing further opportunity for Jones" musical talents to shine as he strums and plucks complex rhythms with ease.
The second mic which has remained unused for the majority of the show: a nod perhaps to Art Garfunkel takes centre stage during final song' Wristband' which Jones delivers with his own unique twist giving a fascinating example of how he uses technology to build up layers of the song through recording rhythms, beats and beautiful harmonies.
Something About Simon is a hour of great entertainment, beautifully delivered music paired with Jones' natural warmth and clear affection for the songs translates into an uplifting and engaging piece. It feels a little like a big hug on a cold day, comforting, welcoming and entirely uplifting. (Nikki Cotter - Opening Night 18/08/19 - SASReviewOpeningNight)
Prior to Edinburgh 2019
"Gary Edward Jones held the audience with a captivated awe, he is special, extraordinary." (Liverpool Sound and Vision)
"Something About Simon... there is something about Jones that lingers."(Reviewer Number 9)
"A sheer talent that portrays wonderfully the story of an icon" (What's Good To Do)
"Captivated, reigniting the love for these songs once again." (Suburbs & The City)