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Randy Newman to Perform on "Jimmy Fallon"; Remains in "Highest Rank of American Lyricists" with Dylan, Mitchell (Observer)

Randy Newman: "Songbook Vol. 2" [cover]

Randy Newman is the musical guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tonight. He performs "Losing You," a song featured on both his 2008 Nonesuch album, Harps and Angels, and, in a new, solo piano take, on his latest Nonesuch release, Songbook Vol. 2. The new album takes a fresh look at both classic and more recent work in new solo takes on 16 of his celebrated songs, surveying 40 years of recordings. Also on tonight's show are Howie Mandel and Cee-Lo Green. The show starts airs on NBC starting at 12:35 AM ET.

Newman can be seen performing "Losing You" and discussing the song next Sunday online at at guardian.co.uk/howiwrote as part of the Observer's How I Wrote series. He is the subject of a feature article in yesterday's Observer, in which writer Tim Lewis says "'Losing You' is a reminder of what a poignant musician Newman can be. Since his self-titled debut in 1968 he has remained in the highest rank of American lyricists, alongside Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. His best songs are astonishingly complex and subtle ..."

The Songbook albums are "a reminder of his singular gifts and enviable longevity," says Lewis. "Part of the success of the Songbook records comes from the pared back arrangements, allowing the lyrics to come to the fore."

Read the complete article at guardian.co.uk.

Newman performed on Later ... with Jools Holland on BBC Two over the weekend; fans in the UK can watch again at bbc.co.uk/later. He could also be heard on BBC Radio 2 as the guest on Bob Harris Sunday, which fans the world over can hear online on bbc.co.uk; the second part of the session will air this weekend on May 22.

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The Lexington Herald Leader's Walter Tunis's says that, while Newman's recordings have often showcased "rich, detailed Americana-informed orchestrations," his concert performances of solo piano and vocals, as heard on the Songbook series, offer "a sort of renegade troubadour setting that highlights the warm coarseness of Newman's singing and his mix of sardonic, romantically poetic and starkly bleak narratives."

Citing the song "Dixie Flyer," for example, Tunis concludes: "The infectious combo lyricism of its 1988 studio version sounds equally complete and compelling in the piano setting. For that matter, though, so does all of Songbook, Vol. 2."

Read the review at kentucky.com.

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To pick up a copy of Songbook Vol. 2 or any of the albums in Newman's Nonesuch catalog, head to the Nonesuch Store, where orders include high-quality, 320 kbps MP3s of the album at checkout.

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