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    Jimmy Webb

    To say that Jimmy Webb is one of the last of a breed would imply that there is or ever was anyone quite like him.    The man who gave the world what has been called “the first existential country song” (“The Highwayman”) and confounded generations of radio listeners with the brilliance of a lyric about a cake left out in the rain (“MacArthur Park”); who has topped the country, disco and pop music charts with a list of artists astounding in its diversity; and remains a trailblazer among songwriters 50 years after his first hit; now brings his multi-platinum playlist on the road in an intimate evening of songs and stories not to be missed.   At 66,Webb looks back on his days as a Midwestern teen navigating fame and fortune in Los Angeles with vignettes of a music industry coming of age,  infused with an unexpected sense of  humor from the songwriter who made his biggest impressions on the charts with ruminations on love, loss and longing.

    Whatever one’s preferred genre of music, chances are there’s a Jimmy Webb song on your personal playlist.   As Webb performs five decades of music on this tour, the songs prove evergreen, resonating with his longtime fans as well as new devotees introduced to the music through covers by modern chart toppers including Five for Fighting (“All I Know”), Rumer (who stormed the UK in 2012 with her take on “P.F. Sloan”) or any number of reinterpretations of “Wichita Lineman” by R.E.M., Urge Overkill, Keith Urban, Homer Simpson, and more.   Songs made famous as recorded by an impressive and ever widening range of artists including Glen Campbell (“By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Galveston,” etc.), Linda Ronstadt (“Adios), Joe Cocker (“The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”), Donna Summer (“MacArthur Park”), Art Garfunkel (“All I Know”), Barbra Streisand (“Didn’t We” is on her 1972 and 2012 releases), Frank Sinatra (“Didn’t We” among others), The Supremes, and countless others, are discovered anew in concert with the man who first brought them to life on the piano.

    Each night during his live shows, Webb reminds audiences why this preacher’s son from Oklahoma has been a hit maker since the age of 16 and a beacon through five generations of the Great American Songbook.    Webb enhances his virtuoso performance of iconic tunes with riveting tales of the inspiration behind some of pop music’s biggest songs and singers, and a humorous tour into the days and nights of a songwriting prodigy.  Getting to know the man behind such generational touchstones as “Worst That Could Happen” or “The Highwayman” in concert is also a lesson in pop culture, an insider perspective on the Nixon Sixties, the Rat Pack heyday, the London Mods, Laurel Canyon and more, told by a charming yarn spinner who hasn’t lost sight of his roots despite decades of international fame.    More than a concert, an evening with Jimmy Webb in performance is a master class you can sing along with.

    Jimmy Webb’s numerous accolades include the prestigious Ivor Novella International Award (2012).  He received his first gold record at the age of 18, was the youngest inductee into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (of which he currently serves as Chair).  He is the only artist to ever receive Grammy Awards for music, lyrics, and orchestration. Webb’s first book, Tunesmith: Inside the Art of Songwriting, is considered a “bible” among professional musicians and college students.   He has time and again paved the way for songwriters in the ever-changing media landscape, pioneering commercial use of pop songs (“Up, Up and Away” as the centerpiece of the 1970 Trans World Airlines campaign) and spearheading the ongoing effort to preserve the rights of songwriters and their intellectual property rights in the world of free downloads as the chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Vice Chair of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

    Webb has released ten solo albums since the 1970s, while continuing to write for other artists.  His latest CD, Just Across the River features duets on some of his biggest songs with friends Billy Joel, Jackson Browne, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt, JD Souther, and Glen Campbell plus Lucinda Williams, Michael McDonald and Mark Knopfler.   A follow up, Still Within the Sound of My Voice, featuring Brian Wilson, Art Garfunkel, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Lyle Lovett, Carly Simon, Keith Urban, and more will be released in September 2013.