With over 40 gold and platinum records worldwide, Don McLean is one of America’s most beloved country artists. Botanical Gardens, his 19th studio album and first in eight years, is arguably one of Don’s most reflective to date, as he puts it,
“The inspiration for the project started years ago when I would walk in the beautiful gardens in Sydney, Australia near the Opera House. I would dream young dreams and it was a comfort and an inspiration. I was always young inside, like we all are, and I felt it again there.”
Further reflecting on the record, Don says, “the whole album really revolves around the title song. Later on I realized that the gardens are really a metaphorical heaven, and there’s a kind of death and rebirth.”
Intimacy can be found at the heart of this record, with Don penning personal numbers looking back on a life well lived, as well as his observations on youth and love. Recording at Watershed Studios in Nashville also allowed a different kind of intimacy for Don and his band, as they were made to “play close and feel the music”, resulting in a raw, yet tight sound throughout.
Don proves his prowess at writing timeless sounding songs once again, as the album weaves country, Americana, folk, and boot stomping rock in this release. In nearly 50 years on the scene, Don’s songs have become a staple in Americana music. His music has been performed by artists as diverse as Elvis Presley, Madonna, Fred Astaire, Chet Atkins, Weird Al Yankovick, George Michael, Josh Groban, Coolio and Ed Sheeran and his biggest hit ‘American Pie’ was recognised with high honours by being inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003.
Don famously only uses Martin guitars. He has more than 40 Martin guitars and in the year 2000, the Martin Guitar Company honoured Don McLean with his own limited edition signature guitar, the D40DM.
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Artist’s website: https://don-mclean.com/
There’s nothing from the new album yet but here’s a live version of the classic ‘American Pie’: