Art Garfunkel jr. (*1990) has lived and loved German Schlager for half his life: Now he takes a bow to his father’s iconic classics – on the German-language tribute album “Wie Du – Hommage an meinen Vater” (Like You – Homage to My Father), which combines beautiful cover duet versions and will be released on 29.10.21 by Telamo.
The New York native is supported by a number of top-class guests, a veritable who’s who of the German pop world: Marianne Rosenberg, Eloy de Jong, Ross Antony, Frank Schöbel, René Kollo, Stefan Mross & Anna-Carina Woitschack, Lucas Cordalis, Bernhard Brink, Olaf Malolepski (Olaf der Flipper) – and Art Garfunkel senior.
Junior certainly didn’t rush things: the long, heavyweight guest list of his tribute album alone underlines that Art Garfunkel Jr. has given this great project enough space to emerge and develop. He takes the iconic compositions and transfers their original translations to very different corners of Germany – working with very different artists, from North as well as South, East as well as West, from quite a few generations and genre corners, and together they bow down to these classics.
“It is a mere tribute album in the truest sense of the word. I bow to my father and the many, many great things he did,” he then clarifies and goes on to talk about his grandmother, with whom he always spoke German when he was a little boy. As a teenager, he finally went to Germany to find himself, as all adolescents do, but “now I’m going back to the roots: I’m opening up again to those earliest influences… because I’m also just too big a fan of my father’s music.”
They are all stunning classics: Right at the beginning, the Condor makes its rounds (“El Condor Pasa”), whereby the junior already clarifies after a few bars how much richer such a production can sound in the year 2021 – thanks to his good friend, the successful hit producer Felix Gauder, who produced the tribute album with a lot of tact. After Garfunkel senior also contributes individual passages in English – he’s the album’s special guest who pops up every now and then – it continues with “Wie Du” (“Bright Eyes”): “free, but with a purpose”, is the vision in this instance, which Marianne Rosenberg sings about together with the 30-year-old.
While this duet was recorded in the legendary Hansa Studios, individual sessions also took place in New York, after which the finishing touches were made in Stuttgart.
Art Garfunkel jr. was able to bring in very different facets thanks to the inspiring collaboration with no less than 10 renowned colleagues from the German music world: While he sometimes stays pretty close to the original (e.g. “The Sound Of Silence”, “El Condor Pasa”), he occasionally moves quite far away from the original. “Yes, for example ‘Cecilia’ with Ross Antony: it sounds really tropical, like we’re chilling on the beach – the vibe is really really cool and works wonderfully in its own way,” says Art, who can also surprise again and again as a singer in the course of the LP, “because every song is in a different vocal style.”
His eyes light up at every name of the participants. Frank Schöbel, for example, “is a living legend – especially in the East. I sang ‘Wieder daheim’ with him, my version of ‘Homeward Bound’, and I’m really proud of it,” says Art, who also focuses more on the exuberance factor here – discreet Mediterranean feeling included.
As for the other guests, who also tend to come from his father’s generation – René Kollo as the oldest (“Scarborough Fair”), Marianne Rosenberg or Olaf der Flipper, for example – they were particularly enthusiastic, “after all, they have a particularly close relationship to the songs. They all thought it was great to have these classics in front of them again. And I am very grateful to all of them that they wanted to work with me on this project.
While he and his father and Dutch #1 hitmaker Eloy de Jong take the multi-Grammy-winning anthem “Bridge Over Troubled Water” into polyphonic waters, Stefan Mross and Anna-Carina Woitschack also provide double reinforcement for the carefree “Morning Has Broken”. Lucas Cordalis is a perfect match for the singer simply because he is “also such a junior: here two juniors sang the ‘Boxer’, that was so much fun” – and at the same time helped shape the core message of the album: “The boxer – he stays in the ring. No matter what happens. That’s the core message of this record for me,” says Garfunkel jr. who sings “I Am Alone on an Island” (“I Am A Rock”) exceptionally without a guest.
It also “clicked” immediately with Bernhard Brink in the studio: “When the two of us sing, it blends so perfectly,” he is pleased about the gripping interpretation of “Du sollst die Tränen niemals sehen” (“Crying In The Rain”). “You can hardly imagine that!”
With Olaf Malolepski (Olaf der Flipper), another absolute hero of the US-born Berliner-by-choice is there to give “Mrs. Robinson” a whole new lease of life: “When you hear the word Schlager, what pops into your head? The Flippers and Olaf Malolepski, of course. You can’t get more Schlager than that! I love their music… and Olaf: that’s Schlager for me! And I’m so proud that he’s also on my album. Such a great, nice, down-to-earth guy.” He finally closes the album together with his father again: “Raum des Schweigens” – “The Sound Of Silence”.
Art Garfunkel Jr., who has been living in Europe for 15 years, couldn’t have given his father a bigger present for his 80th birthday: “He’ll be 80 on 05 November – and he really wants to come,” says the son-man, looking forward to Daddy’s round birthday. “64 years of which he was on stage! Unbelievable! This album is my birthday present for his 80th!”
Art Garfunkel Jr. was born in Manhattan in 1990, the first child of Art Garfunkel and Kathryn Garfunkel. He spent most of his childhood and youth in the USA. His grandparents also had German roots, so he learned the German language at a young age and built up a strong connection to Europe. Art Garfunkel Jr. also became interested in German Schlager and folk music at a very early age, which is why he often spent his holidays in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Having already toured Germany with his father in 2018 and 2019, he now takes a bow to the oeuvre of Mr. Garfunkel sr. – on his new tribute album “Wie Du – Hommage an meinen Vater”.