Submitted by: Rita Van Fleet
The year was 1968. Simon & Garfunkel released their iconic album “Bookends” which reflected the culture of the day. During a period of turmoil of assassinations and escalating war, “America” chronicled a young couple’s journey across the country looking for America. “Mrs. Robinson” related the story of the disillusionment of a young college graduate torn between relationships with his girlfriend and her mother and facing a career in “plastics.” The award-winning “Bridge Over Troubled Water” album followed. The duo, however, was on again-off again over personal and artistic disagreements and eventually pursued solo careers with occasional, short-term and contentious reunions.
At the Big Canoe Mountain Twilight Concert held recently in Playfield Park, an estimated 1,000 Big Canoe residents were treated to a return to the memorable 60s and 70s in a concert by the Simon & Garfunkel tribute group, The Boxers. Hundreds of Big Canoers celebrated the end of summer and beginning of fall with the concert and social event on a glorious evening. Clubs, neighborhoods, and groups of friends dined al fresco on decorated tables. Others concert goers kept it simple with blankets or chairs and a cooler with snacks and drinks. More active revelers tossed footballs and Frisbees or walked their pets.
Concert-goers enjoyed the timeless music and harmonies in a performance that had them joining in song and dancing in the park. The group opened with “The Boxer,” “Homeward Bound” and the lighter “Feeling Groovy” and “Cecelia.” The audience joined in with foot-tapping and clapping to the lively “Julio” and “Kodachrome.”
The Boxers who sounded uncannily like Simon & Garfunkel also played a set of Everly Brothers tunes including their first #1 song, “Wake Up Little Susie.” The Boxers who also perform as The Alter Eagles performed popular tunes by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, including an amazing “Judy Blue Eyes.” Their “Bridge Over Troubled Water” was a crowd favorite, along with their closing songs, “I Am a Rock” and “Sounds of Silence” The group received a standing ovation, then performed another Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, “Point of No Return.”
Todd and Greg Pitts, brothers out of Tampa, Florida who have been performing together for 40+ years, chose “The Boxers” from a favorite Simon and Garfunkel song when they created “The Music of Simon & Garfunkel” tribute performance. The duo is backed by Ken Custalow who plays drums, guitar, keys, sax and sings lead and harmony vocals; and Connor McNamee on bass, guitar, keys, violin, and also sings lead and harmony vocals. Todd’s wife Chandra runs the soundboard during their performances.