Don McLean is set to release his new album Botanical Gardens on March 23rd via BMG. With over 40 gold and platinum records worldwide, his prowess for writing timeless songs is once again captured on his 19th studio album and his first in eight years as he artfully weaves country, Americana, folk, and boot stomping rock for an eclectic, yet American sound that he is known for.
Botanical Gardens is arguably one of McLean’s most reflective to date. As he characterizes 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 McLean 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 McLean and his band, as they were made to “play close and feel the music”, resulting in a raw, yet tight sound throughout.
In nearly 50 years, McLean’s songs have become an iconic staple of American music. His music has been performed by artists as diverse as Elvis Presley, Madonna, Fred Astaire, Drake, James Blake, Chet Atkins, Garth Brooks, Weird Al Yankovic, George Michael, Josh Groban, Coolio and Ed Sheeran.
His biggest hit, “American Pie,” was recently recognized with high honors by BMI for achieving five Million-Air certified airplay awards, along with “Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)” achieving three Million-Air certified airplay awards. “American Pie” also has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and is also included in the archive at the Library of Congress. Don McLean was inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004.
1. Botanical Gardens
2. The Lucky Guy
3. A Total Eclipse Of The Sun
4. The Waving Man
5. When July Comes
6. You’re All I Ever Had
7. Rock and Roll Your Baby
8. I’ve Cried All The Tears That I Have
9. Ain’t She A Honey
10. The King of Fools
11. Grief And Hope
12. You’ve Got Such Beautiful Eyes
13. Last Night When We Were Young