Don McLean is one of America's most enduring singer-songwriters, forever associated with his classic hits "American Pie," "Vincent (Starry Starry Night)," "Castles in the Air," "And I Love You So" and "Crying." Since first hitting the charts in 1971, Don has amassed over 40 gold and platinum records world-wide and, in 2004, was inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame. His songs have been recorded by artists from every musical genre, most notably Madonna's No. 1 recording of "American Pie" in 2000 and George Michael's version of "The Grave" in 2003, sung in protest of the Iraq War..
And now McLean begins a new chapter with the release of Botanical Gardens, his nineteenth studio effort overall and first in eight years. Arguably one of his most reflective to date, intimacy can be found at the heart of the 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. He proves his prowess at writing timeless sounding songs once again, as the album weaves country, Americana, folk, and boot stomping rock.
"The inspiration for the project started years ago when I would walk in the beautiful gardens in Sydney Australia near the Opera House," McLean explains. "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. 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."