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US legend Paul Simon joins Bluesfest's incredible line-up

Legendary US singer and song writer Paul Simon.
Legendary US singer and song writer Paul Simon.

LEGENDARY US singer-songwriter Paul Simon will play the Byron Bay Blues Festival at Easter next year.

Simon joins a stellar bill that includes Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant, Santana,  Robert Cray, Madness, Steve Miller, Iggy Pop and The Stooges, Wilco, Rodriguez, Jimmy Cliff, The Dropkick Murphys, Status Quo, Luka Bloom, Chris Isaak and Bonnie Raitt.

They are among more than 40 acts so far confirmed to play at the five-day festival from March 28.

Canadian singer, songwriter and composer Rufus Wainwright, the son of Loudon and brother of Martha, has also been signed to play.

Four more artist announcements are expected into the New Year.

Festival boss Peter Noble admitted the addition of Simon to a stellar line-up to play at Byron was a coup.

Mr Noble said the 2013 festival was building into something special.

"We try to get a little bit better every year," he said.

"Sometimes that seems a little hard -- like topping 2011 when Bob Dylan played two shows --  but we think we're getting there."

The 2013 festival is the annual event's 24th.

The last time Simon, 71, toured Australia was in 2009, when he performed to sell-out concerts with singer Art Garfunkel.

The duo -- as Simon and Garfunkel -- had a stunning series of  chart hits through the 1960s and '70s, before breaking up.

Simon then embarked on a solo career, marked by  a broadening of his musical influences. It landed him 12 Grammys, as well as much critical praise.

He said written many songs that have become popular standards, such as Bridge Over Troubled Water, Mrs Robinson, The Boxer, El Condor Pasa and The Sound of Silence.

Many other Simon hits bear his distinctive sound:  You Can Call Me Al, Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard, Mother and Child Reunion, Loves Me Like a Rock, Kodachrome, Homeward Bound and I am a Rock, among others.

Simon, who in 2006 was named in Time Magazine's list of 100 People Who Shaped The World, has more than 150 numbers in his published songbook.

The blues festival is on purpose-built site at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, just north of  Byron Bay off the Pacific Highway.

It will probably host more than 100,000 fans over the long weekend.

For more information, go to bluesfest.com.au.

Topics:  bluesfest byron bay entertainment music paul simon



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