Credit: Keith PerryLast month, Don McLean released a studio effort called Botanical Gardens, his first album of new music in nine years. The 13-track collection features the famous singer/songwriter’s musings on aging, new love and broken romances.

McLean tells ABC Radio that the album’s title track, which was inspired by his visits to Sydney, Australia’s Royal Botanic Garden, is “the central song of the whole record.”

The 72-year-old musician explains, “It’s kind of a September song…Walking through these gardens and thinking about life as a young person, which I’m not anymore, and just getting into that place again when life was ahead of you…And so, all the other songs flow from that one.”

Don says another standout song on the album for him is “A Total Eclipse of the Sun,” which he wrote about an old girlfriend who broke up with him a day before a solar eclipse occurred in 1963, and who rejected him again when he ran into her a decade later.

Stylistically, the songs on Botanical Gardens generally are influenced by a variety of older musical genres, something McLean says he’s done throughout his career.

“Basically, everything I do, whether it’s a song [penned by other artists] or whether it’s a song that I write, I fuse together old-fashioned popular music with early rock ‘n’ roll — simple country rock ‘n’ roll, like Elvis Presley would do or Gene Vincent or someone like that — [and] with folk music.”

You’ll be able to check out some of McLean’s new tunes during his upcoming concerts. Don has a pair of U.S. shows lined up this week. He’ll then launch a late-spring tour of the U.K. and Ireland that he’ll follow with more stateside concerts stating in July.

Here are all of Don’s U.S. tour dates:

4/13 — East Greenwich, RI, Greenwich Odeum
4/14 — Alexandria, VA, The Birchmere
7/21 — Ridgefield, CT, Ridgefield Playhouse
7/27 — Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
7/28 — Clearwater, FL, Capitol Theatre
8/11 — Berkeley, CA, Freight & Salvage
8/19 — Chicago, IL, City Winery
8/24 — Steamboat Springs, CO, Strings Music Pavilion
9/8 — Westbury, NY, NYCB Theatre at Westbury
9/22 — Derry, NH, Tupelo Music Hall
11/17 — Tarrytown, NY, Tarrytown Music Hall
1/15/19 — Oakland, CA, Yoshi’s Oakland
2/9 — Hartford, CT, Infinity Hall

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